#1 Edited by KatyGaGa (275 posts) -

I am a fan of the first season but having just played the first episode of the second season, the narrative monotony of it all is beginning to reveal the seams of this whole series and with the Zombie genre in general.

Did anybody else find the first 3 major events of the first episode grotesquely cloying?

1. setting up Omid to be a father, only to have him murdered a few moments later.

2. giving you the decision to burn a photo of Lee or a family photo of Kenny.

3. and, finally, the worst of all… setting up a loveable dog, only to have him attack you then get horribly impaled and put out of his misery by Clem.

all this eventually leads to finding a new group of people with exactly the same dynamics and issues of every other group introduced throughout the series, show, comic etc. which is mistrust. Mistrust which inevitably evolves into brutal violence.

all these moments feel like odd metaphors for what makes the series simultaneously thrilling but grating at the same time. Clearly the writers are talented and I love Clem as a character but they need to stop relying on this lame Whedon-esque technique of setting up something only to have it force you to feel sad in almost a Simple Jack-like way.

The creator of The Walking Dead said that there is no cure for the disease in his mind and, therefore, for the world he created. That, to me, isn't daring or provocative but simply lazy, and kind of a spoiler for every single situation you'll run into. Its easy to make someone cry out of sadness but its much harder and artistic to make someone cry out of happiness. Im not saying they need to make it into comedy but they need to fix this issue.

does anyone else feel this way?

#2 Posted by meaninoflife42 (499 posts) -

You don't have to burn the photo or the drawing. There's a log you could have picked up and used instead.

#3 Posted by LVL3Bard (21 posts) -
#4 Edited by KatyGaGa (275 posts) -

@meaninoflife42: they give you the decision to burn it. and, regardless, in my play through I ended up burning a photo of Kenny. the decision between that and the photo of Lee is clearly meant to be the provocative one, as opposed to the decision of burning the log. my point is that the decision of burning either photo, as the only emotional decision during that scene, is kind of lame.

#5 Edited by LackingSaint (1775 posts) -

@katygaga said:

@meaninoflife42: they give you the decision to burn it. and, regardless, in my play through I ended up burning a photo of Kenny. the decision between that and the photo of Lee is clearly meant to be the provocative one, as opposed to the decision of burning the log. my point is that the decision of burning either photo, as the only emotional decision during that scene, is kind of lame.

The emotional decision of that scene isn't choosing what to burn (they sealed that away by giving the player a harmless third option), it's deciding whether or not to help Christa escape. In my opinion, that's way dumber because who in their right minds would suddenly abandon their only companion in a time of need?

In general I think you hit the nail on the head; the set-pieces offered by the game this time around feel far less thought-provoking than, say, the "Give her the gun?" or "Tell Clementine you're a murderer" decision from the first season's first episode, relying almost exclusively on trying to make the player feel feels. The way Omid was just sort of cast off in the first five minutes felt, honestly, a little cheap, and I wish the game didn't soften the pressure of the choices so much at times ("Kill the dog or leave it? It tried to kill you and now it's going to die anyway, but this is still a meaningful decision, right?"). And seriously, focusing THAT MUCH on a completely meaningless "stitch your wound" section exclusively so you can watch Clem do it and feel sad? It seemed a little lame.

I like The Walking Dead games because they force me to reconsider my sense of morality and what is important to me. Showing me unfortunate things happening does not challenge me morally in any way, and in that regard I think this first episode kind of failed.

#6 Edited by ToTheNines (663 posts) -

I like the dynamics. Though the torture porn aspect is getting a bit old by now.

#7 Posted by KatyGaGa (275 posts) -

@lackingsaint: I agree with your examples as well. Although I didn't even see the Christa choice as a choice, it was so blatantly obvious which won was the correct one. I only say the photo choice was an emotional one because I didn't see the log and, thus, was forced to burn one photo or the other.

#8 Edited by laserguy (439 posts) -

Omid killed in the beginning makes me think of Kenny's death, its only there to get rid of a guy.

#9 Edited by Random45 (1065 posts) -

@lackingsaint: Now that I think of it, Omid's death was kind of lame. It happens so early on that I think it was only meant to shock the viewer - it had no meaning behind it other than 'your friend died, tough luck'.

The wound stitching segment also dragged on for far too long, I was really hoping that it would just do a jump cut. As for the rest of the episode,I was JUST really beginning to get into it when it all suddenly ended. Talk about an abrupt ending.

#10 Edited by DinosaurCanada (86 posts) -

They just need rely more on subversion this time. For example, the dog scene was really good, it made sense and was deservedly shocking. Why would you not kill the dog, though? Anyway, I want more things like that, albeit with space between them. They could have just been playing it safe for the first episode, I'm sure it has a chance to be more as it goes on.

The stitching scene was powerful, but did seem a bit prolonged in the middle of it, I agree with others in this thread. Overall though there's still so many things that could develop, the first episode of last season wasn't all that either, just surprisingly good for a Telltale adaption IIRC. At least that was my reaction.

