MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT!
DontNod has given us a fitting conclusion to this episodic finale where Max Caulfield has to make the final, difficult decision for what matters to her most after the last week. The question is whether in the end it meant any difference to us and if we really had a choice in the matter? This story has been a coming-of-age where Max has had to make all these huge decisions and how we’ll finally see it all tie together with an emotional, dramatic and captivating end.
Episode 4 left us off in a worrying position with everyone wondering what could happen next, and the unpredictability of what would happen next wasn’t just a danger to Max, but everyone else around her. The game itself felt unsure how to tie all its endings together, instead of being a frightened girl from the first episode Maxine is now fighting for herself and everyone around her, trying to make everything right in desparation and doing whatever she can to see Jefferson and Nathan brought to justice.
We’re taken back and forth through time, exploring both the best and worst moments of the game and all the choices that have had to be made. Reminding Max and us of all the conversations, retreading the past and providing a dark look inside of her mind. She feels as though everyone has been let down by her and now the hurricane will destroy everything that she’s loved.
Jumping back and forwards through time allows us to see those we’ve lost and where things went wrong, but this episode negates a lot of that and we’re able to save characters such as Kate (who I lost in Episode 2). I loved and hated this as it felt like such a vital choice in the game for me had been completely negated, but I loved Kates character design and wanted her back deeply after feeling I’d made a huge mistake previously.
I felt this episode managed to fully utilise the time rewind mechanic which hasn’t felt used since the ending of Episode 3. The power takes more of a backseat approach though, with the player not personally using it, but more of the story being heavily reliant on it’s ability to foreshadow the decisions ahead, and resurface those we’ve made.
The villain for the game seemed great for the first 4 episodes, being careful and mysterious, who was being very clever in their abductions and murders, never leaving much evidence. Yet in Episode 5, I felt that the writing for Mr Jefferson wasn’t that great overall. He deliberately spoke in the typical ‘evil genius’ way giving away his master plan because there was no way he could be stopped. The dialogue for the game wasn’t at its best either, with very typical lines such as ‘you will not get away with this’, slightly ruining the moments when you felt like this was a life and death situation.
Lucky for us we’ve got the power of time and space?
DontNod missed out on a lot they could have done here and even take care of him in the first 30 minutes of gameplay. The whole beginning of the episode felt very rushed in order to get to the middle and end and show the power of Max’s decisions.
With all the emotions flying about this episode I’m happy that players finally had the choice to see where they wanted to go romantically. Personally I’ve always loved Chloe and felt it was only right to be with her, as the game always felt like I was being pushed in that direction. However, Warren was also a fantastic character who was there for you when you needed him and those of you finally get to have that teen romance if you choose.
The final choice of the game summarises the only way it ever could have ended. Yet this felt unfair due to the consequences of the game. It ultimately comes down to the ‘needs of the few, over the needs of the many.’ Where you could be incredibly selfish and choose a sad, demoralising ending where everyone will die apart from yourself and Chloe, leading to an unsatisfactory end to what’s been a great story. The Episode constantly feels like it’s trying to push you towards a great ending which helps Max see the valuable lesson of life and how some things need to be left alone, that has you sitting down crying over how it’s unfair but you need to say goodbye and do the right thing.
Excellent example of a young girl trying to bring justice to all her friends and stop anything which could cause people harm while ultimately being the issue behind a lot of the destruction. The story is wonderful to behold, with a great detailled side character supporting you all the way throughout. The main character which began as a very emotionless, has been supported with a colourful and interesting cast (and side character) that’s led to moments where you’ve wanted to break down crying and want a hug. The dialogue has felt lacking from the beginning of the game with some bad writing, but the graphic and emotion backing it picks it up. It’s a fantastic human drama that teaches you an important story, but only if you pick the right ending that seems appropriate to the game while the other feels confusing and wrong.
8.5 / 10