How Your Choices DID Matter in The Walking Dead Series

I shared this post on r/TheWalkingDeadGame which was met pretty well, and since I am able to access my account, I felt I shall share the post on here
I have no doubt that the majority of comments are going to be shitting on this, and... cool, whatever floats your boat, if chatting shit online gives you a good buzz, by all means, shit all over this. But I'll say this: Just because you may disagree with this post, doesn't make this post any less true. So let's get into it.

“This Game Series adapts to the Choices you make. The Story is tailored by how you play.”

That same line of text appears in each and every Season, it informs players that their Choices impact the Story, and the Story is tailored by the Choices that the player makes throughout the course of the Season. But, not a lot of people buy into that, they believe their choices do not matter. That is far from the truth, and I hope to clearly explain why it is, as well as providing the truth as to what the above statement truly means.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead Series is composed of decision making, these decisions have an effect the lives of other characters, it determines your relationships with fellow survivors, these decisions shape the Story.

When you play The Walking Dead, depending on which Season, you play as either Lee Everett, Clementine, Michonne and Javier Garcia, each character is a relatively blank slate, sure they have backstories that show how they were previously, (Michonne is an established Comic Book character, but it’s in her game that we shape her personality after the All Out War arc and who she is to Pete, Siddiq, Sam, Greg, Norma, Randall etc. ), but it is our choices as these characters throughout the course of their respective Seasons that shape who they are, we shape their personality, we choose who we want to be, how we want to be, and who we want to be with as either individual. Our choices do matter in this instance, as we know what our Lee, Clementine, Michonne and Javier are like, as we made them into who they are in their respective Seasons.

I touched on why our choices matter to our playable characters, now I’ll do my best to explain the more “significant” side of Choices: How Choices Matter to the Story.

To begin, we shape our Story, we may be given the tools and scenarios like everyone else while playing through an Episode or a Season, the same Choices may be presented to us, but our reasons, our intentions, our morals, they influence our Choices. For example, in The Walking Dead: The Final Season, Episode 4, “Take Us Back”, during the McCarroll Ranch Flashback, we have the option to execute a wounded man that we shot in the neck, some people may execute him because he refused to tell us where AJ was, others may have shot him because he shot at Clementine, for me personally, I shot him out of mercy, he was dying slowly, and I felt that a kind act of mercy was necessary. In my Story, I shot him out of mercy, for others, they could have shot him for different reasons which is part of their Story, and there are some that didn’t shoot him, that Choice is part of their Story.

With Lee in The Walking Dead: Season One, Episode 5, "No Time Left", we are presented with an option to amputate Lee's arm or to keep it, the end result is that Lee succumbs to either the infection or the blood loss at the end of the Episode. Recently, DomTheBomb made a video on it saying how it didn't matter because Lee still died, but it really did matter, it matters to Your Story, there was no guarantee that amputating the arm would save Lee anyway, but that doesn't mean the choice did not matter, amputating the arm has an effect on the Episode, it effects Lee, it has an effect on the rest of the group, on Clementine, Lee's fighting ability, it does matter, but like I previously said, it was not a guarantee to save his life, it was an attempt to save his life, an attempt that didn't work.

Another example, which is commonly used to support the narrative that “Choices Don’t Matter” is with Nick and Sarah in The Walking Dead: Season Two. Both characters can be saved, but both die later down the line. Your choice to save Sarah matters, as it saves her, but what makes people think that it doesn’t matter is that beyond that point, Sarah doesn’t appear all that much until the Hub Area at the Parker’s Run monument and when the group are fighting off walkers at the Gift Shop, which also happens to be where she later dies. Because of that, people write it off by saying it does not matter because she dies, but it does matter, it matters to the Story, the Story that you, the player, are shaping with your choices. In my Story, Clementine lost an extremely close friend in Sarah, for others, Sarah and Clementine were not friends, and so forth.

One final example, is Kenny/Jane in A New Frontier, we all know what happens to them, but just because they passed away, does not mean your Season Two Choice did not matter, because it mattered to your Story, Kenny may have died, but did Clementine try dragging him to safety, did she have a tearful goodbye with him? That depends on your Choices, it matters to your Story.

How I view this topic is like a potter and clay, we all get a small piece of clay, and we shape it into what we want it to be, we all may have clay that comes from the same source, but what it becomes depends on us, just like it is with The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series, we all encounter the same scenarios and have the same choices presented to us, but our reasons, morals and intentions that influence our choices cause us to make them, and in doing so, they become part of your Story.

