on Dec 6, 2012
At the start of the series I was kind of vague about what sort of spoilers we should avoid. To help clarify: The spoiler I pointlessly blurted out at 5:08? That’s exactly the sort of thing I want us to avoid. So now that we have a clear, concrete example, I’m sure we can avoid having any serious spoilers.
Also, there’s a significant spoiler for the end of Episode 2 at 5:08. So… be ready for that.
We talked a little bit about the [perception of] choice in this game, which I know is a big topic for a lot of players. As I said in the comments yesterday, I’m holding off on that conversation until we have a bit more of the game completed, so that we can look back and talk about how things played out. You’re free to have that debate if you want, but if you wait a couple more episodes you’ll be able to have the discussion without needing to spoiler tag every dang thing.
I love the end-of-episode decision review that the game gives you. It compares your decisions to the decisions made by all players, which is really interesting. Here is how my game looked at the end of Episode 1:
Note how Larry stood at the back of the store and didn’t lift a finger to help anyone, even though he’s the biggest and the strongest and all of these people are in danger because they were saving his life. You could argue that he didn’t want to strain his heart, but then he straight-up tries to kill you. It’s inexcusable. You can’t pardon this as him just taking care of his daughter. Kenny and Lee both allow themselves to take risks and go into harm’s way, even though they have kids to care for. Larry’s daughter is an armed adult who can take care of herself.
Larry is an evil parasite. Despite his physical prowess, he never lifts a finger to hurt a zombie, although he’s more than willing to hurt and threaten the survivors at his side. He’s the biggest mouth to feed and he’s a source of conflict. In the upcoming episode, he also proves to be a horrible judge of character and a rampaging fool.
If I were actually in Lee’s position, I wouldn’t live with him. I’d ask the group to throw him out. If they were divided or refused, I’d leave. He’s not worthy of my help, and he’s already tried to kill me once. There’s no reason to put up with that level of risk. (Actually, I would have asked Glen to let us ride with him. That might not have worked out, but I’d rather struggle with someone worthy than get stabbed in the back by someone evil.)
Larry is actually the character that feels most like a migrant from the TV show: Someone who is pointlessly vile, even to their own detriment. And the other characters tolerate it because otherwise there wouldn’t be a show. Larry and Lily together make for an insufferable pair, and if there were more characters like them I would have enjoyed the game a lot less.
In the later episodes
I enjoyed things a lot more once those two were gone, even though the situation was more bleak and dark. I just find the struggle for survival a lot more stimulating than bickering with the evil assholes the writers have shackled me with.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.