Fabulous episode, but starting to show cracks *MAJOR SPOILERS*

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#1 Edited by LegendaryChopChop (1374 posts) -

First off, I want to commend Telltale and the team there to come up with such an engrossing game series within a pre-established IP. This might be more to its detriment due to working within the limits of established canon, but regardless, the game stands on its own as a quality piece of work that is a great example of good storytelling within the video game medium.

However, I have noticed throughout the series, each later episode does more to characters that irritates me. For example, so many characters have been introduced only to have them leave. Glenn and Lilly are major examples of this. I know they're from the comics, but to me it seems like a wasted opportunity if you aren't going to use more comic or show characters in an ideal way, other than fan service, then it should have just been its own IP about zombies so they can do whatever the hell they wanted with it.

Glenn, Lilly, Molly, the doctor, it just seems like everyone you meet in that game leaves you without you have any real choice in the matter to get them to stay. I know you can save Ben's life or let him die, but you should have had some sort of similar way to keep the other characters around without going back to illusions of choice much like the Doug and Carley situation played out.

The narrative of it just seems sloppy. Everyone you meet has to leave to do something else, even when you have a decent group and lucked out on some good locations (motel, RV, the house). It just irks me that I really like some of these characters but they have basically no hope to stay at your side because the game says they have to go off for some reason (then probably come back to save your life later or do nothing at all).

Another flaw I had was the issue with leaving Clementine at the house with you when you and Kenny come out to search for the boats. How did she show up? You ask but it's never explained, and it's just really a little cliche to have Clementine show up there, somehow finding and following them, staying safe the whole time, when she is usually caught in danger when she's left alone.

Great episode with some awesome choices, but I'm getting a little tired of being introduced to characters that come and go within an episode. I know we kept on to Omid and Christa, but that's by the game's design. I want choices we make and dialogue we choose to exactly influence whether or not we want people like Glenn, Lilly, and Molly to stay. Ben is the one exemption to this, because you could very well have him die as far as I've seen, but there needs to be more emphasis on our choices when it comes to characters.

Oh yeah, and Lee getting bit how he did, I'm unsure how I feel about it. Seems like another case of illusion of choice because I investigated the board before the radio, it seemed too suspicious. But yet, he still ends up bit.

I just hope he wises up and tries to cut off the arm over accepting an inevitable death. Season 2 won't be the same without him, and I don't just mean that out of a likeness for good things to happen. The actor who plays him is superb and his character relationship with Clementine is a huge reason why I play the game.

The chart at the end of the episode showing who was going to look for Clementine with you is hopeful, but I am willing to bet it's not reflecting on what actually happens to those characters. If so, then that would be amazing and I suspend a lot of my complaints.

Episode 2 in my opinion was the highest high of this series all things considered, with episode 3 being fairly low in comparison. Episode 4 is great and in a lot of ways my favorite to date, but I hope that our choices we make actually do more than they seem to lead us to believe for the finale, and hopefully some loose-ends are tightened up regarding to characters going "hey I'll help, wait, seeya, I gotta go!"

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#2 Posted by Mr_Misery (344 posts) -

Damn Lilly was in the comics? And she was the one that killed Lori and her baby? Fuuuuuuuuuck...mind is blown. I need to re-read the comics...now I feel bad for trying to help her.

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#3 Posted by TheMasterDS (2912 posts) -

People die and you meet new people who replace them. And then they die. That's how a Zombie Apocalypse works. Sometimes it sucks and you feel you've barely got to know them. Other times it sucks because you feel you knew them all too well. In either case it's always sad to see a companion, new or old, die.

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#4 Posted by Willza92 (354 posts) -

As someone who has never even touched the comics, I have to say all the characters and their actions felt incredibly organic in this fucked up world, and I would argue that of course anyone who is from the comics needs to excuse themselves before shit hits the fan and the games are no longer canon. I agree that when Telltale say "the story is tailored to the way you play" is stretching the truth a little, but it's easily excused because the illusion of choice and story is so fantastically implemented, that they can get away with it (and I really can't be disappointed in these guys because they didn't program every single outcome that a player might have thought of).

