The time rewind mechanic — undo your previous choice to see if the alternative is preferable. At first glance, it’s easy to laugh at. But think about this from a design perspective for a second. What was one of the most common criticisms against The Walking Dead? Many felt that their choices didn’t matter nearly enough, and were later disappointed to learn that there wasn’t any significant variety between many of the game’s different branching points.
The rewind mechanic addresses this issue at the development level. It now demands that designers make the outcome of every decision significant (at least in the short term), because it practically guarantees that players are going to see every alternative to their chosen action. It’s no longer hidden on YouTube. And as a result, we got a better game for having it.
But the thing is, Dontnod left this dev mechanic in the final, shipped version of the game. And it ended up wrecking havoc with some of the game’s other systems when it was discovered internally that it wasn’t going to be removed. At this, we can only shrug. It’s to be expected after all, from a genre undergoing its awkward transition into maturity.