Walking Dead Proves Gamers Want Deep, Adult Stories
But then, there’s Clementine to consider. Clementine, who has just witnessed a boatload of horrors and atrocities in the span of maybe an hour. She’s even committed one or two awful (though necessary) acts by this point. She’s been splattered with blood and asked to commit violence only minutes before. And things are only about to get worse, as Lee, her last caretaker, dies — and not only dies, but turns on her.
Can I really ask Clementine to shoot Lee? Do I really want to do that to her?
I didn’t. I sent Clementine away. I’d rather let Lee turn — I would rather turn — than ask her to do that, and force her to carry that weight. From Telltale’s gathered statistics at the end of the title, it seemed the vast majority of players, around three in four, felt the same way.
There’s something to that, I’d say. There’s something about small character moments that can be as important, maybe more so, than those huge save-the-galaxy kind of stakes. I’ve saved plenty of galaxies; I’ve never had an effect on another game character like Lee had on Clementine. And that moment meant more to me than nameless planets saved from explosions or countries full of digital denizens whose lives are endangered by nuclear weapons.
Occasionally, I want to blast aliens, sneak past terrorists, and otherwise save everything ever. But not always. I’d much rather have personal connections with interesting characters and do things that affect them, instead of the nameless hordes that make up “America” or “Earth” or “all sentient life in the galaxy.”
I’d really rather be treated like an adult by my video games, strange as that may sound. It’d be nice to see more games try to accomplish what Telltale has done with such remarkable capability. A few more could stand to grow up.