Amy Moore provides a review based on real time thoughts during gameplay.
Warning, content may contain spoilers. First released on December 20, 2016, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is set four years after the initial zombie outbreak, catching up with Robert Kirkman’s comic book timeline.
NEW FAMILY, NEW STORYLINE
Looking back at my previous predictions for Season Three of The Walking Dead Game and it’s clear that a significant amount of time has passed. Clementine has matured significantly, adopting a newfound “mothering instinct” towards an otherwise absent Alvin Jr (AJ). Clementine is still to be reunited with the elusive Christa and has been left alone to fend for herself following the sudden, yet heroic death of Kenny. A bold move, Clementine has become a side character, as players are introduced to the proudly-Spanish ‘Garcia’ family.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is a family affair. You play as Javier “Javi” Garcia; an ex-professional baseball player with an aforementioned gambling addiction. I don’t think we’re really given enough information to truly connect with his character. His older brother David added a lot more depth and proved a lot more accessible as the typical hot-headed, ex-military brute.
“It was soon established that Jesus was cool, especially when he drop-kicked a zombie to the floor in a disused railway tunnel.”
Paul Monroe aka “Jesus” sees The Walking Dead Game integrate into the AMC TV series, making his first appearance in Episode Two: Ties That Bind Pt2. It was soon established that Jesus was cool, especially when he drop-kicked a zombie to the floor in a disused railway tunnel. He appeared the same way Clementine did – pointing a gun to the back of Javi’s head – which was a nice touch. It feels natural to be loyal to Clementine throughout the choice-driven narrative.
“The Walking Dead: A New Frontier features a higher level of graphic detail, and sunsets, lots of sunsets.”
Thick, dark lines enhance the human form and “Muertos” silhouettes (“Muertos” translates in Spanish as “Dead”) making the tear-gas scene in Episode Two an absolute masterpiece. Particular place settings, such as Prescott – a fortified community based within an old airfield – are simply superb. (It even has horses.) There’s not much dialogue during the interim scenes, with certain quick-reaction sequences difficult to tackle with the Steam Controller.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier gets its name from “The New Frontier” – a ruthlessly-branded enemy group part-lead by David Garcia, who is Head of Security in occupied Richmond. There’s some speculation surrounding The New Frontier symbol, which is burned into the skin of each member, and depicts the numbers six and seven intertwined.
In my opinion, A New Frontier has been the most slow-moving and least captivating chapter of The Walking Dead Game series. Playing as a whole new character seemed pointless, as Episode Five: From The Gallows clearly hinted at the continuation of Clementine’s story in the next installment. Telltale didn’t waste any time allowing players to find out what happened to Kenny and Alvin Jr (AJ) following the trios departure from Wellington at the end of Season Two. This is shown through a series of sombre black and white flashbacks. Players can interact as Clementine during these flashbacks.
It’s a well-crafted game, with plenty of subtle references to its predecessors. It’s affordable and convenient, with easy achievements. When completed, players are awarded with a summary of their emotional responses towards certain characters. Players are also able to construct their own characterisation of Clementine, as demonstrated above.
GAME COMPLETED 06/07/17
30/30 ACHIEVEMENTS (100%)
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*All screenshots from personal gameplay.