Originally Posted by WabbitTwaks
So they lack any sort of ambition? No one ever said making video games was supposed to be easy and you're not supposed to compromise for "what's realistic", you're supposed to push the boundaries.
Don't get me wrong: I like the story anyway and it succeeded in evoking responses from me. My heart pounded, I was sweating, and I did feel the pressure. Telltale did a very good job, but unless the next 3 episodes really deliver we'll just be playing an interactive story with very mild variations.
I understand that it's a lot to do and it adds constraints. It means more loose ends to tie up, more coding, more testing, and more money. However, I would hope that Telltale is more concerned with blowing away their fanbase.
What do I mean by "more variation"?
So far, the big choices have been:
I don't know whether lying to Hershel has any significance because I was always honest. I could see it serving a purpose to change how certain dialogue options and attitudes of your Lee (being honest or deception) but, practically speaking, it serves no purpose since we probably see Hershel again in this series.
The choice between Shawn and Duck effectively boils down to whether you want brownie points with Kenny. Either way, Kenny runs off like a coward with Duck, Shawn is killed, and Hershel gives you the boot. This is probably more significant later in relation to Kenny's character, which seems to hate you if you don't support him 100% of the time.
Choosing who to side with (or not) in the pharmacy also seems to be about brownie points. It does not change the group dynamic because Kenny and Lilly go through the same arguments Episode 2 regardless of who you side with. Clementine is always on your side, as is Carley. Choosing to side with Larry and Lily would overrule Kenny's family and vice versa, thus changing the balance of power and support. We see none of this.
Choosing to give the gun or not should have a very heavy impact, particularly on how people view you (consider that Glenn and Carley saw you and most likely said something about it). This seems like a decision for the game and other characters to learn how you treat others but it has not really come to fruition.
I think choosing Doug or Carley will become much more significant down the road and it was pretty different in Episode 2. I give this the benefit of the doubt. Carley is a bit more of the strong, silent type. She is good with a gun. Meanwhile, Doug is more comedic and very resourceful. In Episode 2 you find the differences in their personalities and how they handle stress as well as different skills and abilities. Doug being a tech guy makes him pretty valuable, which is clear when he designs an alarm system. Meanwhile, Carley is a bit more of a grunt who ends up taking most of the watch shifts. Doug saves you with a laser pointer while Carley does it the old fashioned way. However, giving both characters nearly the same lines is inexcusably lazy
. They're different people, treat them like it!
Chopping off David's leg is another one of those decisions that probably alters how the game and NPCs view your Lee. There are no real consequences to this in Episode 2 - either way, Ben is the only one who survives and you save Katjaa.
Choosing to help save or kill Larry is another one of those decisions I think are too early to fully appreciate. You see the immediate effects in Episode 2 and I'm damn sure you'll see them as long as Lily and Kenny are around. Personally, I highly doubt the writers will overlook this. I actually feel very confident that your treatment of the St. John brothers will not be forgotten since their fate carries heavy implications. Without them, the bandits become more aggressive and your group views you as more violent. With them, you gain mortal enemies with nothing left to lose but your humanity is not forgotten.
I'd certainly hope that little things have an impact on your story: how you treat other characters (particularly Clementine) and how hopeful or practical you are should change how others view you.
I give a great benefit of the doubt because it's only Episode 2, but we return to my original point: they have no excuse for linearity after this point. I've already got my seat belt buckled and I'm in for he ride, which I have thoroughly enjoyed so far. If Telltale wants to simply tell a tale, that's what they're doing so far. If they want to live up to their own hype and do something that sets them apart from all the other languorous developers, they'll set the bar for story telling in video games.