Well. Thar was quite a ride.
When I realized that my choices has little to no effect on the story (the main path), I was a bit disappointed. But during the second chapter I fell in love with the idea, that your choices (and the superb script) are what makes the strong connection between the player, Lee and the other characters.
There are no good or bad decisions here, but personal choices that can change the way people see Lee (or kill them) and act accordingly. No matter what you'll do, you can't change their fate and that only made their fates even more tragic...
Some games are more about the journey than the destination. This is one of them.
Lee telling Clem to keep her hair short as he lay dying, and her promising to cut it herself got to me deep down.
The end of the world occurred pretty much as we had predicted - too many humans, not enough Jaffa Cakes to go around.
Actually, a few more thoughts about the series as a whole:
I love the way the characters look, they are so different from what you'd find in most videogames and such a gargantuan step up from the dopey humans in previous Telltale games. Can't think of many games where you'd find models with as much character as Doug, the St. John brothers, Brie, Christa and Omid.
The most memorable decision in the series for me all happened in the first 2 episodes (Giving the motel lady a gun or walking away, deciding who to save between Doug and Carley, distributing the food and killing or trying to save Larry). Not saying every episode needs to present a difficult decision to the player, but they sort of missed some good opportunities to do so like with Charles in the beginning of episode 4. And as I said, if Clementine's kidnapper wasn't a basket case deciding to kill him would have been a weightier moment for me.
Most of the action sequences sucked. Between this and Dreamfall I think it's safe to say adventure game developers should focus their efforts on other areas.
Knowledge of the comic sort of bit me in the ass. Since I knew Lilly would be ok after the events of the game (She appears alive and well in the prison/Governor arc) I didn't pay much attention to her opinions or safety. I tried to be nice to her whenever possible, but I never sided with her to the detriment of my relationship with any other character.
The dialog with Clem's kidnapper probably works better if you're more self-centered in your playthrough. In mine he just used the fact that the group (But not Lee) stole his food and that I left Lilly at the side of the road to justify his vendetta against Lee.
Decided to replay the first episode now that I finished my first playthrough and don't recommend it as it becomes very apparent how little agency you actually have. However it made me appreciate even more how well the game fooled me into thinking I was in control of the story, and in the end that is almost as good as actually giving that level of control.
Did anyone else feel that
the kidnappers reasoning might have worked a bit better if the station-wagon you did or didn't raid was found as you entered the city.
It just felt a little disconnected is all.
I don't think it didn't make sense, just his travelling there and following you seemed a bit implausible.
I told myself I wasn't going to cry. After all, it's just a videogame, and I don't do that sort of thing.
There’s a first time for everything, I guess.
Honestly, this game shouldn’t work as well as it does. The engine is creaky, there are quicktime events at every turn, and for all the talk of tailoring itself to your play style, the narrative is extremely linear. But despite all this, it still affected me, and on a deeply personal level.
I’ve always felt that the most important aspect of gaming is player choice, so logically, once I found out it was all just an illusion, I should’ve been somewhat upset. But I wasn’t. At all. Though my decisions really didn’t change much apart from the character interactions, they made the whole experience seem uniquely mine. Every mistake, triumph, regret – they were all a part of my story. And though I’m curious how events might have played out had I made different decisions, I could never see myself replaying it. That would just feel... wrong.
I really have to give props to the writers and voice-actors, because both were absolutely top-notch, and drew me in completely to the story and characters. Early on in the series, I was making my decisions based on what seemed like the logical, or “best,” course of action. By the end, though, they were driven entirely by emotion. I was willing to do whatever it took to keep Clementine safe.
When the choice came of whether or not to cut off my arm, I sat there agonizing over it. The fact that they gave you that choice (though it was again an illusion) made me believe that it would figure prominently into the ending. That if I cut it off, Clem and I would ride off into the sunset together, but if I didn’t, I was dead for sure. Seemed like a fairly straightforward decision.
But then I stopped. Was I just being selfish? If I lost the arm, it would make rescuing Clem that much more difficult, and that much more unlikely. Though I wanted nothing more than to see Lee and Clem end up a nice happy family, all that really mattered was saving her. At any cost. So I kept the arm, and accepted that I was a dead man walking.
Then there was the finale. Nothing too extravagant, no explosions or white-knuckle rescues. Just two men sitting down and talking. And damn, was that intense. The revelation of who it was, how I’d wronged him, and how the entire thing was my fault – I couldn’t even try to defend myself. He was right. Crazy, sure, but still right. And even when it had all gone to hell and I was choking the life out of him, I couldn’t shake that feeling. So I stopped. I didn’t fail the quicktime event, I just gave up. And when he jumped on top of me, the gamer inside said “whoops, failure state, time to reload,” and then Clementine shot him. And I felt even worse.
I don’t need to go into the details of how the ending played out, but I made sure that she shot me. Not because I wanted to spare Lee the horror of becoming a walker, but because it was what Clem needed. It would give her closure, it would give her strength, and it would prepare her for the harsh realities of the world she was about to face alone. It felt right. And when that gunshot rang out and it cut to black, yeah, I absolutely lost it.
I wasn’t a big fan of the after-credits sequence, mostly because the ending was so powerful, but I understand why they did it. It’s not just a set-up for the (potential?) second season, but rather one of the main themes of the comic series. No matter who dies and who lives and what horrors they experience, life goes on.
I guess I’ve been rambling for a while now, so I should probably wrap things up. This game is brilliant. Not so much the actual gameplay, but the way in which it handles the story and characters should be held as a high-water mark for the rest of the industry. I really hope that developers pay attention, because this is how you tell a story. This is how you make people care. And this is how you turn grown men into blubbering babies. Well done, Telltale.
I know what you guys are saying, I think actually
if there was no head in the bag and he was actually not completely insane, then it might have been more impactful. That said I just thought the whole logistics of him getting to you seemed a bit off, but it is a game, I suppose.
Someone with some literary expertise needs to compare and contrast TWD with ME3 and figure out how it is that Telltale managed to get it so right and how Bioware managed to get it so wrong when wrapping up a series. They really do feel like opposite ends of the spectrum and it's bemusing to me that Bioware are now shopping around to fans for suggestions as to how make future ME titles and whether there's scope for prequel. Shows you how little thought they put into considering the nagative impact of the approach they took.
I enjoyed how The Walking Dead didn't just keep building things up and having an antagonist that we never really knew anything about for the entire series. I think by doing that Bioware wrote themselves into a corner, where it would be very hard to write a satisfying explanation and resolution as we know very little about the Reapers and they have so far just proven to be almost invincible. The Walking Dead was measured with it's narrative, not over promising too much and making sure they could always deliver something reasonably satisfying.
So emotionally hung over after playing this but worth it, looking forward to more. Ending wasn't as good as I hoped but overall oozes awesome
I just finished episode 5 and wow what a powerful ending. Although I knew where it was headed, the execution is very well done. This is the first that I've tear up playing a video game
There's demand for explanations and happy endings from the general public and it only harms movies and games. For a certain kind of mouthbreathers everything has to have a clear, tidy and neat ending. God forbid some mysteries challenge their world view.
Why does the unknown make some people uneasy?