Review: Telltale’s The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (Episode 3)

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80%
80
Great

Episode 3's brings interesting new conflicts and intense action sequences, making it another strong entry in the series.

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Episode 3 of Telltale’s The Walking Dead: A New Frontier continues to follow the story of Javi and Clem, as they and their band of survivors encounter new dangers that threaten to tear the group apart.

The episode is entitled Above the Law and follows protagonist Javi as he reunites with his brother David, who appears to be a leader of the antagonistic group known as ‘the New Frontier’. The episode fleshes out Javi and David’s relationship and tackles how David’s re-emergence into the group’s lives could cause problems for them; particularly for Kate, his wife. Above the Law follows this family dilemma whilst challenging the group with threats from within the New Frontier.

Telltale further explore Javi and Clem’s past in this episode with the opening sequence showing Javi, Kate and David’s two children leaving their family home, having waited for David to return for three months. Scenes like these continue to make Javi a very likeable character. It’s fair to say that, having made the somewhat controversial decision to drop Clementine as the lead character, Telltale have successfully created a protagonist just as appealing.

This episode also fully introduces the character of David, previously seen only in flashbacks and in passing conversation during the two-part premiere. His entrance into the episode makes for some interesting and intense moments, particularly when the episode delves into Javi and Kate’s relationship, as well as David’s past conflict with Clementine. It would be safe to assume that some difficult choices regarding David’s relationship with Javi will arise in episodes to come.

In terms of choices in this episode, nothing feels too drastic, at least in comparison to the premiere, with most decisions setting up differing scenarios for the next episode. One choice will alter the episode’s ending, but not to the point that it dramatically changes the game. From a gameplay standpoint, it’s more of the same from Telltale with no new elements being added. There are, however, some terrific action sequences, and it’s clear that game after game Telltale are improving on these. They are becoming less choppy and all the more enjoyable to play through.

Saying that though, Above the Law is plagued with the same errors as the first two episodes. The game freezes at certain points, characters skip dialogue, and the animation and audio sync is sometimes off. This doesn’t ruin the experience but has to be brought up because time and time again Telltale release games in this state. If they do not address their technical issues soon, people will begin to get fed up.

Overall, Above the Law is another great entry to A New Frontier. It ramps up the story elements whilst successfully introducing the key character of David, who will no doubt play a big part in the two remaining episodes.

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – Above the Law is available digitally on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Android, iOS and Mac. (Reviewed here via the PS4).

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