TWD:TFS Ep2 - AChicken's Impressions
This is 3 months too late, but at least I got it done. Finally.
First off, I'll say that I clearly missed out on some good fun and community discussions by not playing this earlier. Heck, I missed out on enjoying a great episode of TWD. Wish I'd gotten to this sooner.
Anyway, the episode. What did I think?
In short, point-form:
- The opening scene was greatly edited together, and I experienced no significant stutters or lag between the switching of scenes/camera angles as Telltale games most often do. The pacing for it was well executed, flashing back between the moments after Episode 1 and the aftermath the next day.
- It's also good to see that Telltale knows the ramifications of the moral dilemma they've presented to us with Marlon's untimely death. It wasn't for shock factor after all (well, maybe a bit) as the characters (and Clem specifically) know that Marlon was killed after him calming down, and after the conflict was resolved. That's not right. "...We talk Marlon down, and they murder him?!"
- While (I'm assuming, given TTG's track record plus the direction the story had to take) that Clem+AJ's exile was inevitable, it's understandable. Finally, a forced choice that I have no qualms about.
- The Lily reveal caught me off guard (well, Abel's did first. I did throw him into a pack of 3+ grabby walkers but he somehow only got bit on the arm, anyways...) I hadn't noticed it was Nicki Rapp until the character's older, grizzled, recognizable face was put with it.
- The fanservice-y dialogue between the OG pair included is... ehhhh maybe a bit much for one scene, but it's good to know that Telltale knows what character and circumstances therein they're dealing with.
- The fact that you can't choose to remain quiet about Louis and Violet's obvious sneak attack is a bit disappointing. It's either warn and run or order to shoot (as you stand in front of your captors).
- The Walker-person reveal probably caught me off-guard way more than the Lily one did. Out of nowhere, as the camera moves from a combat position to one of obvious QTE [XXXXXXX - O], I am suddenly greeted by a walker. That was interesting.
- On a tangent here: Might I say, James is a looker.
- Ooh, another tangent: Thankfully the other group aren't pedophilic rapists as this place predicted so heavily. They just need people to forcefully join in their war. Forums, you led me astray... (though It's understandable why we'd jump to such a conclusion in the first place.)
- As one caveat of gameplay/story in this episode (and season thus far), I really hope they give a choice involving Louis that is actually practical rather than "fun". Playing this story as a person focused on surviving (and impressing other fellow survivors), it's really hard to pick options like "Play Pinata with a corpse while on a hunting trip" or "Go play some piano with a friend while you're focused on fortifying the compound." I really want my Clem to spend some quality time with Louis (y'know, get to know him... find their calling... find their 'ship'.) but I just can't do that when you give me options like "do the survivor thing VS. goof off"
So... I went with Violet to fortify the walls (at least that's what I thought she said she was going to do, so I followed) and... there's this really nice scene between the two looking at constellations. I've got to say, Telltale did a really good job subverting expectations on characters based on their looks. Yes, Violet is a bit of the reclusive, edgy type her look gives off, but, she's really smart at survival, has a funny bone, is pretty deep sometimes, and is a pretty good-hearted person.
Then comes the kicker of the scene. At this point I considered Vi and Clem to be pretty good friends. Vi defended the other, and they've spent their quality time together. But, apparently, you can bring that a step further. Bravo Telltale, a ship you guys accounted for. People ship Clouis, People ship Violetine, some don't do either. And, well, I hadn't considered it before this scene, and I thought long and hard about this, and I made Clem be more than friends with Violet. Maybe I can even consider Clem bi. I don't know, I haven't thought that much about how I see her (i.e.: my version of) her character, but a homosexual relationship is a nice option that was put in and I'm glad Telltale did it. They developed their relationship in such a way that felt pretty natural, gave me a different perspective on which romantic interest I was really chasing, and I went for it.
Well, that last point went on for too long.
Giving AJ the option to swear more (reverting the choice of the last episode) is some nice vocabulary development you can give him. More choices are good if they can properly follow through with them effectively.
- And more with the moral dilemmas. AJ wanting to play Rock-Paper-Scissors for "dibs" on Abel is sickly dark. I don't know whether to love it or hate it or love-that-I-hate-it. Telltale loves making AJ the perfect childish anomaly.
That whole siege scene was tense. It probably was because the episode was structured so far with little to no action or distress. This is how you craft effective standoff moments, not how ANF did it non-stop.
So, at the end I couldn't see my choices or their percentages. I assume that's because Telltale's servers are dead. (Could anyone see it since the release or was it always dead?)
- In the Pines being included as the credits song is a great throwback. Can't wait till Episode 4 ('Take Us Back') where they rip my heart out of my chest.
In summary, this was a shorter episode than the last, I think clocking in at somewhere around 2 hours for me (but that may be because I spent a lot of time exploring every corner of every hub), though regardless I had a good time the whole way through. I can't wait to continue this series on January 15th as I know it won't be dead and we'll get the ending that we were promised. After the cliffhanger and ramifications of this episode, it'd have been terrible for it to end here.
If I were good at rating things I'd give this episode a... hmmm... 9.0 out of 10, due to how well-polished and enjoyable this episode was.