Apr 30, 2017 Last Updated 1:30 PM, Apr 29, 2017

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 3 Review

Published in Adventure
Read 345 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

I reviewed the first two Episodes of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier at their launch back in January, so I was extra excited to dive back into this wild, troubled world full of intrigue, turmoil, and deceit. Javier's story is a compelling one, and although it took me a little while to remember the details of the last two chapters, I found myself rapidly falling back into the rich narrative for which Telltale Games is renowned. Given that this is the third episode of a five-episode season, there is always the risk of cliffhangers or plot twists that leave the players more frustrated than ravenous for more. Fortunately, that isn't the case with Episode 3, and I can't wait to see what comes next in the final two episodes.

Choices Matter, More and More

Not surprisingly, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier Episode 3 ups the ante, and the decisions that players face are increasingly dire and arduous. As always, I don't want to give away any story spoilers here, but I will say that the third chapter in Javier's saga felt more focused on inter-family strife and conflict, leaving interactions with the New Frontier crew resigned to outlining concerns. It doesn't make those choices any less critical, but they did seem like more of an afterthought, given the weight of the choices facing our dysfunctional, wayward family. At the end of Episode 2, we saw David, Javier's brother, return from the great oblivion of this post-apocalyptic world, reuniting him with his wife, Kate, and his son. Kate had been shot and was on death's doorstep, and our band of unlikely companions was begging for entrance and medical care at the gates of the New Frontier's main base. It wasn't the happy ending that it could have been, unsurprisingly – The Walking Dead isn't famous for its peaceful reunions and compassionate endings.

As in the previous chapters of the epic Walking Dead saga, A New Frontier blends action-packed situations with quick-time events, combat choices with the emotionally charged interactions between characters. Once again, I found myself struggling with numerous decisions, unsure of which direction I wanted to go in, but ultimately, I was satisfied with the decisions I had made. It's an emotional ride, and I love that Telltale Games doesn't hesitate to blur the line between what is considered morally right and something that might ensure your survival. The cast of characters that made Episode 1 and 2 so compelling returns once again, including Clementine, the heroine from The Walking Dead: Season Two. Although A New Frontier has faced criticism for not being as reliant on the Choices Matter aspect of this style of storytelling, the decisions are generally increasingly meaningful as the plot progresses.

As with A New Frontier Episode 1 and 2, this latest chapter is a relatively brief experience. It took me about two hours to play through each of the chapters thus far, but given the season is slated to have five episodes, the final playtime is comparable with other story-rich titles.

Precision and Polish, Plus Zombies

As usual, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is a smooth, polished experience, with all the precision and finesse that fans have come to expect from Telltale Games' series. The combat, while minimal overall, is satisfying, and the level of violence experienced during Episode 3 is comparable to all of the other Walking Dead sagas I've played in the past (and nowhere near as gruesome as the hit TV show of the same name).

The "Muertos" (Walkers, by another name) felt like an afterthought in this chapter of the story, given that our primary conflicts stem from interpersonal relationships more than the desperate quest for survival out in the open. But this is still a story from The Walking Dead universe, even if it has diverted from more familiar faces, and the looming threat of the undead is always in the background. I didn't encounter any bugs or issues while journeying through this latest piece of the saga, and so far, the episodes have blended seamlessly to make a truly enjoyable experience.

As with the first two episodes of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, Episode 3 is a joy to play.

Few studios produce stories as captivating and keenly appropriate for an interactive experience, but Telltale Games' prowess shines in titles such as this. Javier is a character that is easily relatable, and Kate's influence, in not only Javier’s decisions and motivations but also in the overall story arc, is welcomed and pleasant. Without a doubt, David's return lends more complexity to an already challenging situation for our protagonist and his sister-in-law. Episode 3 goes a step further (when it comes to plucking at our heartstrings) by showing us more of the backstory in Clem's history, including additional details about her time as a member of the New Frontier (a revelation we saw in the first two episodes of the season).

