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Walking Dead, The Game: Carly or Doug?
Carly or Doug
Who did you choose, Carly or Doug?
With Telltale games releasing new episodes to their very successful Walking Dead games now is a good time to review some of what made the first episodes work very well to draw you in, and what they may have done better. This is my first commentary on this line of thought, and I'm going to start with the very first heart wrenching choice, to save Carly or Doug.
Surprisingly this was not really as difficult a decision as Telltale Games wanted it to be, and not just for me. According to the initial polls, many more people ended up choosing Carly in their first playthroughs than chose Doug. In current polls it is far more even, since some people are playing through again in some instances, and a few people playing through on their own after having heard or watched someone else play. However on the first plays most people who know nothing about the game when they start will tend to want to save Carly.
Carly is saved 3 out of 4 times
Telltale Games Response
Telltale Games published an article soon after the first results were in, commenting on the overwhelming results. Far more people chose to save Carly than they anticipated. Upon review of these statistics, they came to the conclusion that the decision was based on the fact that you have a whole episode of events with Carly You go to the Motel to save Glenn, end up killing a slew of zombies, and attempt to rescue a survivor. On comparison, your interaction with Doug is to sit at the fence, have him alter a remote for you, then walk away from Doug to deal with your brother, a very intimate and personal experience. In fact most of your event with Doug you barely even notice that he is there at all. So the Telltale Games designers feel that they should have given you more interaction time with Doug, and that would have made your decision much harder. In a way this is true, but ultimately I find that I need to disagree with this conclusion. I do not feel that spending more time with Doug would be the only solution to fix this gap.
Girl with gun, or guy at fence?
An Alternative Idea
In the end for me the decision was simple. I didn't really bond with Carly. I didn't have feelings for her whatsoever. I'm not a male, so even those thoughts didn't even enter my head to sway me. What I thought about when I made my decision was simply this: do I want the person with the gun who is being described as having a dead-eye when shooting, or do I want the person that can change the coding in a remote? How many times is my survival going to hinge on being able to alter a remote control?
Sure, in the end either one would have been just as vital to your survival, either one would have saved your butt just as often as the other. That is just how these point-and-click, vital choice survival games work. They can't work any other way and actually go on for any length of time. However if I am going to make a vital, heat of the moment decision that could potentially save my life in the future, there needs to be more reason to make the choice a tough one than girl with gun vs guy good with electronic gadgets in a city that is quickly losing all vitality.
I could have chosen based on the idea that one was female, and repopulation is going to eventually be necessary if the human race is going to continue. I could have chosen based on who I spent more time with and got to know better. Both are legitimate considerations in a time of stress. I just personally ended up basing my choice on who seemed more likely in the heat of the moment to be able to continue to allow me to survive, and that was the person with the gun and the ability to use it.
What was your choice, and why?