The Walking Dead (from Telltale Games) - Catch All

I am of the opinion that anything even approaching "closure" would run entirely contrary to the ethos of the Walking Dead universe. The whole point of it is that there is no safe place. There is no security. It never ends. This is the world you live in, and you either adapt to it or you die.

hbi2k wrote:

I am of the opinion that anything even approaching "closure" would run entirely contrary to the ethos of the Walking Dead universe. The whole point of it is that there is no safe place. There is no security. It never ends. This is the world you live in, and you either adapt to it or you die.

+1

I find that more interesting than a story that feels the need to tie up all loose ends. Give me something to think about and fill in the blanks for myself. Stories stick with me better when they make me actively think about them.

Aristophan wrote:

And one more personal spoiler.

Spoiler:

I cried.

Nobody else is admitting to this?

Spoiler:

I lost it completely during the last conversation with Clem. Sobbed like a baby. Told Clem to leave me, since I don't want her to live with the memory of having shot me, and I didn't want her inured to killing the living. I'll be gone either way, and what's one more walker in a world full of them?

Dixie_Flatline wrote:
Aristophan wrote:

And one more personal spoiler.

Spoiler:

I cried.

Nobody else is admitting to this?

Spoiler:

I lost it completely during the last conversation with Clem. Sobbed like a baby. Told Clem to leave me, since I don't want her to live with the memory of having shot me, and I didn't want her inured to killing the living. I'll be gone either way, and what's one more walker in a world full of them?

Spoiler:

I told her to leave so she could save the bullet. I wanted her to kill me, but not with the bullet. I guess telltale realized asking a little girl to hit you in the head with a baseball bat when you have been her father figure is a hard thing to do and did not make it an option...

Dixie_Flatline wrote:
Aristophan wrote:

And one more personal spoiler.

Spoiler:

I cried.

Nobody else is admitting to this?

Spoiler:

I lost it completely during the last conversation with Clem. Sobbed like a baby. Told Clem to leave me, since I don't want her to live with the memory of having shot me, and I didn't want her inured to killing the living. I'll be gone either way, and what's one more walker in a world full of them?

Oh, I am absolutely admitting to it.

Spoiler:

Between what happened with Ben/Kenny, and the ending scene with Clem, I can't remember the last time I cried so much at any videogaming experience.

Let's see... I:

-Chopped off my arm. Too little, too late. Should have done it last episode!

-Lost my temper with Kenny... which led to some solid catharsis.

-I went FIRST across the sign; not sure what happens the other way around.

-Gave up my weapons

-Failed to kill "the stranger." Is it possible to kill him one-armed? I failed my "tap X" save the second time, which is why I assumed it fell to Clem to kill him.

-Made Clem put a bullet in my head.

Yes, the ending was a bit disappointing, but I am 100% on board with season 2. Not sure if I'm hyperbolically ready to label this GOTY, but it was a great gaming experience... even the episodic nature of the game added to the "pleasure" it gave me-- 2 to 4 hours was about as much of it as I could take at one sitting.

Since multiple people have asked:

Spoiler:

Yes, you can kill the guy if you only have one arm. I was surprised to find out that it's possible not to kill him.

iaintgotnopants wrote:

Since multiple people have asked:

Spoiler:

Yes, you can kill the guy if you only have one arm. I was surprised to find out that it's possible not to kill him.

Spoiler:

Yup, I choked the sumbitch out.

iaintgotnopants wrote:

Since multiple people have asked:

Spoiler:

Yes, you can kill the guy if you only have one arm. I was surprised to find out that it's possible not to kill him.

Guess it was because I failed the QTE, then. Makes sense.

My impressions are very much along what most others wrote here - even though I am not even into zombie apocalypse.
I'd also like to mention that episode 5 does some fantastic work in terms of muted sound and silence in general.

They totally hit the spots where my adrenaline was kicking in or I was simply shocked by what has happened

Spoiler:

i.e. after Kenny and Ben died

and you have that sensation of hearing everything amplified, but still everything is silent

However, I almost would state that this is not a game due to the lack of actual gameplay; similar to Heavy Rain.
But I think it says a lot that TWD is already mentioned in quite a lot GOTY discussions mostly by building a story with believable and relatable characters,
who interestingly enough don't even match the generally targeted demographic of the white male.