The Story is yours, Your Story is tailored by how you play, your choices do matter!

To summarise, while Telltale's The Walking Dead, or any other Telltale game, doesn't make its branching as blatantly obvious as say, Detroit: Become Human, the branching is still there, there are scenes that we all will experience, but who we experience it with, how we experience it, that is unique, our Choices grant us the opportunity to personalise our Story

I hope I made some sense with this, I am quite confident in this viewpoint, that this was what Telltale and the Dev Team behind The Walking Dead had in mind. Have a good day

Comments

  • Some choices are molded around Morales too. Shoot girl in the street/leave her. Kill the dog/leave it. Forgive Lilly/leave her. Etc.

  • edited July 17

    I see where you're going with that, when the game always say the the beginning "it's tailored to how you play", where it's based on you as the player point of view the other characters and vice versa, even though the path to which the story ends up for everyone, is all the same.
    The 2 times I've played S1, I never left during the night time, always during the day, so my story is different from those who left during the night, but I can also understand what others define "it's taylored to how you play" meant. To them it means a totally different outcome or setting not available for those who choose a different path. This would be like a tree, everyone starts at the trunk and then end up at the different branches and twigs based on how they play the game. Telltale would need RockstarGame's size budget to pull that off.

  • Your choices affect your relationships with the characters and some points within the story, yes. I think most people are in agreement there. But most people take issue with the fact that the general outcome is usually the same regardless. Like, if you saved Sarah in the trailer park, she ends up dying later in the episode anyway. If you saved Carley, she gets shot by Lily an episode and a half later. Telltale games have different means of getting there, but the end result is usually the same regardless.

  • It is an illusion of choice; it is not the same as games such as ‘Until Dawn’ where your choices do shape the narrative.

  • I agree with everything except with the Kenny Jane choice, I don't care if it's my story that's how it happened in my playthrough bullcrap TT made a massive shit to us with that choice, if they were to live at least half of season 3 I would've been okay with that but noo kill em quickly so we have a new blank story where neither Jane or Kenny have a say on anything that happens in anf, that was a low blow to fans that I will never forget.

  • Yeah, they reflect the type of person you are playing as :smile:

    Some choices are molded around Morales too. Shoot girl in the street/leave her. Kill the dog/leave it. Forgive Lilly/leave her. Etc.

  • With Telltale's games, they are like a tree with branching. The tree being our character, be it Lee, Clementine, Michonne or Javier, and how they progress through the Story. The choices we make sends us down different paths that we are aware of because of our choices, like Selfish Lee, Selfless Clementine, Hardened Michonne or a Selfless Javier. Hope that made a bit of sense as I really suck at explaining

    MintBlue92 posted: »

    I see where you're going with that, when the game always say the the beginning "it's tailored to how you play", where it's based on you as t

  • While the End result is usually something that the majority experience, it's how they get there and who they became to reach that point that truly matters. I think I mentioned it in my post, but if I haven't, then: We all venture down the same path and encounter the same scenarios, but our actions and motives aren't all the same, we could make the same choice but have a different reason for making it, that's what makes our choices matter: they determine our Story and our Journey.

    In regards to Sarah and Carley, both do indeed die, Sarah being in the very same Episode, Carley being two Episodes later. This is going to sound somewhat controversial or a not so satisfying answer, but, in The Walking Dead, we have seen time and again that not everyone can be saved, no matter how hard we try to keep them safe, it's the harsh world that the characters inhabit, I get that people want to have full control over if a person lives or dies in The Walking Dead, but that isn't always up to us unfortunately. Sorry for rambling

    ralo229 posted: »

    Your choices affect your relationships with the characters and some points within the story, yes. I think most people are in agreement there

  • I disagree with it being the Illusion of Choice, we have control over how our Story is formed, it is other elements of the Story, e.g. antagonistic characters. If it truly were the Illusion of Choice, we would have no control over what we do, but it's the complete opposite, we are free to make the choices that we wish to make. If those Choices bring undesired consequences, immediate or further down the line, that does not mean that particular choice was insignificant or "didn't matter"

    It is an illusion of choice; it is not the same as games such as ‘Until Dawn’ where your choices do shape the narrative.

  • I don't expect this response of mine to be received too well, but with Kenny's fate, despite how abrupt and sudden it happened, it makes sense he went out protecting the family he loved, it is something Kenny would do, he would put his family's wellbeing before his own.
    I get that the fashion of his death was something that angered a lot of people, myself included at that time.

