I've been looking through the forums and have found a few discussions on Ben, but nothing very in depth. I'm a forum noob myself so apologies if you're a "search button nazi" and will come to tell me off because you have nothing better to do.
Firstly, I love this game! It makes decision making so difficult sometimes as you never have a win/win situation. It never patronises you with a "You chose the good action, so everything will be good :)" cliche like so many other RPG's. Which is where Ben comes into the equation...
I'm not a fan of Ben... At all! After I found out he had a deal with the bandits and was the reason Carley/Doug, Katjaa and Duck were all killed, he was dead to me! I couldn't wait for episode 4 and I was hoping I could either leave him or kill him.
When episode 4 rolled around, and he leaves Clementine in the street to die, that just confirmed how quickly I'd kill him or kick him out the group. I know he doesn't have bad intentions as such, but he is completely brain dead (pun!) and a massive liability for the group, as proved in episode 4 where he evolves from generally useless to a complete fuck up. As the episode went on, I had more and more reasons to kill him, like when he took the axe out the locked door or didn't keep an eye on Clementine in the house... He was pushing all my buttons.
As soon as the moment came around when he was caught by the zombie on the bell tower, I was so happy. I didn't even shoot the zombie in an attempt to help him, I just waited and let him fall to the bottom and die. At that moment, I was glad to be rid of him.
When I saw Clementine's reaction to this, I started to regret it, a little. I'd do more or less anything for Clementine as she's one of the last few things left in the awful Walking Dead world that has remained innocent and hopeful. She always see's the best in people, even if they leave her in the street to die like Ben did.
What made me start to regret my decision to let Ben die was when I watched on YouTube what happens if you shoot the zombie on the bell tower and try to help Ben. He asks you to look after the others and leave him to die. That was the first time I've ever had a glimpse of respect for Ben because he finally put other people before himself. The rest of the time in the group he's been a totally useless, whiny little leech, but then he really "manned up" so to speak.
After seeing him drop then, I felt pretty terrible, to the extent I even questioned myself as a person if I would really let him do that in that situation (not that I'd have the upper body strength to lift him up with one hand anyway!)
I started thinking that if I don't do all I can to save everyone, regardless of whether they've fucked up or were totally useless, what does that make me? How am I any better than the rest of the group who can be really unreliable and flawed at best. I wouldn't give evil people like the Saint Johns a chance, I'd leave them to die without a flicker of regret, but I started to wonder whether Ben deserved to die just because he was useless?
I'm not a fan on going back on my original decisions, I think it cheapens it somewhat, but I am considering saving Ben and taking the whole group with me to save Clem, even after all that Ben has done. I don't really trust any of the characters that much, especially after the twists and turns of previous episodes, but I also don't want to see them come to harm anymore like I previously did. Clementine is the one that will always come first for me however and I'll do anything for her, even if that means sucking up my own distrust or hate of others so that I don't have to put Clementine through anything worse.
What do you all think about the situation? What were your thoughts and feelings towards Ben up to and after the point of his death/rescue? I'd be interested to know so I can decide what to do with him in that situation.