And for those interested in the what happens if the others go first

Spoiler:

Omid goes first and makes it without problems since he is lighter. Christa(?) follows him and also makes, but only barely with the bridge/crossing collapsing behind her. Lee shouts final instructions depending on your choice and climbs down, realizing that he is already doomed and another bite won't make a difference now

kingschiebi wrote:

However, I almost would state that this is not a game due to the lack of actual gameplay; similar to Heavy Rain.
But I think it says a lot that TWD is already mentioned in quite a lot GOTY discussions mostly by building a story with believable and relatable characters,
who interestingly enough don't even match the generally targeted demographic of the white male

I thought about this myself, and I decided that yes, this is very much a Game even if it is very heavily oriented on the story.

You still have puzzles to solve. The game will not move forward unless you take action. What happens in the game will change the story. Sure, not in huge ass ways where you have branching stories that have nothing to do with one another, but it still changes things. Then there are the moments where you have to attack people or defend against them or else you die and have to go back.

A game is a game based on interaction, and technically your actions have more effect on the story here than they do in, say, Gears of War. You can talk about how you're following someone else's story all you want, the only difference is how long does the game keep you at a barrier to the next cut-scene. Walking Dead has much shorter barriers than Gears of War.

Simultaneously, I was engrossed in The Walking Dead in a much more different way. When the big OH sh*t moment happens in Game of Thrones (first one at least), your response is basically "I can't believe what George R. R. Martin did!" However, when similar OH sh*t moments happen in The Walking Dead, I know I was wondering if I could have changed things somehow.

This is one of the reasons why I don't want to replay the game. I don't want the spell to be broken, at least not yet. I know its a rail-roaded experience, but my involvement very much had me thinking in terms of my choices rather than the choices of the writer. Same thing happened with Heavy Rain, where characters could die and then not show up in the story any longer.

A few other thoughts:

Spoiler:

So a big "screw you" to everyone who chastised me for refusing to take the groceries from that station wagon!

While I enjoyed the episode overall, the scenes with "the stranger" were a bit weird in many ways. It sort of felt like that scene in the 2nd Matrix movie where Neo meets the... whatever-the-hell-his-name-is guy in the white suit/room... Lots of exposition, lots of reflection on what had happened. Felt rather artificial, with this guy basically calling into question everything you did during the game. Do you regret them? Do you justify them? Kind of interesting, but ultimately... as i said... a bit fakey when all was said and done.

I'm curious if anyone, anywhere, actually agreed to let him take Clem. It's almost too bad that they made him into a "zombie head in a bowling bag" nut, because it would have made him a MUCH more interesting character and a much more interesting decision if he was actually the BETTER choice. Would the player come to realize just how awful they'd behaved? Would they actually give Clam over to a much more responsible person, or have her continue with a gore-covered bite victim? Not saying that would have been a "better" option in the game, but it would definitely make the player think a bit harder about what he has done and what he's doing to this little girl. For all of his foreknowledge of the bite, Lee did a surprisingly piss-poor job of setting someone up to take care of her... but I guess this is more about turning a child into a post-zombocalypse survivor than sticking to the old ways.

ccesarano wrote:

I thought about this myself, and I decided that yes, this is very much a Game even if it is very heavily oriented on the story.

You still have puzzles to solve. The game will not move forward unless you take action. What happens in the game will change the story. Sure, not in huge ass ways where you have branching stories that have nothing to do with one another, but it still changes things. Then there are the moments where you have to attack people or defend against them or else you die and have to go back.

I can see an argument being made for that, but on the other hand I also wouldn't consider a "choose your adventure" book as a "game", but more as a piece of interactive narrative.
With TWD I can imagine it easily be on a DVD/Blu-Ray and just consist of menu choices which would most likely be considered as a multimedia experience (I know, very weak description) rather than a game.

Regardless, all the great moments that Telltale achieves appear to me to be fairly independent of gameplay mechanics and I consider this as a really good sign for the potential that video games have to flesh out characters and settings in order to have a greater impact with the story.

ccesarano wrote:

Simultaneously, I was engrossed in The Walking Dead in a much more different way. When the big OH sh*t moment happens in Game of Thrones (first one at least), your response is basically "I can't believe what George R. R. Martin did!" However, when similar OH sh*t moments happen in The Walking Dead, I know I was wondering if I could have changed things somehow.

This is one of the reasons why I don't want to replay the game. I don't want the spell to be broken, at least not yet. I know its a rail-roaded experience, but my involvement very much had me thinking in terms of my choices rather than the choices of the writer. Same thing happened with Heavy Rain, where characters could die and then not show up in the story any longer.

Totally agree with you. I in fact considered replaying TWD today, but went against it. Even if it sounds a bit silly, but I think that it would just water down the experience in my memory.
Same goes for Heavy Rain and I think that it might also apply to non-video games like Risk Legacy (haven't played it myself yet, but I sounds to have exactly the same appeal to it).

