I pretty much felt the same way. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out right away, but after the first episode and especially after the second I knew how great this was going to turn out overall. I'm glad it's gotten all this attention, because it definitely deserves it. Can't wait for the second season, however long that will be.
The first season of The Walking Dead is going to have a legacy. This is simply where videogames are going from a storytelling standpoint. I may be jumping the gun, but this game will probably go down as a modern classic. If I had to write down my Top 10 moments in videogames, half of those would come from this game alone. Thats how much of an impact The Walking Dead has had on me. Ive never been as emotionally invested in fiction before. Characters I met in this game were people that felt real, and I connected with theme on an emotional level. Certain moments like the suicide and Kennys story arc were **** up in ways that were never over-the-top and after many turning points in an episodes plot, I had to seriously consider taking a break. I was emotionally exhausted after completing each of the games five episodes.
What makes this game phenomenal is the writing and characters. The Zombie part of the Zombie Apocalypse doesnt matter too much. This is a group of normal people thrown into extreme situations. It casts a light on both extremes of humanity. By focusing on a small cast, the writing remained tight and focused. The game never painted a picture of the rest of the world or even what was going on down the road from the cast. This was a tale about Lee, Clementine, and the rest of the survivors.
It takes talented voice performers and incredible writing to invest players on this level and treat them like an adult. Every time a character said something to me, one of the response choices is the reaction I thought of in my head. There were few good and bad choices or responses. Every situation in this game is dark. I played Lee how I believe I wouldve reacted in real life. I wouldve given the food to the men performing the hard labor and the children. Sometimes silence was the only reaction I had. Other times, I backed up my best friend. And there were instances I had to square someone away or threaten them for the good of the group.
Clementine was a true connection to innocence. She is the resemblance of purity in a world gone mad. I made it Lees mission to revolve life around her. Protecting her was my watchword. Every action was done in her best interest. That moment in the farm when I stabbed the man and she gasped after seeing my actions, I felt horrible. In later moments in which I was tempted to do some morally grey things, I held back in fear of her witnessing any negative actions on my part. I trained her to shoot and brought her to Crawfords in hopes of training her to deal with realities of the apocalypse for I came to the realization that I couldnt be there for her forever. I honestly cared about this little girl and sought her satisfaction. That alone is beyond powerful for a work of fiction. I made sure she took care of me at the end and that she kept her hair short.
***End of Major Spoilers***
I wouldnt say The Walking Dead is the watershed moment that halts the videogame train and changes everything. But it has certainly made an impact. I think this is a game well look back on years from now and remember characters like Kenny and the dark moments of Episode 3. For the first time, a videogame has treated me like an adult. Ive never been so interested in a games choices and possibilities. The Walking Dead is about the journey. This is a journey that has cemented itself in my mind and is crazy enough for me to have long conversations about it with total strangers. I went on an emotional ride with these characters, and while that ride was mostly depressing it was a powerful experience that wont leave my mind anytime soon.