    As for Jane, there's not much I can say on it, perhaps she did what she did out of fear, growing attached to a child and thinking of the potential pain and heartbreak that could come with losing her child, maybe she considered it a Mercy, for herself and/or her unborn child.

    Their deaths did have an impact on Clementine though, it hardened her, taught her not to become attached to people, as her past experience involved losing the people she loved.
    I doubt this response will be met well, but I appreciate your and everyone else's comments

    I agree with everything except with the Kenny Jane choice, I don't care if it's my story that's how it happened in my playthrough bullcrap T

  • But you're still ending up at the same destination as everyone else. What I'm going with the Tree style game play is, we all start at the same place, but based on my choices in the game, I may end up some place else, and not at the school, which is why I mentioned it would take TellTale a R* size budget to do something like this.

    With Telltale's games, they are like a tree with branching. The tree being our character, be it Lee, Clementine, Michonne or Javier, and how

  • Well I didn't see it affect her much, hell AJ never mentioned Kenny or there wasn't a single scene for what (determinant) Kenny did for aj's life and clems too, and don't let me start on the hat, I see ur point on choices mattering but TT did big OOFs with them too.

    I don't expect this response of mine to be received too well, but with Kenny's fate, despite how abrupt and sudden it happened, it makes sen

  • AJ was probably 1 to 2 at most. Can't expect a toddler to remember stuffs at that age.

    Well I didn't see it affect her much, hell AJ never mentioned Kenny or there wasn't a single scene for what (determinant) Kenny did for aj's

  • Yes, but it still ends the same way.

    I disagree with it being the Illusion of Choice, we have control over how our Story is formed, it is other elements of the Story, e.g. antag

  • edited July 22

    There is literally no replayability in TFS. There's a worthiness to replaying S1 and S2 despite the illusions. TFS is literally the same path no matter how you play.

    Who's going to revisit such a medicore finale? Really forgettable, I doubt much will be said about the series years from now aside from S1. And I think the problematic and lazy writing of TFS will be even more apparent years from now.

  • Even with Telltale's budget being far less compared to Rockstar's Budget for any of their games, they still develop it in a way that the choices matter to the players. Players pick a choice because it is what they want to say or do in that specific scenario, the actions of the player matter no?

    MintBlue92 posted: »

    But you're still ending up at the same destination as everyone else. What I'm going with the Tree style game play is, we all start at the sa

  • How is there no replayability? I've replayed it countless times, as I have with the other Seasons, it may not be replayable for you, but I have seen plenty of others go back for another run. And mediocre finale? Alright... if you say so... A Series finale doesn't need to be this big explosive conclusion that is commonly associated with it, the Finale promised to give a satisfactory conclusion to Clementine's Story, and it did just that. I couldn't disagree any more with the "lazy" writing part of your comment.
    It's so easy for us to say as we are the ones who simply consume the content, but put yourself in the shoes of the Writer(s), who spend countless hours trying to come up with a good, compelling Story, just to have that completely disregarded, belittled and referred to as "lazy". At the end of the day, game developers don't make games for people who won't enjoy it, they develop and work hard to deliver to the people who will enjoy it, and I am sure that the response that the Writers got from Episode 4 was overwhelmingly positive, it was never going to please everyone, but it pleased the majority, it pleased me, and for that, I believe that is what made it such a great Series Finale :smile:

    There is literally no replayability in TFS. There's a worthiness to replaying S1 and S2 despite the illusions. TFS is literally the same p

  • Not exactly, sure we all end up in around the same point, but leading up to that point and the type of person our character is at that point is what matters :smile:

    Yes, but it still ends the same way.

  • edited July 22

    So the TFS writers pandered to their niche fanbase instead of actually creating a well-thought finale, that's nice.

    How is there no replayability? I've replayed it countless times, as I have with the other Seasons, it may not be replayable for you, but I h

  • Telltale has always had a niche fanbase, look back to the time of Sam & Max, those games weren't a Walking Dead Season One, but they had fans that loved what Telltale produced, and Telltale loved to produce those games.
    There's nothing wrong with catering to the people who genuinely love your content instead of trying to please those who bash and criticize you and your colleagues capabilities on a Forum.

    And with The Walking Dead: The Final Season, they did both, they created a well- thought out Finale that catered to the niche audience and Die- Hard Clementine fans that they promised to satisfy almost a year ago, and wouldn't you know, they did exactly that.

