Walking Dead – Episode 5 review

Few games have made me cry or almost cry, so I have to hand it to Telltale. I never played Wallace and Grommit or cared about them before Walking Dead, and probably won’t unless they continue to make Walking Dead or similar “games” with a good story.

I hear talk that there is a season 2, but if not someone should start a petition.

Episode 5 was maybe an hour long, and rightfully so if it was the ending – finales should never be longer than they need to be. I was slightly disappointed at the cut to black at the end, without telling the rest of the story, but it’s fine. The episode itself was emotionally gripping enough that I’ll let it go.

Save file problems due to computer issues and glitches in the game itself prevented me from experiencing the actual story changes I affected, so I will have to play again – regardless, it was awesome.

I have seen one person bitching and moaning about how this episode exposed the game structure in a bad way – forcing you down one path, and one path only; showing you that you really have no choice and your choices don’t mean a lot by the time it’s over. If you expected something different at this point, it’s your fault for being ridiculous – not the developers. It’s an interactive movie, not a true game where you have free will. In fact, there aren’t any games where you have free will.

Every game is a binary event. Even those that introduce a third, such as neutral, path, do not end those three paths with such difference that you can say the player affected the story progression. No matter how many towns you rally to your cause in Oblivion, for example, the end is the same. No matter how many rats or people you kill in Dishonored, the end is more or less the same. You can’t name a game where your decisions completely alter the outcome, because there isn’t one. Take a look at BioShock 2 – 6 different endings, but really it’s 3 different endings with 2 versions of each based on who you do or do not kill. In fact, to get the good endings, you can harvest a little sister and kill every named NPC except one. So leaving all of them alive doesn’t even get you anything.

Unlike the previous iterations, you can no longer say the game is better than the show – at least not significantly. Season 3 has come out of the gate with guns blazing and emotions flying and the shit spraying, and we’re all thankful for that.

Here’s to hoping there’s a season 2.