The Walking Dead is a multimedia phenomenon. There’s video games, mobile apps, a main TV series and an original spin-off, but it rarely seems more at home than going back to its comic book roots, at events like Comic Con., and there’s no bigger or better than the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC).
In a shrewd move by Telltale Games and Skybound Entertainment (Robert Kirkman’s multimedia production company that also published the wonderful Oxenfree) they’re surfing the hype-swell around season 7 of The Walking Dead TV series – including the infuriating Lucille cliffhanger – by dropping further details about the cinematic point and click adventure game, Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 3.
The SDCC panel for The Walking Dead Season 3, including Clementine voice actor Melissa Hutchison and Telltale’s Creative Director Dennis Lenart, brought with it some key information about the latest series, while also trying their best not to spoil the story.
Clementine is back in The Walking Dead Season 3, of course, but it seems like we won’t be playing as our favourite survivor this year. Instead we’ll be playing as new protagonist Xavier, of whom we previously knew very little other than what he looked like, and will get the chance to pair up with seasoned survivor Clementine. Don’t think that this is the return of the Lee Everett protector role, though: Clementine is a strong and capable – sod it, we’ll just say it – freaking badass, raising someone else’s baby after the world has come to an end.
One of the biggest problems with a complex, multi-threaded, choice-based game like The Walking Dead is that you can end up in a bit of a twist with canonical endings. The end of the first game is relatively straightforward (and we won’t spoil it) with only one real ‘ending’ – even though it can go down in number of ways – and therefore, only one starting point for the second season. The second season, however, has five ending variants, and that presents something of an issue with The Walking Dead Season 3: how do you ensure that five entirely different endings are all canon, for everyone that’s played before?
The simple answer is, you don’t even try.
Here’s how The Walking Dead Season 3 press release describes the scenario, as told by the panel at SDCC:
Another unique aspect of this third season is that while it absolutely continues the story of the previous two seasons, it also serves as a new entry point for fans who’ve yet to be caught up to speed… players who are new to the series will have a chance to learn more about Clementine’s backstory, while at the same time, those who have played previous seasons will have a story that’s uniquely tailored to the diverging paths they’ve taken in the past.
So ostensibly, we’ll all be starting Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 3 from the same point, regardless of how we finished up – and who was left standing – the end of Season Two, but will probably find a few concessions to the earlier choices you made if you pull in previous saves.
Oh, and they showed off this beautiful concept art, a gentle nod back to the reveal for the original season back at SDCC 2011.