8

The Verdict

A New Frontier Episode 3 left me eager for more, delivering compelling, engrossing new details in the story unfolding, and I can't wait for the next two installments. Without a doubt, the finale of this season of The Walking Dead will be utterly gut-wrenching and satisfying, and players with love for this franchise – or even just Telltale Games on their own, as storytellers – shouldn't hesitate to take the plunge with The Walking Dead: A New Frontier.

Lori May

Lori is an avid video game enthusiast who enjoys blending her love of gaming with her work as a writer. She first cut her teeth back on the NES and Sega Genesis systems, and continues to be a Retro-gaming advocate with a soft spot for Point-&-Click Adventures. She's also a Survival Horror and Psychological Horror game collector, when she isn't coercing friends into any number of Co-Op multiplayer titles. If she isn't gaming you can find her working as a journalist and social media consultant, or perhaps dabbling in video game design among other hobby-with-big-dreams endeavors. Born in the heart of the Midwest, she's currently living in Colorado, where she prefers to avoid skiing, snowboarding, and other Mile High City attractions.

Related items

  • Dead Rising 4 - Frank Rising Review

    Frank Rising’s short length must be noted, as less than a handful of hours for $10 may be considered by some a lack of value. Quality trumps quantity, though, and because Frank Rising improves on many aspects laid out by Dead Rising 4, I recommend it to those who already own and might have felt disappointed by the original game.

  • Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure Review

    While not everything works, the cartoonish world of Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure shines, and the comedic-relief factor makes it an even more worthwhile addition to a point-and-click library. Although it's a relatively short journey – roughly four to five hours, give or take a few mini-games – the lasting quality of the humor and overall narrative make this title stand out in a sea of puzzle-laden adventure games.

  • Narborion Saga Review

    Narborion Saga is a wonderful melding of multiple genres, merging High Fantasy RPGs, Visual Novels á la Choose Your Own Adventure, and Dice Rolling games reminiscent of the good ol’ D&D days. Dungeon crawling, open maps to explore, treasures to find, enemies to fight, skill points to use… The list goes on and on.  Narborion Saga offers something for almost everyone, and it’s easy to lose yourself for hours on end.

Latest Shows

OPN DevLounge Monthly - February 2017

OPN DevLounge Mo…

Episode Four, Season One! OPN's DevLounge Monthly is a lively conversation between game developers on Twitch, on the hottest PC games to be released this upcoming month. Watch it o...

For Honor - AAA Anonymous Epi. 11

For Honor - AAA …

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers Ubisoft's PC release of the much anticipated medieval multiplayer...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Prey

Prey

In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. You are the ...

STRAFE

STRAFE

STRAFE® is the fastest, bloodiest, deadliest, most adjective-abusing, action-packed first-person sho...

Flinthook Review

Flinthook Review

Yet another rogue-lite glorifying the genocide of the pirate race, Flinthook’s clever controls and mechanics bring challenging gameplay that requires practice to make perfect. Proc...

Dead Rising 4 - Frank Rising Review

Dead Rising 4 - …

Frank Rising’s short length must be noted, as less than a handful of hours for $10 may be considered by some a lack of value. Quality trumps quantity, though, and because Frank Ris...

Little Nightmares Review

Little Nightmare…

Little Nightmares is short, but it’s complete. Artwork is beautiful, haunting, and horrible is Six’s fate when she gets caught. Don’t let the words “puzzle platformer” draw you awa...

Saucer-Like Review

Saucer-Like Revi…

Saucer-Like is a short-form art piece in its genre. Beautiful art is the main focus in the narrative, with over forty hand-drawn backgrounds, each featuring rich contrasts. Saucer-...

Roots of Insanity Review

Roots of Insanit…

Roots of Insanity is a survival-horror FPS with plenty of creep-factor. The scary noises and the macabre visuals make for a terrifying campaign, and the lack of buffers provides a ...