This week saw the release of the next installment of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series. In The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, players can go back to the dismal world of the zombie apocalypse where every choice matters and is, literally, a matter of life and death.
But things are different this time around. This game serves as a sort of new introduction to the series, especially for those have not yet played the previous games. That means that it starts with an entirely new character and takes us back to the beginning of the zombie apocalypse so that we can meet a new character, Javier, and his surviving family members, getting a chance to know them before being zapped back into the present day.
Note: The following review is for the first episode, “The Ties That Bind, Part 1” of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier. Stay tuned for a review of Episode Two.
It’s a little disappointing for existing fans of the series, though, that Clementine doesn’t even make an appearance in this episode until about halfway through. There is also only a very limited interaction with her. Clementine is easily the strongest character in the game series, and became the stand out character from the very first time we met her way back in the first game. She’s older now, and hardened, but there’s still so much to love about the girl.
It’s obvious that Telltale wants to pull in new fans for the franchise by introducing Javier, but his story seems so familiar, especially to fans of any of The Walking Dead franchises. In the comics, TV show and games, every character has a history with the beginning of the zombie apocalypse where they experience loss and learn to survive in a world that now belongs to the walkers. So the beginning of this game may feel a lot like a retread for existing fans of the series.
Decisions, decisions, decisions
The good news is that the first episode of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier has the dialogue choices that make us love the series so much. And those choices affect everything, as usual, from who lives and dies to who becomes friends and who becomes enemies. Every single choice matters and there’s a heavy weight with each one made. That’s what makes these games so good and why players keep playing.
As far as graphics go, when compared to earlier games, this is probably one of the best looking Telltale games yet. The comic book-style drawings seem updated and the characters’ are a little more real, with great animated expressions that really show what’s on the characters’ minds. There’s also plenty of action, including killing walkers, with the same button-mashing mechanics that existing fans of the games are already used to.
The voice acting is also good and it’s great to hear Melissa Hutchison returning as the voice of Clementine.
Fans who played the previous games know to expect a lot of surprises, but Telltale has gone above and beyond in the first episode of the new series. Just when you think everything is going well, the game throws the most horrible scenario out there and doesn’t give the player time to adjust to this new information. This is indicative of the previous games, but there is a moment in this new one that will have players cursing at their screens and freaking out. And it’s wonderful.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, “The Ties That Bind” Part 1 and 2 are available now for PC and consoles.
Rating: (4 / 5)
Note: FanGirlConfessions.com received a review copy of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier for PlayStation 4.