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How I interpreted the story (praise inside for people who worked on this)

posted by watertommyz on - last edited - Viewed by 366 users

First I want to say that everyone who worked on this game, be it the programmers, PR, writers, directors, concept designers, voice actors, cinematic, and whatever name popped up in the credits did a damn good job at crafting one of the most memorable experiences I've had in a long time. Sure, it may not be heavy in terms of gameplay, but for video game storytelling it's one hell of a step.

Anyway, I just wanted to express how I interpreted the game, and it may not be what you guys were going for, but here goes....

This is something I posted elsewhere: "I've wanted more stories to not worry about offending its audience, or afraid of being realistic (in tone and themes) and especially in the horror genre, and well...The Walking Dead video game delivers that experience, with situations and events that I've always assumed would have happened in something like Resident Evil or other more fantastical horror games. The ending isn't pretty, and treats me intellectually by having it be a satisfying ending in that its resolution has everything to do with its themes and allusions, survival and horror but by not being a happy ending, and there are no cop-outs, and it is brutal.

I haven't experienced an ending as thought-provoking since reading Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, which was the story that lead me to look at stories in structure and more narratively rather than just looking for something "cool" or some form of false accomplishment. Every decision you make doesn't come to be about simply surviving, but a reflection of people and how they would treat one another in this terrible situation, and as one final part of your experience, you are confronted with your decisions and are forced to reflect and wonder about them, and then you see your results in the one last hope you have left, and even then it uncertain and ambiguous on purpose to really sell the point of you having to interpret the meaning of the ending, and feel the weight of your actions.

Well, those are my ramblings for tonight. I probably put way more thought into this than I should have, but this game defiantly had more care put into it than normal so it deserves it. This game has gotten me even more excited for The Last of Us, which if it follows up on its promises, looks to be a true experience in and of itself." -That was a thoughtful post I put elsewhere.

So to me, it's not about changing the ending. It was always about shaping this little girl's personality. Yeah your choices don't prevent the entire cast from meeting their fate, but it does alter how those people are treated while they are alive and how you perceive the story. It becomes not about a goal of achieving a good or bad outcome...it is about reflecting on those choices you've made. Did everything I do prepare Clementine for the world she's in?

The Journey is the Destination so to speak.

I actually ended up watching a Dave Fennoy interview where he was talking about how this game was something that was going to push gaming to new heights in terms of storytelling, and that had actually been my first thought when I completed No Time Left. Video Games are evolving, and I think you, everyone that worked on this game have pushed the envelope.

Just bit of a note: I was not aware that a second season had been announced or even planned when I finished the game. The ending was even more striking to me because as far as I knew, this was it. I thought it was sort of a artistic license to reinforce what I perceived to be the meaning of the story. Had I really made the right choices, and did I really get to tell everything Clem needed to know, and properly prepare her for this hellish world?

So there you guys have it. That's how I felt about the game, and how I interpreted it. Thank you not for simply making a video game, but for crafting one of the most memorable stories I've seen in a longtime!

Edit: I just wanted to add that this game will be the one I point to from now on, where I would give it as an example as something where ONLY video games can do this. Much in the same way other mediums have things only they can do. Oh, and also, the tone also reminds me of Reservoir Dogs, which also ends on a gunshot (if you choose to shoot Lee) and a oddly fitting song to help sooth you from this violent experience.

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  • Anyway, I hope it's a valid interpretation of the game. If not, still good, and I'll be recommending this to my fellow gamers and friends for quite awhile. Anyone is welcome to discuss how they saw the story. This was just my personal impression of it.

    Also some other curious thoughts I made in this thread, and if for those not willing to click I'll just post it:

    @HiggsBoson2142 said: I was really wondering what they were using for the ending credits. If it was the same as usual, I'd be fine and hold my tears. But it was "Take Us Back", and that song was just so perfect, I didn't even care about what happened next. I was completely satisfied. Then they showed the ending scene...Y U NO SETTLE EVERYTHING?

    I actually thought the ending was perfect, which I went into a lot of detail in my "How I interpreted the story" thread I made about it. Which I point out that the after credits scene isn't even needed to feel satisfied, and that the meaning of the story is perfectly fully realized with the resolution, which is as others have pointed out as a passing of the torch moment between Lee and Clementine, which I do not disagree with.

    For me though, it goes much deeper; a perfectly executed moment in which only a video game would only ever be able to tell the story in this fashion or as well in this manner. Sure, a film could have done an ending that was just as powerful emotionally, but the themes wouldn't settle in you as much. Yeah, a book could have shaken you to the core with this same message, but choose your own adventure books are seldom that rewarding when it comes to emotion, which is the genre that would be closest to Telltale's The Walking Dead.

    Maybe I'm just giving this game way too much credit, but I do feel it's transcending storytelling for video games, and has found a way to push the envelope in the way one can view video games as an art form.

    The only other game I can think of that came this close in terms of storytelling as only video games could was Silent Hill 2, but unlike TWD there was just something missing from the puzzle. There was too much of linearity involved, or sort of a disconnect between the player and James. I'm not exactly sure what I'm trying to express here, but I'll defiantly be thinking on it so I can reword it to better my point that I'm trying to get at later on. Perhaps if Silent Hill 2's "plot twist" had been revealed much sooner, and had the game been built more around the consequences of that twist, and had the story itself reflected it more often than just right before the ending, I think the game would have been closer to whatever piece of the puzzle Telltale was able to fit in order to make The Walking Dead work so well.

    I'm not saying Silent Hill 2 was a bad game or anything (it's my favorite Silent Hill), it's just the best example to compare TWD with, considering they do have a lot of similarities.

    Feel free to add into the conversation. I think TWD deserves all the talk it gets.

  • bump. more people should see this thread ;)

  • @DatDude said: bump. more people should see this thread ;)

    Thanks! I do think the topic is in need of discussion, whether I'm the one who created the thread or not.

    I find Roger Ebert's opinion rather dull and lifeless, especially now that we have Telltale's The Walking Dead as a living, breathing example of doing something only a video game can do. Basically, he said, "Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form." and I just can't stand his viewpoint and especially his negativity on the subject...I mean I was never a fan of critics in general, but Roger Ebert never fails to irk me with his comments.

    I really don't think he has any understanding of what art is, or just how transcending it can be, and that's what I want to talk about, because Telltale has crafted something special.

  • @Ygdrasel said: Ebert's a prick.

    I'm defiantly not too fond of his opinions or criticisms, and the more I hear about him the more I dislike him as a person.

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