    Just saying, but it is so easy to sit back and type a comment dismissing the time and effort that goes into making games, to question the abilities of developers, even though they have the qualifications required to be in the position that they are, knowing that you aren't in that position yourself. Developers deserve respect for what they do, not insults or dismissive comments. How much do they sacrifice to produce games? If you were a developer, wouldn't you wish you were treated with more respect? Would you like it if some random guy online targets you and chats crap about your occupation and how you perform it? I honestly doubt you would

    So the TFS writers pandered to their niche fanbase instead of actually creating a well-thought finale, that's nice.

  • edited July 23

    It's called the "illusion of choice" for a reason. Play Detroit: Become Human, a game were you choices actually do matter, and then look back at your post.

  • I don't think Until Dawn is a good example as the choices in Until Dawn don't change or shape the narrative. Sure you can choose who will die or live, but the story remains mainly the same for everyone.

    It is an illusion of choice; it is not the same as games such as ‘Until Dawn’ where your choices do shape the narrative.

  • Haven't played Detroit: Become Human, but I know that your Choices matter in that game. The Illusion of Choice, believe it or not, isn't present in Telltale games. If it were, then truly nothing we choose would have any meaning, but, what I have been saying in my post is that our Choices shape our own unique, personal narrative, which is what happens in a Telltale game. Each player will encounter the same debacle but will make different choices for different reasons because of different motives, that is what makes our Choices matter. And like I said to another user on here, while the Ending is more or less the same for everyone, it is what lead up to it and who you became throughout your Journey is what matters.
    The Story was set up by Telltale, but we had the ability to shape the narrative on a personal level based on our choices.

    It's called the "illusion of choice" for a reason. Play Detroit: Become Human, a game were you choices actually do matter, and then look back at your post.

  • The way I see it, choices did matter, but some choices mattered more than others.

  • edited July 25

    I didn't say that choices never matter. They do, but VERY little. Now back to your comment: Reading your reply, I came to the conclusion that your mixing two things up: Thoughts of the player and actual change of the narrative. You say that the choices matter because all players have different motives and thoughts going through their head and you use that as an argument as to why choices matter. And that is just simply wrong because player experience IS NOT equal to actual changes of the narrartive. We as the player view things differently of course, but that doesn't automatically mean that choices matter. Then interactive story game companies would have a VERY easy job: ("Well we know the choices in our game don't actually matter but everyone has different thoughts and reactions to events that occur in our game so that makes the choices in our game automatically matter"). You see what I'm getting at?
    Simply put, your argument isn't very strong.

    Some choices matter yes, but very little. In reality, you don't have much say in the overarching narrative, and that's a fact.

    (haven't played Detroit: Become Human yet? Well, then watch a playthrough on YouTube and see it for yourself. That game makes choices truly matter)

    Haven't played Detroit: Become Human, but I know that your Choices matter in that game. The Illusion of Choice, believe it or not, isn't pre

  • edited July 24

    Some choices matter yes, but very little. In reality, you don't have much say in the overarching narrative, and that's a fact. (haven't played Detroit: Become Human yet? Well, then watch a playthrough on YouTube and see it for yourself. That game makes choices truly matter)

    I understand your point to an extent. But the problem is that if choices matter too much then that would make it much more difficult to continue making sequels. Adding choice variables in between seasons or even between episodes, requires more data and more time for development in order to account for them. Time is Money. Telltale's TWD simply did not have the budget of Detroit Become Human. Furthermore as you transfer choice data between seasons or episodes there's always a possibility of some of that data being lost, which only increases with each subsequent episode. That's the problem with episodic gaming. That's also why you have the story creator in The Final Season in order to get around that.

    Detroit Become Human is not episodic and is therefore not limited by choice data transfer. Although, in some ways I feel as if the choices in Detroit matter a bit too much. So much in fact that certain aspects of the writing for that particular game feel somewhat cheap, which I think the choice tree is partially to blame.

  • edited July 24

    I completely understand that Telltale couldn't make choices matter alot because of the financial state they were in, and I won't judge them for it. (Atleast not the developers, the higher ups I do judge)

    However, that doesn't mean we should shy away from the fact that our choices mattered very little. You can both admit that and still respect the developers effort.

    patrickrc95 posted: »

    Some choices matter yes, but very little. In reality, you don't have much say in the overarching narrative, and that's a fact. (haven't play

  • Yea Detroit isn't the best when it comes to writing but it's still highly enjoyable and I think they handled the branching paths very well... For the most part atleast.

    patrickrc95 posted: »

    Some choices matter yes, but very little. In reality, you don't have much say in the overarching narrative, and that's a fact. (haven't play

  • There's a worthiness to replaying S1 and S2 despite the illusions

    Yes,also we had Rewind back then.

