For many people The Walking Dead franchise will have been their introduction to Telltale’s style of games. After two seasons, and about a dozen games for different franchises, Telltale has returned to their most prominent series. Following the trend of the previous two seasons, The Walking Dead A New Frontier (season 3) begins with a new protagonist Javier García and his family of survivors. The use of new protagonists means players can just jump into the game without having played the first two seasons, but you’ll get a much fuller experience if you have played them. Their harrowing journey brings them in contact with Clementine, who is the connection with the previous seasons. A cameo from one of the television show actors also pops up in the second episode of the season (although it is worth remembering the game is set in the comic book version of the story, not the television show).
The Walking Dead A New Frontier, like all of Telltale’s adventures, isn’t so much a video game as it is a series of tough choices punctuated by quick-time events and point-and-click examining. The main draw is seeing the decisions you make impact the world around you. Some events will happen no matter what you choose, but the way you get there — and who survives to see them — is largely up to you. Often times you will make decisions in difficult situations and be left wondering what would have happened if you chose differently, which gives the game a certain amount of inherent replay value.
This story in The Walking Dead A New Frontier offers some brutal choices, and there are at least a few ‘no-win’ situations you will experience in just the first two episodes. On the downside many of the gameplay and animation improvements we saw in Batman: The Telltale Series didn’t translate over to The Walking Dead A New Frontier. It is still a step up from season 2 and Michonne, but it still feels like a step backwards compared to more recent offerings. Walking animations and hand-to-hand combat sequences, in particular, delve into the uncanny valley with far too much regularity.
There is not too much to say about The Walking Dead A New Frontier that you probably cannot already guess. You can jump in right now without worrying too much about what has gone before, but it is not the ideal way to play. If you have never played a Telltale Game I would recommend starting with either The Walking Dead Season 1 or one of their more recent franchises, like Game of Thrones or Batman. If you are veteran of the series already, then you know what to expect. The choices will be brutal, characters you care about will die or be severely wounded, and you’ll just be glad you don’t actually live in the world of The Walking Dead.
Final thoughts on The Walking Dead A New Frontier:
The main question is whether to buy The Walking Dead A New Frontier now and get the episodes as they come out, or wait until the series is done and grab them in package. I personally prefer to experience Telltale Games in their episodic format, but each gamer will have their own preference. In the end if you like Telltale Games’ format and play-style then The Walking Dead A New Frontier is a good purchase.