*Reviewed on PS4*
No Time To Waste
‘From the Gallows’ is one of Telltale’s more memorable finales; it’s also the most hastily structured as well.
After the chaotic events that preceded, Javi and the gang are quickly down to the wire in terms of survival. For as much chaos that ensues, the pacing moves along with it. Minus a small portion towards the beginning, episode 5 doesn’t slow down. In many ways this pays off. On one hand the brisk pace makes for frantic tension that adds to the episode’s “time is of the essence!” mentality. While my initial takeaway from this episodes structure was one of positivity, I also couldn’t help but feel a lacking in more character building. Even the ones that bothered me to no-end (I’m looking at you Gabe!).
For as much as I loved the pacing; small moments of emotional depth with Javi and the gang could have been used. Considering its the season finale, a lot is riding on the stability of Richmond, and after the chaotic events at the end of episode 4, it felt like more wrap-up was needed than what was ultimately displayed. Looking back on the season as a whole, certain characters felt less fleshed-out than others. So if/when they bite the dust, its hard to feel an emotional attachment.
‘From the Gallows’ really focuses on the action, delivering constant thrills from both sides: walkers and humans. Action scenes are the usual-slightly changed-quicktime events that are slightly spiced up to complement the action as its unfolding. In some regards these quicktime events have become increasingly simplified from what they used to be. Instead of actually moving the cursor onto an enemy; a rapid succession of button prompts are required to get the job done. It’s understandable that Telltale may want to make eliminate these old techniques in favor of a system that makes failures less-common.
By the end of the episode, my takeaway of the season was one of appreciation; including its many strengths and weaknesses. When all was said and done, there is an opportunity to branch The Walking Dead into different directions. Whether it’s from Clementine’s point-of-view or Javi’s.
Despite some uneven pacing, ‘From the Gallows’ is an action-packed, open-ended finale that delivers.