If there's one constant in Robert Kirkman's universe, it's that things almost always turn out for the worst. I know you can't exactly tell the happiest of stories amidst a zombie apocalypse, but even George Romero's movies (the most obvious inspiration for THE WALKING DEAD) had more cheerful outcomes. The ending of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is arguably the bleakest of them all, but although it was definitely a cynical ending, we were still left with the impression that the zombie outbreak was slowly being pushed back. DAWN OF THE DEAD originally had all four of the main characters getting slaughtered by the end, but Romero decided to spare two of them - not because of studio pressure for a "happy ending," but because he had grown to like them too damn much. DAY OF THE DEAD concluded on an ambiguous note, with a final scene that could either be happening for real, or only inside a dream. LAND OF THE DEAD had the heroes literally driving into the sunset, while DIARY and SURVIVAL...well, nobody really likes to talk about the last two movies a lot. :o
Some critics have accused the comic series and television show as being an exercise in "misery porn", and looking at the latest issues/episodes, it's hard for me to believe otherwise. But that's fine. You can agree or disagree with an artist's intent, but you don't have the right to forcefully alter an artist's intent - unless you're a studio executive or a test audience, of course. :rolleyes:
But video games are another matter entirely. They're meant to be an interactive experience, as opposed to merely watching events outside your control unfold on the screen. The player should be allowed to affect the outcome to some degree, for better or worse. This is one reason why I'm discontented with the final ten minutes of season 1. Yes, it's a powerful ending, with Clem being forced to make the worst decision she's made so far. Yes, it's a poetic ending, with Lee exiting the same way he first entered: wearing handcuffs. But it's an ending we can't avert, no matter how hard we might try.
Maybe this is part of what motivated the backlash against MASS EFFECT 3. Movies are becoming more like video games, video games are becoming more like movies, and as a result, game developers feel more and more inclined to to be "filmmakers" in their own right, telling stories with a definitive beginning, middle, and end that you can only alter to a very minimal degree.
With all that said, do you think the Telltale WALKING DEAD series absolutely has to share Robert Kirkman's gloomy perspective on humanity and the world, affecting every single choice and path you take in the game, or should you be allowed to intervene with events to the point where you can achieve a more hopeful finale?