By this point, you’ve read our review of The Walking Dead: The Video Game, right? Well if you are one of the two that did, you know that we’re absolutely enamored with this game. It’s one of the most emotionally riveting experiences this year, and has more than its fair share of fantastic moments. But for us at least, five of them rise above the rest. Five of them simply serve not just as the finest moments of The Walking Dead: The Video Game…but of any video game this entire year. Without further ado, here’s our list of the five most powerful moments from Season 1 of The Walking Dead: The Video Game
5. Brotherly Love (Episode 1: A New Day)
This was the first moment in the entire season when I realized that The Walking Dead wasn’t your ordinary video game. The subject matter of a loved one becoming a zombie has been tackled many, MANY times, but The Walking Dead still finds a way to keep things interesting with great visuals, fantastic music, and a wonderful vocal performance at the time by voice actor Dave Fennoy. Lee dealing with the death and zombification of his brother is amazingly subtle, as Lee manages to keep it together despite the obvious pain he feels inside, a trait that he manages to maintain throughout pretty much the entirety of the series. A typical scenario that rises high solely upon the presentation value, this was the first real emotional beat in the series for me, and boy was it an effective one.
4. Don’t Eat the Meat (Episode 2: Starved for Help)
To be honest, this was probably the most predictable “twist” of the entire season, but that doesn’t make the ultimate reveal of what you’re eating for dinner any less disturbing. Seeing Mark’s half destroyed body covered in a sea of blood was shocking to say the least, and the following dinner table scene is one of the best examples of the game’s fantastic script, voice acting, and dialogue system. And if Clementine ate any of the meat? Forget about it. A fantastic sequence of events that turned the season’s Second Episode into one of its best.
3. The Walker in the Attic (Episode 4: Around Every Corner)
This was a tough choice for me, simply because I couldn’t choose between this one and the death of Kenny’s entire family (which is a fantastic moment in its own right.) But ultimately, I had to go with this one based on pure beauty alone. The starving walker child makes for an amazing visual, and Kenny’s reaction to it is palpable considering who he and what he’s gone through. Depending on how you dealt with the situation, you could either kill it yourself or have Kenny do it. I personally went with the latter, and don’t regret it in the slightest. Seeing Kenny finally grapple with his emotions was amazingly powerful, as you know that thoughts of his dead wife and child must be buzzing through his head up until the moment he pulls the trigger. Lee burying the child afterwards is just emotional icing on the cake.
2. Lee Gets Bitten (Episode 4: Around Every Corner)
There’s a reason why Episode 4 is my favorite installment of The Walking Dead video game series; not only does it have one incredibly powerful moment, BUT TWO. Lee getting bitten was probably the most shocking moment in the entire season, and it almost literally broke my heart when it happened (I’ve had a couple of doctors take a look at it, and they say that the fracture IS repairable…which is a good thing, since I really didn’t want to sue Telltale.) Dave Fennoy delivers another rousing performance, as Lee’s realization that he’s been bitten is probably the closest the character has come to truly breaking down. And it’s not just because the bite essentially serves as a death sentence; it’s because, with it, he may not be able to save Clementine from whatever horrible fate awaits her. Truly a heartbreaking scenario, and probably the saddest I’ve ever felt seeing a character bitten by a rabid monster of the dead.
1. Lee Says Goodbye (Episode 5: No Time Left)
Yeah folks, it was all leading up to this. This moment of The Walking Dead game single handedly transformed the game from one of the year’s best to the best game of the year period. As I pinpointed in my review, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this ending. The way in which Clementine and Lee say goodbye to one another is amazingly simple, but emotionally powerful simply because of the bond we’ve seen grow between the pair. The entire game has been seen from their point of view for, if you’re not trying to keep Lee alive, you’re trying to keep Clementine alive—simple as that. And seeing that pair say farewell to one another serves as one of the finest ends to a video game in recent memory. If my heart wasn’t filled with Black Eco, I probably would have cried. No matter what you say, no matter what you did, and no matter what choices you made, this moment serves as a true testament to the power of The Walking Dead: The Video Game. Goodbye Lee…you’ll be missed.
And there you have it, our picks for the most powerful moments of The Walking Dead: The Video Game. There’s still a ton more that we didn’t even talk about so, if you can think of any, let us know in the comments! Before I go, I just wanted to thank Telltale Games for delivering one of the finest gaming experiences I’ve ever had in my lifetime. The story of Lee and Clementine truly serves as one of the prime examples of the power of video games, and I’m so glad this series has succeeded as much as it has. I’ll be waiting for Season 2 with baited breath.