The Epilogue made no sense for my choices (SPOILERS)

#21BenuNekoPosted 12/7/2012 6:36:42 PM
Cross-posted from a similar topic on the PC board, because I'd like to talk about this with folks, having just finished the game. :)

This was a narrative experience like none I've ever experienced, although Heavy Rain came close. The fact that people are frustrated there wasn't a "perfect" ending where Lee doesn't/you don't die is kind of disappointing - that's not the point of the game and not the narrative point that the game designers were trying to make.

Someone mentioned on this (http://kotaku.com/5964667/yes-your-choices-in-the-walking-dead-mattered) Kotaku piece about a similar topic that the choices matter because they change who Lee is to you, and if there were branching paths like in Heavy Rain people would just go for the "perfect" ending. Don't get me wrong, Heavy Rain was great and I enjoyed going back for different endings, but that was more like watching something happen and people develop rather than developing with Lee.

I tried to make Lee decide things the way I would, and it really made some of the things in the story hurt, and some of them feel really good. The feeling of helplessness I had when Lee got bitten really got to me, and not in a "this isn't fair, I want to change how this turns out" kind of way. It changed how I made decisions, and was a really good part of the story. This is a story about hopelessness and how you react to it, and the choices I made because of the bite were some of the hardest ones. I got emotionally wrapped up in the story way more than I did Heavy Rain, and that's saying something because I enjoyed the hell out of that one.

Really, the folks who said above that people's cries for having a "big bad" is video game logic are, in my opinion, correct. I think this story was absolutely fantastic, and making small choices changed my experience of the game if not the ending. It's a zombie apocalypse. People are going to die. It's how you get there that matters.

If you want to think more about it (which is probably the most rewarding part of this game, the thinking it makes you do) I'd encourage you to also read this piece by gaming critic Sparky Clarkson:

Sparky Clarkson wrote (http://ludo.mwclarkson.com/2012/11/your-choices-dont-matter/):
Lee’s choices don’t change the world, or alter the fundamental flow of the story. He can do nothing to keep the drugstore safe, preserve the motel stronghold, or prevent the treacheries in Savannah. If those are the kinds of choices that “matter”, then Lee’s decisions don’t. But decisions that mattered in that way wouldn’t really fit the themes of The Walking Dead. It’s not a world where a man ultimately has any real power to save anyone.

But the choices in The Walking Dead aren’t really about changing the world, they’re about changing Lee. The player’s choices define who Lee is, whose company he values, what principles he chooses to uphold. The world reacts to those decisions, in subtle ways that either reinforce those decisions (for instance, in the developing friendship with Kenny) or play off them (as in the case of Duck’s fate). The player’s choices matter because they establish a context for his emotional connection, through Lee, to the game world.

This connection reaches its highest point in the final moments of “No Time Left”. As he sits dying in a jewelry shop, Lee talks Clementine through the process of retrieving keys and a weapon from a trapped zombie. He tells her to grab certain tools, to interact with certain objects. What Lee is doing with Clementine is what we, as players, have been doing with Lee. In this moment, he is us.

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#22X_Brahms_XPosted 12/16/2012 11:59:47 PM
Great read Benu

I too played the game as if Lee was an extention of myself, and sometimes felt shocked at the consequences of my actions. This is what I believe the game was aiming for and greatly succeeded in. I do think Clem will heavily be involved in season 2. First, the game's story has you play from Lee's perspective, but Clem in every way and at every major decision is the main focal point. Secondly, to support this theory, take a look at the last scene in Ep. 5. Even once you realise that the end is near the game still tells you things like "Clem will remember that." Why, when its at the end? Its a stretch, but to play as Clem or have her around where her character reflects what Lee taught her would be a great thing in Season 2. Cant wait, this games narrative was by far the greatest I've experienced in gaming. GOTY, I think so.
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#23FoofyheadPosted 12/17/2012 5:17:00 PM
I'd like to think the game mirrors what would happen an actual apocalypse. We would all die, no two ways about it. Sure, the road to get there may change, but we will all reach a dead end, especially with zombies about. Think about it this way, if ants took over the world, we would all be dead as well. Point is, zombies would over-power us, and they only increase in number exponentially.

To quote a character (not sure which one): "If the dead don't get you, the living will."
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#24SydneyLassorotPosted 1/2/2013 11:17:48 PM
I told Clem to meet with Omid and Christa by the railroad, and I thought the ending made sense. It showed that Clem at least survived and got out into the open, which was a relief, and that there are figures in the distance, possibly even Omid and Christa, maybe someone or something else... But at least I'm confident that I gave Clem the best advice I could have, and that she really will be okay, because she's strong, and saved both me and Molly and helped the group numerous times.

The story really is from Lee's perspective, so I'm just glad they gave us that little bit of reassurance, rather than end it when Lee dies. That ambiguity is about as much hope as there can be in a zombie apocalypse scenario.