The Walking Dead’s third and penultimate episode of the series, Broken Toys released this past week. Yes, the same Walking Dead game that came from the now closed Telltale Games. Now developed and released by Skybound, the original long running distributor, does the game play any different? Is it worth picking up? As I discovered playing through the episode it really depends how loyal and avid a fan you are, or rather were of Telltale and their properties.
From here on, mild spoilers will be discussed so continue or not as you please.
Playing through the 2 or so hour episode I couldn’t help but notice clear faults in its design. Whether it was the poor audio and lip synchronisation or janky animations, it played like early, buggy Telltale titles. It’s a shame too really; technology has moved past this but it’s clear this was partly in fault to the crisis management development that Skybound undertook to just get the episode out to the world. None of this registered the game as unplayable, but it did greatly take away the weight of pivotal scenes.
In terms of a Walking Dead episode however, it stands strong. Important interactions between Clem, AJ and the rest of the misfit crew of teenagers from the season were aplenty. It’s these parts that are a favourite from the season, despite being in a gritty and gnarly setting it isn’t afraid to show love, compassion and hope. This isn’t anything new to the series, but it’s the most authentic it has felt in its whole run.
Interactions between the characters, who are almost all teenagers and children feel real and reflective of their personalities because of this, aiding the plot further. Also adding to the episode is vital scenes such as AJ voicing to Clem his concerns for the future in some of the most emotional dialogue I’ve seen throughout the entire series, as well as Lee visiting Clementine in a dream sequence to give her strength through a heartwarming and powerful conversation, all set on the train from Season One.
There’s a lot more that isn’t particularly new in this episode. There’s another “Big Bad Wolf” villain you must rescue your friends from, but this time it’s a familiar face from the first season, bringing the series more full circle as it inches nearer and nearer a close. This too, helps with the conclusion of the episode, giving you the choice to spare or eliminate the villain, right before even more catastrophic events happen right before it cuts to black. This is how much of the episode plays: trope filled fun, albeit buggy, drama. Broken Toys is worth exploring if this is something you’re into, even with its faults. If not, its determinate on you, the audience.
Just how stung are you still by Telltale? How attached to iconic character Clementine are you? Is it enough for you to return to the apocalypse in The Walking Dead?