Wow, powerful stuff. I had to play the episode as soon as I realised it was released and finished it about 10 minutes ago.

Spoiler:

I have to echo what someone said about feeling guilt - the sequence where you have to revisit some of your choices was really uncomfortable for me.

The game has been a fairly unique experience; I enjoy games but haven't felt as emotionally invested as I did with The Walking Dead. It makes you feel like you have choices (even if in reality you have fewer than it appears), makes you weigh terrible options that affect people and have consequences that you can't escape facing.

Re: What is game?

Spoiler:

What is a game? Professor M. Mouse of Texas, America claims that the word game denotes "the historical process by which the term game has been characterised and understood".

Easy for you to say, Professor!!

Those of us with a more down-home approach to codifying the various aspects of a nebulous and unbearable human condition prefer to go by a simpler definition, thus.

A game is some combination of the following indivisable elements:
- skeleton
- red key
- score thing
- magic door

If you see something that looks like a videogame but isn't, you should notify the Police.
- from Harmonyzone.org

BTW, I will say that playing them all together seems to heighten the punch -- I bought the series a few months ago but only started Episode 1 on Monday, once I saw that Episode 5 was imminent. Playing one episode a day has made for an extremely bleak and emotionally battered Thanksgiving week.

Dixie_Flatline wrote:
Aristophan wrote:

And one more personal spoiler.

Spoiler:

I cried.

Nobody else is admitting to this?

Spoiler:

I lost it completely during the last conversation with Clem. Sobbed like a baby. Told Clem to leave me, since I don't want her to live with the memory of having shot me, and I didn't want her inured to killing the living. I'll be gone either way, and what's one more walker in a world full of them?

Spoiler:

yeah me too. Although a non happy ending was imminent, the moment I fully realized this is goodbye was when I told her to always cut her hair short. I somehow completely lost it that moment.

Another thought:

Spoiler:

What did everyone think of how the game kept screwing with you over whether or not Lee was really dying?

It was kind of sadistic to keep offering these little bits of hope... like when the zombie in the hotel doesn't bite you, and then it's explained away with the "oh, you're covered with that gross stuff!" So, of course, you're grabbing at that slim chance. Except, sorry! J/K, dude!

Bastards.

SommerMatt wrote:

Another thought:

Spoiler:

What did everyone think of how the game kept screwing with you over whether or not Lee was really dying?

It was kind of sadistic to keep offering these little bits of hope... like when the zombie in the hotel doesn't bite you, and then it's explained away with the "oh, you're covered with that gross stuff!" So, of course, you're grabbing at that slim chance. Except, sorry! J/K, dude!

Bastards.

Spoiler:

I think they've been doing that sort of thing all along -- manipulating expectations to make the dramatic moments hit that much harder. Just like screwing with you through the interface in Episode 3, when it tells you that Carley will remember you standing up for her, five seconds before she gets shot in the head.

Actually, though, I read that particular moment in exactly the opposite way from you. The walkers don't seem to attack their own, so when the walker in the hotel didn't bite Lee my first thought was that he was already so completely infected that it recognized him as one of its own kind.

Dixie_Flatline wrote:
Spoiler:

Actually, though, I read that particular moment in exactly the opposite way from you. The walkers don't seem to attack their own, so when the walker in the hotel didn't bite Lee my first thought was that he was already so completely infected that it recognized him as one of its own kind.

Spoiler:

NO, I read it the same way you did... but then they offered up a different explanation for why he wasn't attacked, so I started to wonder if maybe I was wrong all along and he WAS going to live. Only to have them stick the knife in :)

Well, I picked this up finally and played through the whole game within a day. It's easily one of my favorite games of recent memory, even if light on the game aspects, it's still a way more memorable experience than most games provide. I've been asking myself exactly why that is. Considering I had gripes with some of the writing, story points, and overall lack of malleability to the over-arching story. I believe part of it is simply because it follows the ethos of The Walking Dead universe very well. That feeling that any character could be dead at any time, that complete lack of a hope of a happy ending. Having characters that you absolutely loathe, but wind up defending or protecting because you know that your group needs them. It's not necessarily that the characters are particularly more realistically written, but your interactions with them do stick and it changes the dynamic, even if it doesn't alter the outcome. It's the journey, not the destination, and this game does that better than most.

babakotia wrote:

Wow, powerful stuff. I had to play the episode as soon as I realised it was released and finished it about 10 minutes ago.

Spoiler:

I have to echo what someone said about feeling guilt - the sequence where you have to revisit some of your choices was really uncomfortable for me.

