Whenever a season of the Walking Dead Game ends, it becomes a moment. You have been taken along for this emotional rollercoaster journey and as it rocks to the end, you are left stunned and exhausted from the ride. Sometime after the farewell to Lee Everett in Season One or the titanic decision at the end of the Season Two, you will be unable to avoid asking yourself the question, what next? Season One presented some interesting ideas, but Season Two totally threw the gamer at what was up Telltale Games sleeve. For those of you that need a recap of how it ended, (NEEDLESS TO SAY SPOILERS THROUGHOUT THIS ARTICLE!) the season could have ended in a number of ways. You could have been left with Kenny in one of two places, left with Jane in one of two places or left on your own. In total, there are seven different endings you could have ended up with, and each one is widely different, meaning that either Telltale Games are going to make several different games or they are going to be thinking outside the box.
As much as I think that playing Clementine would be satisfying in Season Three (we have grown attached to the character and it means we can continue with character development rather than starting anew), there are only two ways of going about it. The first is the one mentioned above, where the developers literally make several different games. Some gamers might be in Carver’s old base with Jane, some gamers might be trekking to Wellington with Kenny. As impressive as that might be, I don’t want that. It would take far too long to sort out and, from a very selfish viewpoint that I think people will end up sharing, I do not want to spend that long waiting for each instalment of the Walking Dead Game. If the different locations wasn’t a thing, it would actually be theoretically simple to have different games with Jane and Kenny. For one, the irony of the decision is that Kenny and Jane aren’t too different. They are strong leader types and usually deliver the same role model figure. It would be easy to throw the different models into the game, conveying the same exposition. That wouldn’t be a problem. However, it would be far too hard to do the same thing with location. You cannot recreate Wellington and Carver’s old base by quickly copying and pasting 3D models. You would have to create seven wildly different levels. The other option is fast-forwarding the story to a year after the ending and reintroducing Clementine (would Kenny or Jane be out of the picture by this point?). That way, Telltale Games could happily take their time telling the story without too much trouble. However, my issue with that outcome is that it is a little… lazy. Especially as I have come up with a few more interesting options on the table.
Why do we need to play Clementine again? Why can’t we restart the Walker apocalypse in someone else’s shoes? I am not talking about throwing Clementine away from the story completely, because she is far too good a character to ignore. However, I think that she should be a supporting character once again. Imagine playing as one of the survivors that crosses paths with Clementine a year down the road. By now, she is truly battle-hardened, her quest for survival truly getting the best of her. Her mentality might be breaking, depending on your previous choices. Your character would have to work around her, the player unsure if she is to be trusted or not. Sure, the gamer might know and trust Clementine, but the character you are playing would be a new face. Clementine doesn’t know or need you, making you an expendable member of her group. I think it would be the next step in Clementine’s character development and throws up some interesting ideas, especially if Jane or Kenny are still around, whispering in her ear, things that could work out pretty badly for you.
Worried about starting again as a new character? Well, we have several other options on the table. Imagine that idea but you are a character already established by the game. Bring some of the 400 Days lot back. Maybe one of them escaped Carver’s hideout (or not, depending on who you sent over there), and ends up in Clementine’s group. That would make the above idea even more interesting, because that would put you in ex-bad guy territory. Maybe I could take that idea even further and make you play Mike or Bonnie. Their ending was a mind-blowing twist that I didn’t see coming. Although I understand their betrayal completely, it still makes them someone who crossed Clementine. Maybe one of them is lost and alone (the other could have died, but let’s keep question marks over that – I don’t like burning my narrative bridges), and ends up bumping into Clementine’s group. A group that has grown up not liking Mike and Bonnie very much. The season would be your quest for redemption, every single character stubbornly refusing to bond with you. Again, that would be a new and interesting dynamic to throw into the game.
I haven’t even touched on other options. You could play as Christa, back from the dead? Arvo? Maybe even Jane or Kenny? While the Walking Dead Game could have written themselves into a tough spot, with a little imagination, something Telltale Games have plenty of, Season Three could be one of the most interesting seasons yet.