    There is literally no replayability in TFS. There's a worthiness to replaying S1 and S2 despite the illusions. TFS is literally the same p

  • edited July 25

    I have bad eyesight, but I don't think I said in my response to your comment that you said choices never matter, what I said is that if the Illusion of Choice were a thing in Telltale's games, then truly nothing we say or do has an impact at all.
    Thinking back on my post and its contents, I do not see where I am mixing anything up, as what I have been saying is that the player creates their own narrative with the tools at hand, with everything set up for us to play through. Nothing at all is being mixed up here.

    I'll try and explain it as clearly as I can, because I am fairly bad at explanations, and it seems that my post wasn't very clearly explained.

    So, when we play a narrative focused game, a Telltale game for example, we assume the role of the main character, it is our Choices as Lee, Clementine etc. that shape their Stories in their respective Seasons, with the road being laid out by Telltale. The thoughts, motives and beliefs of the player influence the choices they make, which then translates to changing the narrative according to the choices made. We are Clementine, Lee and every other character we play as, our thoughts are theirs as we determine what they say, do, or become. Forgive me if I have yet again did a poor job at giving a clear explanation

    Calling it simply wrong because you don't like what you read doesn't make it any less true, you just don't agree with it.

    And fair enough, if you feel my argument isn't very strong, then so be it, but it isn't a conclusion that I came to all of a sudden.

    Also, I have watched clips of Detroit, but only the demo where you play as Connor, I know that your choices determine whether or not he makes it out of that standoff on the roof.

    I didn't say that choices never matter. They do, but VERY little. Now back to your comment: Reading your reply, I came to the conclusion tha

  • Why are you bothering to talk about sacrificing time and all that? Yes they deserve to be appreciated, but if the story isn't very good, then he can talk about that freely. That's just how the games industry works.

    Telltale has always had a niche fanbase, look back to the time of Sam & Max, those games weren't a Walking Dead Season One, but they had

  • Choices mattering is not equal to 'different choices for different reasons for different motives'. For example, the Sarita getting bitten incident. Yes there are reasons, and different choices, and Kenny will be angry if you chop off her arm, but he will be angry nonetheless. This is what choices not mattering means. It is absolute and simple - yes it's still a choice, but it's not a choice that matters. If it matters for you, then that's fine, and I'm sure it actually matters for everyone to some extent, but at the end of the day, the bottom line is that you shouldn't bother thinking with that choice too much because Kenny will still be angry no matter what.

    Haven't played Detroit: Become Human, but I know that your Choices matter in that game. The Illusion of Choice, believe it or not, isn't pre

  • I won't judge them for it; I get their circumstances. But we should still talk about it. At the end of the day, TWD is about good storytelling and good characters. Yes that wavered in later seasons but the choices are the side feature, not the selling point of the game.

    patrickrc95 posted: »

    Some choices matter yes, but very little. In reality, you don't have much say in the overarching narrative, and that's a fact. (haven't play

  • Why not? It's something that is overlooked is it not? Appreciation is something they don't get enough of, especially since most comments I have seen related to devs are how lazy they must be, questioning how they made it into the industry, how bad at their jobs they must be. If that's how the game industry works, shouldn't that be a concern?

    I never said he couldn't express his views, over half of my response was defending actual developers, asking him the question if they would like to be in the shoes of a developer and reading such comments online that belittle their ability, how it so easy for a Forum User, or any sort of user on any platform, to type a comment that is so dismissive of the work put into a game, the rest was me talking about Telltale's history of having a niche fanbase and how they always catered to that fanbase, especially with The Walking Dead: The Final Season and its conclusion. At the very end, I asked if they would like to have those sort of comments directed at him if he were a developer.

    Ghetsis posted: »

    Why are you bothering to talk about sacrificing time and all that? Yes they deserve to be appreciated, but if the story isn't very good, then he can talk about that freely. That's just how the games industry works.

