The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (aka Season 3)
Reviewed on PC
The Walking Dead is a franchise that hits home on many different fronts in the entertainment industry with its variety of different takes from graphic novels to a television hit to even a episodic masterpiece of a video game. Telltale initially booted the series as one of their first episodic adventure games back in 2012, not expecting much of a success from it after the great but poorly advertised previously developed titles such as Back To The Future and 7 Days to Die. Founded on strong character leads and emotionally scripted scenes fans immediately fell in love with this new universe that was discovered. Announced at E3 of 2016 that it would be making its comeback for a third season this year on the new generation of platforms fans rejoiced making it one of the most anticipated digital only releases of 2016.
Episode 1: Ties That Bend Part I
Season 3, titled A New Frontier, was teased a few months ago with a trailer showing that we would be playing from a new character’s perspective named Javi. Starting around the time the zombie outbreak occurs and I personally feel as if the only way to properly describe the way that S3 started is with one word, chaos. Almost instantly you are shown the love/hate relationship between your character and his brother David, as he calls to inform you that your father is passing away and you need to get to the house asap. You get there to find out it was too late and your brother literally beats you up for it, probably for a way to clear his head or vanquish some of the tilted emotion he is processing. Entering the house you can almost sense the feeling of despair and utter sadness as your family mourns the passing of your father. It starts to get creepy once your niece says that she was filling his cup of water back up since he had “woken up.” I don’t wanna spoil the story much for anyone besides what is visible within the trailers as the game forms so heavily on the decisions you make showing that every thing you do in life can impact you in one way or another. Fast forward a bit, you completely disregard any information on what happens to a decent chunk of your family and are found traveling with your brothers wife, Kate and their two kids, Gabe and Mariana. You eventually stop to find more gas for your car so you can avoid the bigger herds of “walkers” or zombies that are walking throughout the game. You are than taken hostage by two men and forced to abandon your family members for a bit, these people are called The New Frontier. Once you hit that point in the story, it’s pretty much edge of the seat chaos that I wouldn’t spoil, even for people I despise. The only other necessary information is you meet with a very familiar face, Clementine, at a point to continue your travels with.Without a surprise the ending is a cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more, which is what Telltale seems to do best.
Episode 2: Ties That Bend Part II
Immediately picking up where the last episode left off at one of the two possible locations. This episode hooks you with powerful performances from Tripp and Conrad as well as an excellent amount of bonding between your character, Javi and your nephew Gabe. When they first announced the release date for the premiere of S3 they made sure you knew that there would be two episodes because of the lack of needed story in just the first episode, which is made clear by the first fifteen or so minutes of the second episode. The mutual trust level between you and Clementine grows which makes any long time fans of the series presumably happy seeing the previous protagonist and a character fans have come to love not only return but see how much she has matured and grown from the ending of S2. If there wasn’t enough actual physical combat between both walkers and the New Frontier in the first episode for you this one is going to hit the nail on the head. This episode’s focuses on conflict between the group and the shitty situation that they are getting stuck in, making this episode really stand out along with the ending that is currently leaving fans in complete shock and awe after completion. A cliffhanger that will leave the masses praying that the next episode releases within a friendly timeframe. This episode has a very miniscule amount of visual bugs that are sure to be fixed with patches along the road, some of these bugs were in a way game breaking to the impatient gamer. Some but not all were causing what almost felt like an extended loading screen within your usual conversation where it wouldn’t make any sense to have a break to load. If you were hesitant on the new season due to the change of character and what feels like pace in the first episode, move on to this and I completely assure you that it will change your feelings about it. This season is going to be a force to be reckoned with, which is good because of the long period of time we saw nothing out of this franchise from Telltale. I will be, along with an insane amount of the playerbase, waiting for the next episode to release while slowly losing every inch of sanity I have over the ending of this episode, or maybe the “muertos” will get to me first.
- Dakota G.