The lights are on
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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
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.