~ 'The Walking Dead: Season 2' Review: No Going Back - Forbes
Apocalypses often do not lend themselves to sequels. In fact, the better an apocalyptic narrative is, the harder it is to follow.
Take Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which ends with a one-two punch of misery and hope. The Walking Dead’s first season used a similar technique. First the game handed over its perspective from Lee, the player’s controllable character through five gruelling episodes, in an elegiac farewell. Then, the grieving and newly controllable Clementine, his ward and surrogate daughter, found a new surrogate family – the cheerfully bickering couple Christa and Omid, whose apparently superfluous introduction in the third episode makes sense in hindsight – to replace both her parents, finally confirmed to be lost and gone forever, and Lee himself.
In narrative terms, this leaves plenty of opportunity for a second act – there are still characters alive to act as protagonists and antagonists, the world of the game is largely unchanged on a macro level (no cure for zombies, no extinction of humanity), and we still care about Clementine. But that ending. How do you get past it?
The answer Telltale settled on was to make everything worse. To deepen the circle of Hell.
~ Trion Worlds CEO Talks ‘ArcheAge’: ‘It’s a big bet. We think it’s a good bet’
Take a look at how human beings spend money on entertainment of any type. Let’s look at food. Taco Bell is one of the most efficient ways to eat food, so why doesn’t everyone go to Taco Bell? I’m a huge fan of Taco Bell, by the way. Huge and unapologetic! But at the same time, every now and then I like to order a filet mignon. And that’s a pretty great thing to do.
What we’re seeing in gaming is analogous.
For anyone who hasn’t played [The Last of Us]…it’s a post-apocalyptic survival horror game. People get infected and … they don’t become zombies… but they’re basically zombies.~ 'The Last of Us': How Game Design Shaped Naughty Dog's Masterpiece, And Transformed Its Ending