by Josh Wigler
Did you play “The Walking Dead: 400 Days” already? Did it make you feel like a terrible, horrible, no-good very-bad person? Chin up, friends. You’re not so bad.
“So” being the operative word.
If you’re feeling depressed after your latest “Walking Dead” video game experience, we’re here to help, by putting some of your horrible decisions into context.
Needless to say, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
1. Ankle Agony: Don’t let your actions as Vince get you down. For one, you know who you’re dealing with right from the start: you’re a man who murdered another man. You’re going to get caught by the police no matter what, whether you threw the gun in the trash, held onto it, or whatever. What’s really grinding your gears, however, is your choice to shoot the foot off of one of your prison pals in order to stay alive. Seventy percent of players chose to turn the gun on Justin, and honestly, that’s okay. If the choice is between you and a Bernie Madoff analogue surviving the zombie apocalypse, it’s totally fine to choose yourself. And if for some reason you were among the 30% that left Danny for dead … well, that’s one less rapist in the world, so good on you. Really, they’re both horrible people, so there’s no wrong move here. And no matter who you shoot, they’re both going to end up dead, anyway. Don’t feel so bad about it.
2. Foggy Decisions: Again, let’s talk about who you’re dealing with as Wyatt: a total dope. Not just a dope-head, but really, just a bit of a loser. But you can choose which kind of loser you want to be: the kind of loser who risks your life to check in on a random stranger when some unknown killer is right on your tail, or the kind of loser who stays in the car and stops just short of crying like a baby. Don’t agonize over either choice. Players were split right down the middle between checking in on the stranger or staying in the car, so you’re morally okay (again, “okay” being a relative term) no matter what you decided.
3. Rough Rider: Now, onto Russell. You’re just a kid, here. Any choice you make in the zombie apocalypse from the perspective of a fresh high-school graduate is more or less forgivable. Especially when you’re riding shotgun with a complete and utter psychopath like Nate. The only reason you should feel bad about your choices in Russell’s story is if you didn’t try to stop Nate from killing the old couple, or if you didn’t walk away from him. Only 25% of players stayed with Nate. If you’re one of those players … then, yeah, you’re a pretty terrible person.
4. Junked Up: Bonnie is a recovering drug addict. What she’s recovering from? Who knows. But it’s hard not to pity someone who has to go through the recovery process in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. It’s even harder not to pity Bonnie for accidentally bashing Dee’s brains in when she thought she was either a walker, or one of the unknown gunmen. Here’s where you should feel bad: if you told Dee that you really are lusting after Leland, making her dying moments even more horrible than they already are. If you lied to Leland about Dee’s death, don’t sweat it that much; maybe he’d kill you if he knew the truth, and in a world where the dead roam the earth, survival is priority one, always. Besides, 75% of players lied to Leland, so you’re in good company. (By the way, if you chose snake-tongue over lobster-hands, you’re totally wrong.)
5. Shooting Stephanie: There are only bad choices to make in Shel’s story. None of them are good. You let the prisoner survive, and he comes back later with his friends and kills some of your people. If you don’t shoot your friend Stephanie on Roman’s orders, then you’re forced to abandon safety and hit the road with your ill-equipped and increasingly thick-skinned little sister. Considering Becca’s care-free attitude toward killing Stephanie, I found that agreeing to pull the trigger wasn’t such a hard choice after all. Turns out, I’m the bad person. Only 25% of players opted to kill their friend. Guilty as charged.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: In the zombie apocalypse, there is no right and wrong. There are no good or bad choices. There are only bad people. Thank you, “The Walking Dead: 400 Days,” for making all of us feel a little bit worse about ourselves today — and for making it one hell of a ride all along the way.