The game has been a fairly unique experience; I enjoy games but haven't felt as emotionally invested as I did with The Walking Dead. It makes you feel like you have choices (even if in reality you have fewer than it appears), makes you weigh terrible options that affect people and have consequences that you can't escape facing.

Spoiler:

Maybe it says something about the way I played the game and how invested in the characters and choices I made that I became; more specifically in Clem, but I felt no regret. In fact, when he brought up a bunch of choices I made that I legitimately felt were in her best interest (such as bringing her to help in Crawford) and tried to chastise me for them, I f*cking lost it and knew I would kill him with no questions.

I finished the game today. Unexpectedly, it's now my game of the year; I didn't feel that way after episode 4.

Spoiler:

I cried when Kenny sacrificed himself, and again at the farewell scene between Lee and Clem.
The conversation between Lee and the station wagon guy has kept me thinking. At the time when he described finding his wife and daughter on the road after they'd left him I wondered whether he'd killed them; on further consideration I expect not.
What do you think the zombie head in the bag was for - Lee's execution?

crunchy wrote:

I finished the game today. Unexpectedly, it's now my game of the year; I didn't feel that way after episode 4.

Spoiler:

I cried when Kenny sacrificed himself, and again at the farewell scene between Lee and Clem.
The conversation between Lee and the station wagon guy has kept me thinking. At the time when he described finding his wife and daughter on the road after they'd left him I wondered whether he'd killed them; on further consideration I expect not.
What do you think the zombie head in the bag was for - Lee's execution?

Spoiler:

I assumed it was his wife's zombie head... just there for some company. :)

crunchy wrote:
Spoiler:

The conversation between Lee and the station wagon guy has kept me thinking. At the time when he described finding his wife and daughter on the road after they'd left him I wondered whether he'd killed them; on further consideration I expect not.
What do you think the zombie head in the bag was for - Lee's execution?

Spoiler:

I believe the head in the bag is his wife's, which he's kept around for conversational purposes. (I remember him addressing the bag by his wife's name at one point.)

This is also supported by the achievement for completing the chapter: "What's in the bag?" Which seems like a direct reference to Se7en, and "What's in the box?".

Spoiler:

I think the one thing about that last episode that bothered me was the whole "interview" from the kidnapper, about how bad a person I was. It just seemed really forced - I felt like the developers wanted to confront me with all the bad things I did, so presented this person and his walkie-talkie gained knowledge to me to rub it in my face. What's worse was that, despite making many non-evil choices (not stealing the food from his car, for example), he still made me out to be a monster. It was painfully clear from the design that no matter what choices I made, I would still be painted as a monster. So it was just forced, like that guy's only role was to be there as the dude who makes me feel bad about the choices I made, except he would have made me feel bad regardless of what choices I made.

It frankly made those choices lose a lot of their power. I made them. I'm aware of the consequences of them. I don't need some random person rubbing them in my face in a way that makes them seem trite.

Was happy to strangle him and the manipulative horse the developers brought him in on.

Finished up tonight, amazing stuff. A game has finally made me tear up a little. Countdown to Tears was off by a few years, but it's poetic that a Thumb helped to finally bring it about.

Dysplastic wrote:
Spoiler:

I think the one thing about that last episode that bothered me was the whole "interview" from the kidnapper, about how bad a person I was. It just seemed really forced - I felt like the developers wanted to confront me with all the bad things I did, so presented this person and his walkie-talkie gained knowledge to me to rub it in my face. What's worse was that, despite making many non-evil choices (not stealing the food from his car, for example), he still made me out to be a monster. It was painfully clear from the design that no matter what choices I made, I would still be painted as a monster. So it was just forced, like that guy's only role was to be there as the dude who makes me feel bad about the choices I made, except he would have made me feel bad regardless of what choices I made.

It frankly made those choices lose a lot of their power. I made them. I'm aware of the consequences of them. I don't need some random person rubbing them in my face in a way that makes them seem trite.

Was happy to strangle him and the manipulative horse the developers brought him in on.

Spoiler:

I dunno, it didn't really bother me because it was pretty clear the guy was a loony, and would have found anything I did evil for the excuse to steal Clementine from me without upsetting his own twisted morals. You could see the gears grinding as he maneuvered his argument around Lee's retorts. He wanted someone to blame for everything bad that had happened to him, and Lee was a convenient target. I get the feeling that his wife and daughter left him because he started losing the plot when his son died, and he needed an outside scapegoat to pin that on.

Perhaps I'm easier to manipulate, and the dude was basically a walking clip show, but I think it was handled quite well, there was plenty of foreshadowing that he was coming, right from episode two.

