Originally Posted by bwat47
The game wasn't about your choices making "mechanical" differences in the ending, and I'm glad they didn't. The choices weren't meant to literally change the outcomes, they have to do with how Lee deals with the other characters, how they deal with him, what Lee is willing to do, what kind of person becomes, and his bond with clementine.
If you play episode 5, and after the end all you think is "zomg my choices didn't change everything" than you missed the entire point of this game.
The ending of this game was the most beautiful and powerful story-telling I have ever seen with a video game. Incredibly sad, yes, but it was a fitting and very good ending. Telltale did a simply amazing job with episode 5, all the way through.
If your choices affect outcomes by too little they also have a limited effect on the character you play in shaping him or others. Shaping your character and making meaningful 'outward' decisions are not apples to oranges, they are two sides of the same coin, essentially.
For example, you are forced to look for Clementine, and endanger the group or yourself even if you had made some cold, pragmatic choices in past episodes. This creates a disconnect between a darker Lee and the one you play in episode five, because in episode five, you get what would accurately be called 'the redemption ending' regardless of your choices.