I don't understand when you say "The narrative of it feels sloppy". You say this group is decent and has lucked out, but honest to God I would never say that any of these people are lucky. Kenny is a walking time bomb that any outsider can spot from a mile away and his whole family is dead. Ben is a liability (I still saved his ass, I may be a murderer but I'm no killer) and my Lee is not the most stable person. Omid and Christa are only sticking around because Omid was wounded and I'm pretty sure Christa is carrying a dead baby in her stomach (again, maybe she is in the comics and I'm wrong, but I was half-expecting Gary Whitta to write zombie baby bursting out of Christa).

Everyone else that stuck around too long is dead. Fucking. Dead.

I do not blame Molly and Vernon and Lilly to take a look at the group and say "no fucking way" especially when they had been doing so well on their own/ in their own groups. Thinking back on it, I should have agreed to let Clem go with the other group, but I'm far too attached to that character to really admit to let her go (sad, I know, but I bet some of you out there feel the same). Lilly had three episodes of character development where she was at odds with Kenny. How is that sloppy?

If you say you like these characters and they are in the comics, then if you want to spend more time with them then go read the comics again. If the character has made their mind up that they don't want to stick around, you, the player, shouldn't be able to change that.

And as for Lee getting bit, it's the only thing that makes sense for him and this series. You have to remember that the game isn't about you making the story as it goes along, you have no control over what happens except only YOUR actions (just like in real life). Instead you are discovering the story that the writers set out to tell in the first place, and they give you these non-choices to help keep the experience personal to the player, and they do a great job of it, but make no mistake, we never had any control, just the illusion of it, and like the best magic tricks, we leave wondering how the hell did they get away with a that while we leave with a broad smile on our face.

Sorry if that got a little ranty. I disagree that the narrative is sloppy and just wanted to throw my 2cents in, but those are just my personal thoughts and feelings. I think these games are terrific and talking about them, debating them, is great fun as we can relive the our experiences with them again while educating ourselves to other view points. Yay.

God I'm such a cunt.

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#5 Posted by Nightriff (7112 posts) -

My biggest complaint is that as far as I can tell, you and Kenny are tied together. I look back at previous episodes and I see no way that you can go your separate ways from him. THAT is my least favorite part because I find him completely unlikable and even with the death of his family he is still uninteresting and not relate-able (a little bit in ep 3 but back to being an asshole in 4). When I go back to playthrough the game again sometime its going to be very hard to not make nice with Kenny because I know that I will be spending the rest of the game with him where all the other characters I liked and get attached to eventually leave.

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#6 Posted by Kerned (1185 posts) -

@Nightriff: Depending on circumstances, Kenny and Lee can part ways at the end of Ep. 4.

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#7 Posted by Nightriff (7112 posts) -

@Kerned: Yup, that is the way I went, I elected to go in it alone, if anything I'm surprised he said they would wait for me and Clem

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#8 Posted by jozzy (2053 posts) -

I told Kenny to FUCK OFF, when he wasn't willing to help Clementine after saving his ass countless times. Never felt better about a dialogue choice in all of my gaming life, it was great.

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#9 Posted by JasonR86 (10178 posts) -

The fact that people leave without notice or regard is awesome. That sets the tone that these people can't rely on anyone else in this new version of their reality as nothing is permanent and that endings and conclusions aren't guaranteed.

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#10 Posted by hbkdx12 (800 posts) -

I think the fact that people enter and leave the group is fine. 
The problem i have from a group/people dynamic is that all the people that the group encounters with open arms have been genuinely good people in one way or another (with episode 2 being the only exception thus far really) You'd think in the middle of zombie apocalypse there would certainly be people who would use the groups good nature to help fuel their own selfish needs and desires

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#11 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (5568 posts) -

Thought the episode was great, probably the one event I felt my decision was really made for me was during my first encounter with Vernon's group. Don't really quite remember if their were any choice responses but I do remember Lee's responses being very hostile and pointing guns at sick and old people. At one point I thought to myself this is not the Lee I had played as through the previous episodes. This makes a huge difference sometime later as Vernon and Bree will comment on Lee's reaction when they first met. Other then that Gary didn't fuck up.

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