Finally finished it today. Really enjoyed it and, for the most part the writing was really good. Your decisions and the associated consequences made sense for the most part but there were times when I was aching to do/say something that ultimately I wasn't allowed to.

Spoiler:

What I found really interesting was the percentage of people who chose which "major" choice per episode. For the most part, episodes 1-3 were fairly split but episode 4 was really polarised with an average of around 80% choosing the same sorts of, what I would deem, positive options. I wonder if that's because of the way the episode was framed - with a large bias against the inhumane behaviour of the walled community... The psychology of the writing and framing of the situation is very interesting to me. I hope it informs Telltale and Whitta going forward with season 2.

[EDIT]

You know... thinking about the last episode...

Spoiler:

The antagonist made no sense: How did he keep up with the train? How did he keep in radio contact? I mean, those things are seriously short-range! Finally, Dug only gave her the batteries after the vehicle... so, well, I mean, it was a bit funny how he happened to be on the same frequency, in the area and trying his walkie talkie when both his wife and daughter were dead (though he only kept his wife's head).

This was the only weak part of the story for me though. The rest of it was pretty solid.

Duoae wrote:

You know... thinking about the last episode...

Spoiler:

The antagonist made no sense: How did he keep up with the train? How did he keep in radio contact? I mean, those things are seriously short-range! Finally, Dug only gave her the batteries after the vehicle... so, well, I mean, it was a bit funny how he happened to be on the same frequency, in the area and trying his walkie talkie when both his wife and daughter were dead (though he only kept his wife's head).

This was the only weak part of the story for me though. The rest of it was pretty solid.

Spoiler:

Now that I ponder it, at the end of episode 4 the dialog suggested he was already in Savannah waiting for Clementine. He also said he had her parents, so he was fooling her to get her to him.

Yeah, I wish you had a better way to throw some of this stuff back at the guy. He was being sneaky and under-handed to pull her away from Lee, lying to and kidnapping a child, and then goes ahead and calls you a monster.

In truth though, he's not the reason I felt guilt by the end of this episode.

Yeah, I have to agree that that bit with

Spoiler:

Captain Judgmental questioning all your decisions fell a bit flat. I was pretty okay with most of my decisions. Yeah I killed that dude, he was a freaking CANNIBAL! I wasn't going to leave him alive to possibly follow my group and cause more trouble for us. Yeah, I took that stuff from the station wagon, I had no reason to believe that whoever left it there was still alive to come reclaim it. Yeah, I left that woman by the side of the road, she was a mothereffing MURDERER! If you don't have the stones to make the tough calls, move over for someone who does.

hbi2k wrote:

Yeah, I have to agree that that bit with

Spoiler:

Captain Judgmental questioning all your decisions fell a bit flat. I was pretty okay with most of my decisions. Yeah I killed that dude, he was a freaking CANNIBAL! I wasn't going to leave him alive to possibly follow my group and cause more trouble for us. Yeah, I took that stuff from the station wagon, I had no reason to believe that whoever left it there was still alive to come reclaim it. Yeah, I left that woman by the side of the road, she was a mothereffing MURDERER! If you don't have the stones to make the tough calls, move over for someone who does.

Spoiler:

I was very disappointed Lee didn't have a "Why in the world did you leave your well-stocked car just laying in the middle of the forest with unlocked doors? Where the Hell were you and your family?" Had it not been Lee and company, it would have been the bandits.

Dammit you guys, now you're making me overthink the (lack of) logic!

ccesarano wrote:
hbi2k wrote:

Yeah, I have to agree that that bit with

Spoiler:

Captain Judgmental questioning all your decisions fell a bit flat. I was pretty okay with most of my decisions. Yeah I killed that dude, he was a freaking CANNIBAL! I wasn't going to leave him alive to possibly follow my group and cause more trouble for us. Yeah, I took that stuff from the station wagon, I had no reason to believe that whoever left it there was still alive to come reclaim it. Yeah, I left that woman by the side of the road, she was a mothereffing MURDERER! If you don't have the stones to make the tough calls, move over for someone who does.

Spoiler:

I was very disappointed Lee didn't have a "Why in the world did you leave your well-stocked car just laying in the middle of the forest with unlocked doors? Where the Hell were you and your family?" Had it not been Lee and company, it would have been the bandits.

Dammit you guys, now you're making me overthink the (lack of) logic!

Spoiler:

Yeah, that whole aspect was pretty weak in the end. *BUT* it's, for me, a minor nitpick in the grand scheme of things. :)