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As Clementine takes on a bigger role in decision making, you are left wondering what will matter for the episode, and what may affect the long term future?
Review (with Spoilers)
With Clementine being the character we control, naturally, she is to be forced into the forefront of nearly every situation. For, despite her not being a teenager yet, she seemingly is the most hardened one right? After all, she has survived for so long, without being coddled like Sarah, and seemingly she is catching up in terms of the count of horrible things that have happened around, or to, her. But, as Clem is increasingly forced to be the deciding decision, you are reminded of how much having a childhood is a thing of the past in the Walking Dead universe.
Characters & Story
In the story, a lot of the decisions you make deal with your loyalty to Kenny. Be it whether you side with him when it comes to plans on escaping, or not leaving him behind, you are often put in the position where your loyalty to your old friend is met with the majority who seemingly are against his erratic nature. But he isn’t the only one whose loyalty will test your patience. Sarah, being that she has been so coddled and is the opposite of Clementine, often will be a potential pain in your butt as you are forced to either stick up for her or leave her to be punished.
But the odd point comes when Clementine finds herself sitting across from Carver, also called Bill. In these conversations, he notes how alike you two are to the point where you can either decide to go along with his idea you two are the same, or rebel. Something which, based on my choices, seemed to not matter much.
However, a lot of your decisions in 400 days seem to lead to which old faces you may see in the episode. But, outside of Bonnie, most of them don’t really interact with you. They have a small moment of interaction with you, or maybe one scene when they are around you, but outside of that it feels like the majority of your decisions in 400 days didn’t do much. Making for an overall episode which, to me, was rather exciting because of the sheer amount of decisions noted which seemingly will affect the future story.
Though many of your decisions over the series you can’t necessarily say still matter, it is nice when you can note when a possibly tough decision seemed to have made things better, or even worse. Like, gathering all the 400 days folks seemed to work in my favor, as well as being nice to Bonnie in the last episode. And while I don’t play this multiple times to see how vastly different choosing malice, indifferent, or kind changes responses change things, you do get the feeling through 2-3 playthroughs that perhaps every decision isn’t in vain.
Which helps the story immensely. Carver’s role creates this opportunity, like how siding with Kenny in the last episode did. The idea of switching to a safer, or the winning team, which is so very tempting, and the ability to betray so easily, or stay loyal, really makes you wonder what could happen. Something I think was missing in the first episode.
Though it should be noted, you less and less are in control of Clem and more so are going from cut scène to cut scène of you making decisions. Which, admittedly, is kind of weird. Not that exploring, and walking around talking to people, was the best thing during the first season, but it would have been cool if that was available to expand your relationships with characters, help build trust, or distrust, outside of pre-destined screens. Sort of like how your interactions, and exploration, of the house you meet everyone at seemingly decides how Rebecca acts around you.
Overall: Worth Playing
While the game is cutting your ability to free roam and get a look of the environments you are in, honestly it probably is for the best. The Walking Dead doesn’t make much for a point and click game where you are going over here to investigate, going back to relay the information you found, and repeat. I mean, it worked, slightly, last season when it came to you investigating things with Duck, but outside of that, it was an annoying experience. Though I must admit, if you recognize the shortcomings of free roam, at least for this series, this more decision-based method isn’t all that bad. It is something to get used to, but by no means makes the series less than worth playing.
Things To Note
Unfortunately, like season 1, 400 Days was lost once WIL 1.0 was deleted.