Opinion: Reveals Are Better In Small Portions - airbornebovine Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Opinion: Reveals Are Better In Small Portions

If you're taking the time to read this, then you've no doubt heard the news of Telltale Games's official reveal of season two of The Walking Dead: The Game. We finally have confirmation that we'll get to continue Clementine's tragic post-apocalyptic tale before 2013 comes to a close, and a trailer to go along with it. While the trailer is nothing more than a tease, providing very little insight as to how season 2's story will play out, we do know this; Clementine's actions will now be controlled by the player.

Whether or not you agree with Telltale's decision to hand control of Clem over to the fans, it's a very important change-up for a very character-driven series. As one would expect, most of the chatter surrounding the reveal has been focused on Clem's position as the main protagonist. However, I have also noticed a fair amount of disappointed comments. This was not disappointment with Clementine's new post at the helm of the story, although there was plenty of that to go around, but with the bare-bones trailer. These complaints were understandable, as the trailer contained no more than a flashback to Lee's and Clementine's relationship in season 1, and a quick shot of Clementine running from some zombies in the forest.

I felt much the same way. I too craved more from the first real season 2 information Telltale has fed to us, but I had to ask myself why. Why should I need to know as much as possible about a new game before release, especially one that has a reputation for heart-breaking twists and turns? The conclusion to season 1 would never have had such a profound effect on me if I ever had any hint of what was to come before playing.

I recently learned the hard way just how much excessive pre-release information can impact enjoyment of a new game.

As the release of Pokémon X and Y drew ever nearer, my anticipation grew enormously, causing the wait to become almost unbearable. I only made it worse for myself by absorbing as much information on every new Pokémon, game mechanic, and refinement as I could possibly find. When launch day finally rolled around, my excitement subsided as I realized that there wasn't much left for me to discover. I already exhausted a major chunk of why a brand new game is a unique experience, sequel or not.

I've been spoiled by the media. Like a fast-food chain increases its portion size to lure customers, game publishers release more and longer trailers to ignite interest in a new title. The same is true of film and television. I'm constantly frustrated by the amount of story details I can gleam from a single trailer or preview. What's the worst part? I am at its mercy. If I ever hope to become a professional video games journalist someday, I need to keep up with breaking stories, which, of course, include new game reveals.

My relative inexperience with games is a blessing and a curse. I often feel constricted by my own game knowledge, almost incapable of producing the sorts of articles I would love to write; although, the same lack of knowledge makes catching up on classic games all the more fun. In recent years, when I finally played classics like Half-Life 2, the God of War games, much of the Zelda series, and more, the experiences were some of the best I've ever had. Not knowing at all what to expect played a key role in my enjoyment of these games, and if I had studied up on them beforehand, they may not have lived up to my expectations.

From now on, I won't look at game trailers and other pre-release info the same way. Instead of begging for more and more reveals and reasons to be interested in a new game, I'll respect when a  publisher exercises wise restraint in showcasing their upcoming titles. When a developer has a powerful and engaging story to tell, or a bright new gameplay idea, the more that is left unsaid, the better. I don't want to know where Clementine's struggle for survival will take her next until I get my hands on season 2. I want to thank Telltale for not letting the walkers out of the barn on this one.

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