The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – episode 3 review

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  • Format: PC (version reviewed), Xbox One, PS4, Mac, Vita
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Players: 1
  • Site: http://www.telltalegames.com/walkingdead
  • Game code provided by the publisher

Right; if you haven’t already read them, then go read our review of the first two episodes because that may well make your decision for you. If you need more to go on before forming an opinion on whether or not you should buy it, then read on because we have more good things to say.

This time around feels the shortest, if only for the lack of breaks in the action to wander around in what tend to be boring little areas where very little actually happens. It’s pretty much scene, scene, scene, scene, scene (does not represent actual number of scenes). Telltale are at their strongest when they have good dialogue and action constantly flowing. Where point and clicks had puzzles instead of action, Telltale games haven’t had anything more than pick up X and use it on Y to progress for quite a while now. The lack of actual exploration and the minimal optional dialogue only exacerbate this break in the flow further.

This constant flow of written and performed material with even fewer breaks for slow-paced interactions is actually far more engrossing than its previous forms. Not having this slow down midway through an episode is a double edged sword though. These “slow bits” used to be where they’d dump a huge amount of exposition or character backstories. Now that you get less backstory behind each character, it makes them pick out better bits for the more “important” characters.

It means many of the side characters are a little more forgettable than in previous installments. Oh, and the telegraphing of who is the new Ben is, is incredibly unsubtle. It’s the peeks behind the curtain like that, that will take you out of the game the most. That’s always disappointing in a season that, while having some faults, is better than the previous season. It’s also consistently good so far which means it might even surpass the original series in some ways. Though our hearts still lie with Lee and Clem, as Javi and his family haven’t built the same sort of relationship with us.

This is the only episode so far that we’ve had any technical issues with, which was just some horrific graphical glitch, solved with a reloading of the game. That in itself is a huge accomplishment for Telltale whose past seasons have had a fair share more of issues in that department. As well as that, the slow breaks where you get to wander around still feel a little clunky to maneuver in if you’re testing the area’s boundaries.

Outside of technical issues, there are just a few awkward cuts and positioning of characters between shots. It’s very minor though, if you don’t notice it at all we wouldn’t blame you but it’s the sort of thing where if you see it in one thing (film, TV, etc.) you’re more likely to notice it elsewhere too, especially games – where continuity between camera cuts shouldn’t really be an issue, should it?

All in all, we’re really impressed. Telltale are keeping a consistently high quality this time around and while there are aspects of the story where we didn’t think things really went as they should, it could just be down to prior decisions we made. We don’t see it having quite the impact on us that Season One did but this is looking a lot better than the still good but not totally great Season Two.

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Written by Sean P

I enjoy playing games and I enjoy writing things, so I decided to combine the two. I do bits here and there and have a twitter that mainly just announces things I’ve done as my life revolves around very little that is truly interesting.

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