Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Still walking

I, like just about everyone else who played them, thought that The Walking Dead was one of the best things that I played last year. It brought a marginalized genre front and center to the masses by cutting out the fat and bolstering it with quality writing and relatable characters. All of the good made it easy to let little things like the game running like ass for no good reason slide. It didn't detract from anything. A year has gone by and chapter 1 of season two still runs like ass for no good reason. This time around  it is more noticeable, it does impact the game's more frequent quick time events, and there is less distracting quality to keep my jaded eyes at bay.

The Walking Dead worked because of its characters. To be specific, it worked because of Lee and his relationship with Clementine. The player was not an observer, the player was Lee. As he became more attached to Clementine so did the player. His sacrifices and tragedies were personal because, in a world of zombies, they were believable. The character of Clementine was required but was not the focus until the very end. One would not have worked without the other.

Thirty minutes into Season 2 and Clementine is on her own. The player is no longer a participant, he is an observer. And what the player sees is an impossibly badass little girl who can fight off angry dogs, hungry zombies and stitch her own arm up with stolen thread and a dull needle. There is a new 'Clem' character in a sheltered little girl who has no idea how bad things really are and I already see where the story arc is going to go. Clem will end up mentoring this girl after her father dies. There will be some bit about honoring Lee's memory, and at the end of four more chapters the two of them will wonder off into the sunset. The student will have become the master.


Maybe I am wrong. Maybe Season 2 will be just as devastating as Season 1, where no character was safe. I hope so and I am not looking forward to waiting an undetermined amount of time to find out.

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