  • You give him different reasons to be angry, sure the main emotion being shown is anger, but why Kenny is angry is the main point.
    Either way, Kenny will be angry, but he will be angry at Clementine putting down someone he loved dearly, or at the thought of slowly losing Sarita because of the infection.
    What I have been trying to say, albeit very very poorly throughout the discussions I have had here, as well as in the original post description, is that your Choices shape your own unique, personal Story, the "different choices, different reasons, different motives" bit is part of that, as not everyone makes the same choice for the same reasons or views an in- game situation in the same light, so when someone makes a choice out of revenge, out of mercy, or whatever, that becomes part of their unique Story that they shaped because of their choices.

    Sorry if my explanation is complete dog shit, sounds way better in my head, and I have a difficult time putting my thoughts into words

    Ghetsis posted: »

    Choices mattering is not equal to 'different choices for different reasons for different motives'. For example, the Sarita getting bitten in

  • The writers weren't lazy. They busted their asses for ideas but their ideas kept getting scrapped and forced to write more that lives up to a certain standard or direction. There have been interviews with Telltale writers explaining this

    There is literally no replayability in TFS. There's a worthiness to replaying S1 and S2 despite the illusions. TFS is literally the same p

  • My point was how it doesn't really link to the point. You can talk about it, but @SavageClemmy gave a statement on how the story and writing only works well with a part of the fanbase and not the general public that could at some point play their games, and you respond, but then you say, out of nowhere, how he shouldn't disrespect the people who worked on the game. Anyway, my stance on this is that if Telltale screws up, we can make those kind of statements. 'Telltale are full of retards' is where you're overstepping a line and are being a bit harsh (especially since it's generalising, i.e. the artists auren't to blame), but he just made a statement on how they don't bother with making the story/writing much better because they know their fanbase will be happy with it.

    Why not? It's something that is overlooked is it not? Appreciation is something they don't get enough of, especially since most comments I h

  • The General Public seems to be quite happy with the writing and the Story, just look at several YouTube playthroughs, reviews, both of which are the very same things that would be used against the Story and writing if it was not as good.

    And yeah, I did get it from somewhere, his initial comment was:

    There is literally no replayability in TFS. There's a worthiness to replaying S1 and S2 despite the illusions. TFS is literally the same path no matter how you play. Who's going to revisit such a medicore finale? Really forgettable, I doubt much will be said about the series years from now aside from S1. And I think the problematic and lazy writing of TFS will be even more apparent years from now."

    That is what I was referring to in that response you read, so it wasn't out of nowhere man.

    I don't see how they screwed up, they have said several times that The Final Season was for the fans, I have no doubt they developed it with us in mind, but what I cannot stand is that their work is ridiculed in such a way by others.
    Like I said in my response to Savage, it is so easy to sit back and type a comment dismissing the time and effort that goes into making games and question the abilities of developers, they don't have the qualifications they hold for no reason, obviously their talented, they earned their qualifications, which is something that suddenly disappears from people's train of thought when you see them create a discussion named "TFS Ending sucked!" or something that very clearly was created to talk smack about something.

    That last paragraph was not directed at you by the way, I was just reiterating how people can sit and chat shit about something while completely shitting on the people who poured their heart and soul into it, and how in this case, a screw up had not occurred. That is all hombre

    Ghetsis posted: »

    My point was how it doesn't really link to the point. You can talk about it, but @SavageClemmy gave a statement on how the story and writing

  • I never said I shared the same opinion/mindset. I do agree that the writing of TFS is bad though. I'm just going to keep this reply light.

    The General Public seems to be quite happy with the writing and the Story, just look at several YouTube playthroughs, reviews, both of which

  • Sure the choices change the theme of the story, but you only have a choice between either 4 or 2 choices and typically it always ends the same way regardless. Like even if you leave the food and decide not to raid, that pedophile bastard still singles out Clem and takes her. Like what was the point of that decision? Weather Lee dies of a blood infection or blood loss or a airplane falling from the sky. He dies and you can't stop it. I know it'd be impossible to have limitless endings where Lee doesn't die or when he does. But sometimes especially in ANF, I felt like I was matching a movie and had little to no control over plot.

    TFS fixed that a lot with the multiple endings, multiple romance routes, and multiple allies/enemies you can make throughout. If I wanted Clem to date Violet, she did. If I wanted her to Kiss violet she did. If I wanted her to make AJ a ruthless savage that curb stomps walkers for breakfast, I could. It was truly brilliant how the devs made it so you can shag like 2 different characters, abstain if you want. Even trying to be a pussy for james shapes the story and his affection towards Clem and the whole "AJ is being shaped by your decisions" it actually felt like it. Imo TFS and S1 did the best with decisions affecting the story and plot.

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