#11 Posted by Jangowuzhere (71 posts) -

People are refering to the sewing scene as being unnecessarily long. I thought the scene was great. Clem is a lot more capable then she was in Season 1, and scenes like this show that. The scene is suppose to make you feel very uncomfortable and feel Clem's pain. Sewing your arm without any sort of painkiller is no easy task, it's long a long and grueling process. If they would have just used a jump cut, then it just wouldn't have been as impactful.

Also note that this is The Walking Dead, and they will do whatever they can to gross you out when possible.

#12 Posted by StarvingGamer (8032 posts) -

@katygaga said:

@meaninoflife42: they give you the decision to burn it. and, regardless, in my play through I ended up burning a photo of Kenny. the decision between that and the photo of Lee is clearly meant to be the provocative one, as opposed to the decision of burning the log. my point is that the decision of burning either photo, as the only emotional decision during that scene, is kind of lame.

The emotional decision of that scene isn't choosing what to burn (they sealed that away by giving the player a harmless third option), it's deciding whether or not to help Christa escape. In my opinion, that's way dumber because who in their right minds would suddenly abandon their only companion in a time of need?

A terrified child?

#13 Posted by StarvingGamer (8032 posts) -

Why would you not kill the dog, though?

Vindictiveness

#14 Posted by golguin (3849 posts) -

@dinosaurcanada said:

Why would you not kill the dog, though?

Vindictiveness

I own dogs and I killed the dog as a show of mercy. The dog was starving so it would make sense that it would react the way it did once the food fell on the floor. I also burned the log.

All in all I felt the episode was amazing and my Clem is a tough girl, that remembered Lee during the talk and thanked him for helping her survive. She'll manipulate and do what needs to be done to survive.

#15 Posted by CoinMatze (470 posts) -

Omid's death totally served a purpose 1) to make it clear that Clem still isn't there yet. He gets killed by her gun that she left lying there rather recklessly. I can totally see that coming up in a later episode as a callback, as a lesson she learned the hard way. 2) to drive a wedge between her and Christa. The event changed Christa's outlook on life. I bet she has been saved by that other group that is teased at the end leading to more awkard moments with her. I loved the post-timejump scene. I felt responsible for what happened and was very careful not to mention Omid or even Lee.

The sewing scene worked really well on me. Knowing how sore, torn, puffy flesh feels and then poking it with a needle... The whole thing made me a little dizzy. Super badass that she got through that.

#16 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (613 posts) -

I thought this episode was absolutely fantastic and FAR FAR FAR superior to last season's episode one.

#17 Posted by LackingSaint (1775 posts) -

@lackingsaint said:

@katygaga said:

@meaninoflife42: they give you the decision to burn it. and, regardless, in my play through I ended up burning a photo of Kenny. the decision between that and the photo of Lee is clearly meant to be the provocative one, as opposed to the decision of burning the log. my point is that the decision of burning either photo, as the only emotional decision during that scene, is kind of lame.

The emotional decision of that scene isn't choosing what to burn (they sealed that away by giving the player a harmless third option), it's deciding whether or not to help Christa escape. In my opinion, that's way dumber because who in their right minds would suddenly abandon their only companion in a time of need?

A terrified child?

It's weird because a couple scenes later Clem decides (unprompted) to sneak into the house of a large group of survivors to steal supplies. Even if you are entirely roleplaying as Clem, She does plenty of non-optional risky shit this episode.

#18 Posted by BeachThunder (11719 posts) -

D: You could burn a log? I did even see that there was a log.

#19 Posted by schreiberty (204 posts) -

My biggest problem with the episode was that you had to break into the house to steal supplies, I thought that course of action was out of character and that sitting in the shed overnight wouldn't have been that bad. I get why they had you do it, if you didn't you would have missed a large part of the episode, but they could have found a more meaningful reason for you to go into the house.

#20 Posted by golguin (3849 posts) -

My biggest problem with the episode was that you had to break into the house to steal supplies, I thought that course of action was out of character and that sitting in the shed overnight wouldn't have been that bad. I get why they had you do it, if you didn't you would have missed a large part of the episode, but they could have found a more meaningful reason for you to go into the house.

An untreated wound like that would get infected and leaving something like that overnight when it happened during the day is a sure-fire way to end up dead. A bite like that is serious business. Clementine was taught how to survive so she was completely in character by doing what she did.

#21 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (613 posts) -

My biggest problem with the episode was that you had to break into the house to steal supplies, I thought that course of action was out of character and that sitting in the shed overnight wouldn't have been that bad. I get why they had you do it, if you didn't you would have missed a large part of the episode, but they could have found a more meaningful reason for you to go into the house.

At this point Clem's a hardened survivor, there's nothing that's out of character when you're fighting for your life. A nasty dog bite as bad as Clem's can't go untreated for very long.

#22 Posted by Glic2000 (14 posts) -

I would totally agree with the OP. It's inevitable that it would become formulaic now that we're into the second season. And having a world of zombies with no hope of a cure definitely feels like lazy storytelling. But I still enjoy it for what it is.

