This discussion may contain spoilers!
Before I say anything, I want to make it very clear that I absolutely love this series. TWD 1 and 2 are as good as games get. It is the most emotionally invested I have ever been to a story, across all art mediums! A perfect blend of interactivity with amazing, believable characters. I've never been so sympathetic or emotional towards people who aren't even real. I felt a connection with Clementine in season two that I didn't feel with Lee... and he was a really, REALLY great character!
But, I must admit that there are things I think season two could have differently. This might sound ridiculous coming from the same guy who wrote the paragraph above this one, but I do think it has the potential to be even better. I think it was this close to perfection, you know?
Here are a list of my criticisms of season two. Maybe criticism isn't the right word for me to use, but whatever. I'm sure others will feel more strongly about these points as well as others.
- Treatment of Luke's death - A truly shocking moment in S2 E5. He died in the most painful way possible, which made it particularly emotionally impactful. I couldn't believe what I saw. However my problem is actually with regards to the aftermath of his death. Kenny got pissed off, no surprises there, but Clementine and the others brushed off the death pretty quickly. Once they lit the fire for Clementine, I remember her smiling. Of course I hated seeing her upset but I don't think her emotions were realistic in this scene. I think the characters should have spent a lot more time mourning his death. I have similar thoughts with regards to Sarah's death too.
- Cliché moments - I'm reluctant to use the word "cliché" to describe what I mean but I don't know how else to say it. Just because people are crossing a bridge, a frozen lake or whatever doesn't mean someone has to die. When someone did die though it always managed to catch me off guard; only in hindsight do I feel this way about some of the deaths.
- Determinant characters - This would be a very, very difficult point for Telltale to address, but I know it's one of the most common criticisms of TWD. When the player manages to save someone's life, they always get killed off later. In a way, it is basically a way of announcing that they're no longer important in the story. They often become background characters until then because the story has to make sense (and have enough character development) if they didn't survive. Again I appreciate the difficulty, from a narrative perspective, to improve upon this for the next season.
- Treatment of the Wellington ending - Likely the most obscure point on this list, and might not even make sense to a lot of you. I went for the ending whereby Kenny walks off without Clem and AJ. My point is that I didn't want feel it was right for my Clem to cry for him, especially after I had told him in the previous scene that he was a very dangerous man (implying she was scared of him). It just seemed a little off-character to me. Now do I wish that she could have cried if players felt that was "right" for her? Absolutely. But choosing to cry or not doesn't make any sense, so I think that it could have worked like this. After Clem finds out they have no room for Kenny, dialogue choices could have popped up. One of them could have said "thank you for everything, Kenny" (the non-crying response) and the other could have said "I love you, Kenny" (the crying response).
These are my main points. Completely overshadowed by what the season did well, which was basically everything else for me. Maybe some things could have gone in a different direction, such as the character of Carver, but I'd be lying if I said I had any more criticisms than the four above. What are your criticisms of season two? Be constructive and maybe we can help make season three the best season yet!!