Review: ‘The Walking Dead: A New Frontier’ Episode 2 Brings Surprises

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

This week, Telltale Games released the first two episodes of the third season of its The Walking Dead franchise of games. In The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, gamers get a fresh start in the zombie apocalypse, this time taking on the role of a new character, Javier.

Javier’s story is similar to what we’ve seen before: he’s lost just about everything and thanks to the Telltale Games, still has a lot more to lose. In the zombie apocalypse, every choice matters, but in the end, the player will feel like no choice is really the right one. But that’s the point, right?

In episode two, which serves as the second part of “The Ties That Bind,” Javier’s life goes from bad to worse, and in this particular playthrough, he makes some pretty bad choices. It’s likely that no choice is going to fix much of anything, because this is how the world operates in The Walking Dead universe where there’s not really a lot of hope and the only thing one can do is just try to survive.

But the second part of “The Ties That Bind” also holds a few surprises, that is after the action-packed first half dies down a little bit and Javier and his group start to hit the road again. One of those surprises is the appearance of a popular character from the comic books (no spoilers here, though) that the player probably won’t see coming. It’s a nice addition to the games and we hope that this character sticks around for future episodes.

There’s also a huge twist at the end of the episode, too, another one that the player won’t see coming. It fits perfectly with the title of these two episodes, though, and definitely will make gamers anxious for the next episode to see exactly what happens next.

Here’s the downside, though: the zombie apocalypse is starting to feel a little old. The TV show, the comics and even the games have started treading all too familiar territory. And even with the big plot twists, the feeling of despair that hangs over The Walking Dead starts to wear a little thin. However, at this point, it’s no huge secret that the Telltale Games seem to still tell the story better than the television series, and this new title is no exception.

There’s also the problem that the main character is no longer Clementine. There is a little bit of flashback that allows the player to control her, but it’s not the same as in the second game where we lived in her shoes. Javier is an okay character, but these games have always been about the girl. There’s still some of her story, though, that has not been told, and players can only hope that future episodes of this game will fill in those blanks.

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, “The Ties That Bind” Part 1 and 2 are available now for PC and consoles.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Note: received a review copy of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier for PlayStation 4.

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