#23 Posted by spraynardtatum (2628 posts) -

I think episode 1 was bordering torture porn with no meaning. There was so much emotional depth last season and I really hope they don't lose that. I agree. A lot of this episode just seemed like gross out moments with no weight to them. The dog bite had purpose because Clem needed to have a "safe" bite but a lot of the other stuff just seemed gross for the sake of being gross. I still really liked it and there were some great moments but I hope that stuff gets toned down or there's more purpose to it for the next episodes.

#24 Edited by Milkman (16541 posts) -

Maybe I'm just an idiot but I totally got me with Omid and the dog. Especially the dog. I didn't think that they were going to kill off Omid that quickly and I didn't think they were going to turn the dog on you like that. I thought the dog was going to be your Clem through this season. If anything, they subverted my expectations. I thought it was great (and completely utterly soul crushing). I can see where you're coming from with Omid though. It does feel kind of like "we need to get rid of this guy" and it didn't really shock or upset me.

But the thing is when I'm playing the game, I'm never, ever thinking like this. I'm just along for the ride. Maybe I should have a more critical eye but I enjoy it way more this way. I guess I agree that the choices weren't as impactful this episode but I mean, we're a 1/5th of the way through the season. Maybe give it some time. I also don't think the choices are not always the most important part. Scenes can still be powerful without a big "WHAT WILL DO YOU?" prompt.

I don't know. I guess it pays to be a moron like me sometimes! DURRRRR

#25 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1554 posts) -

@milkman said:

Maybe I'm just an idiot but I totally got me with Omid and the dog. Especially the dog. I didn't think that they were going to kill off Omid that quickly and I didn't think they were going to turn the dog on you like that. I thought the dog was going to be your Clem through this season. If anything, they subverted my expectations. I thought it was great (and completely utterly soul crushing). I can still where you're coming from with Omid though. It does feel kind of like "we need to get rid of this guy" and it didn't really shock or upset me.

The dog caught me off guard too .

#26 Edited by LackingSaint (1775 posts) -

@milkman said:

Maybe I'm just an idiot but I totally got me with Omid and the dog. Especially the dog. I didn't think that they were going to kill off Omid that quickly and I didn't think they were going to turn the dog on you like that. I thought the dog was going to be your Clem through this season. If anything, they subverted my expectations. I thought it was great (and completely utterly soul crushing). I can see where you're coming from with Omid though. It does feel kind of like "we need to get rid of this guy" and it didn't really shock or upset me.

But the thing is when I'm playing the game, I'm never, ever thinking like this. I'm just along for the ride. Maybe I should have a more critical eye but I enjoy it way more this way. I guess I agree that the choices weren't as impactful this episode but I mean, we're a 1/5th of the way through the season. Maybe give it some time. I also don't think the choices are not always the most important part. Scenes can still be powerful without a big "WHAT WILL DO YOU?" prompt.

I don't know. I guess it pays to be a moron like me sometimes! DURRRRR

Nope, the dog bit definitely got me too. I was thinking that would be the point they'd try to lighten the mood a bit but nope they just immediately let that scenario go south. I completely saw the Omid scene coming though, and I feel like with a little more build and surprise that scene could have been genuinely emotionally powerful rather than just being mildly shocking.

#27 Edited by Nodima (1119 posts) -

The dog attacking came out of nowhere but I didn't have a problem with the rest of it. If it had been less violent I maybe could understand; I grew up with a mentally challenged dog who we tried our best to raise, but it was just too violent and we had to put it down after a couple years. Even at its angriest it never bit that accurately and powerfully, though. And it reached the realm of unbelievable for me when I messed up the button prompts (does anyone else find the new action scene style a little difficult to navigate?) and the dog's immediate next move was to tear out Clem's throat. It behaved like a rabid animal, not simply starving.

#28 Edited by Aegon (5419 posts) -

@golguin said:
She'll manipulate and do what needs to be done to survive.

"You should be nice to me."

#29 Edited by Radish (41 posts) -

Yeah I'm with you. The entire thing just feels like it's circling the drain of "introduce character -> something moderately nice happens -> ZOMBIES -> oh shit either person wasn't actually a good person or they flake out and get people killed -> a bunch of characters die ->repeat." Like I didn't care that Omid died since I knew they were going to kill him off anyway (they can only have so many people at once so they are cycled through quickly) so whatever. The dog got me slightly off guard but it really still falls into the basic pattern only without zombies.

There's no point caring about any character development since it's pointless and they will just be killed off in ten minutes. Even Clem with her supposed plot armor. Best case scenario she survives for a while in a totally shit world but ultimately she'll die since the Walking Dead world is so absolutely bleak with no hope whatsoever. It's only a matter of time until someone dies in his sleep during the night in a house she's sleeping in for instance. Any ancillary character is just going to be used for cheap emotional appeals until they are killed off in one way or another so why do their problems matter at all?