The Walking Dead has been a somewhat difficult experience to classify, if only for the fact that after playing through the entire series I no longer consider it to be just a game. Of course, there are inventory based puzzles to solve and environments to explore, but at some point along successive episodes, my mentality has shifted from "characters in a game" to "my friends". Such sentiment may perhaps be laughable. However, there have been very few games which I have played that have had characters resonating with me so completely—that I feel sad whenever any of them get hurt or injured; that I agonize over every in-game decision which I have to make because I do not want to bear the consequences. Simply put, the concept of reloading a save and choosing a different outcome not only no longer occurs to me but also feels like an impossible option. To me, this is a very good sign in what has always been the game's standout strength: the writing. To make the player so emotionally invested in these characters that losing any of them is like losing an old friend—combined with the lingering guilt of not making the "right" decision to save them—is certainly not an easy task, and the writers at Telltale Games deserve every accolade they have received for the overall body of work.
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