The Walking Dead Final Thoughts

I really like Telltale’s games, but I didn’t do a very good job of writing about TWD in my journal. I missed a lot of stuff. Most of this LP draws upon information from The Walking Dead wiki. My LPs of later Telltale games are better.

Does Telltale’s TWD deserve its reputation? I think it deserves most of the praise that it received. I wish that I hadn’t spoiled Lee’s fate for myself before I played the game, though.

I don’t think that Telltale’s games have a ton of replay value.

The Presentation

I like the cel-shaded style of Telltale’s games. There’s a lot of subtlety in how their characters are drawn. It may seem to be a bit strange to have an animated style for such a serious game, but it works better in motion.

One thing that I wished they had done was include a black-and-white mode because the original comic series is in black and white. I haven’t read the comics, but it would have been a cool option.

Telltale’s games have excellent voice acting. Lee’s VA, Dave Fenroy, has a very smooth voice, and Clementine’s VA, Melissa Hutchison, portrays a child very well.

The original music is beautifully composed and conveys a lot of emotion.

The Gameplay

I have no complaints about the gameplay, but the thing with Telltale’s games is that they’re more about the story and experience than the gameplay. They have continued to jazz up the QTEs that make up the majority of the action in later games.

Telltale sharing the percentages of players’ decisions is kind of genius. They beat BioWare to the punch with that system.

The Story

On paper, the story may not sound particularly original or epic. The most important thing about that is what you bring to the game with your decisions. How much you enjoy the game is wildly determinant based on these choices.

The Characters

Telltale always has a diverse cast of characters in their games. However, in line with the grimness of TWD, most of them wind up dead.

I think of Lee as a sort of put-upon, remorseful guy who’s just trying to protect Clementine and his group, but it’s possible to play him totally differently. I don’t think you can actually play him as abusive or dismissive towards the poor girl, though. It seems like a bit of a missed opportunity that he does not get any closure with his sordid past.

Why does Lee die at the end of season one despite amputating his arm? It’s possible that it wasn’t amputated in time. The infection spread from the bite and killed him.

His voice actor also voiced Rodin in the Bayonetta games. AHHH HOW DID I NOT RECOGNIZE HIM?! (I played Bayonetta before I played TWD)

His voice actor also voiced Finch in Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands.

Clementine is a brave and sweet kid who has to do some things that not even adults should have to do, and season one is just the beginning.

Telltale originally considered cutting Clementine from the game because they had difficulty casting her voice actor, and the fact that child characters are usually disliked in games. Not this time! It would have been disastrous if they had cut Clementine. I think that the game still would have done well, but not quite as well, and they would have had to cast a different character with which to carry on the story in seasons two and three.

Some trivia involving Clementine’s voice actress: she won a Spike VGA award for her portrayal of Clementine; her favorite characters in the game are Clementine and Lee; and her favorite character from the TV show is Daryl Dixon. She’s one of us! A lot of us, anyway. XD

One of the most interesting characters for me is Kenny. He’s a character that split the fanbase, and it’s honestly easy to see why. On one hand, he’s a down-to-earth, sympathetic family man who is put through the wringer. On the other, he can be insensitive, selfish, trying, and even ruthless. I can’t remember the exact circumstances anymore, but I recall him trying my patience a bit near the end of season one. However, we are then led to believe that he died trying to help Ben. But then, it’s revealed in season two that Kenny just survived somehow. 😉

The point is that following Kenny is a roller coaster all on its own.

One uncomfortable moment that I missed in my original LP was Kenny calling Lee “urban” when he assumes that Lee can pick a lock because he’s African-American. Is Kenny racist? I’m… not so sure. I’d say he’s more ignorant and… sheltered, which leads him to make some oblivious comments.

Poor Duck didn’t deserve what happened to him.

Lilly is a bitch, but I understood her a little better after coming back to the game for this LP. Her and her father Larry are angry and stressed-out people. It doesn’t help that Larry isn’t even nice to her, of all people. That puts her devotion to Larry in a much sadder light. But it’s still not enough to make me sympathetic towards her after she kills Doug.

There was a slight issue with Telltale including Lilly and her father in the game. This game’s Lilly was supposed to be the same Lilly from the comics, but was ultimately declared to be a different character after the tie-in novel The Road to Woodbury was released with Lilly having an entirely different backstory and father.

Another thing that I realized upon coming back to the game is that I hate the St. Johns! Cannibalism. That’s just wrong. Unlike the Termites (cannibals from the supposed safe haven of Terminus, which the Termites deliberately led potential victims to), there is no attempt at making the St. Johns sympathetic. Nothing that really works, anyway.
I wanted so badly to keep everyone from eating pieces of Mark. I’m not sure if I did. ;_;

Omid is a fun, sweet, and nerdy guy. His name means “hope” in Persian.

It’s kind of disappointing that we never learn what happens to Molly. Then again, considering the alternative could have been her confirmed death, maybe leaving her fate ~ambiguous~ isn’t so bad after all…

Should I Experience It?

If you like good interactive stories with a lot of “feels”, yes. It doesn’t have that much replay value, but the entire season is cheap to experience anyway. I would suggest skipping the disc-based versions, though. Telltale has a bad habit of delivering shoddy ports (at least for consoles). Direct downloads seem to work perfectly, however.

Did you play Telltale’s TWD? How did you play Lee? What did you think about the other characters? Do you consume any other TWD media, and, if so, do you keep up with the comics and/or TV series? If you jumped ship on any of them, when and why?

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