Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
The Walking Dead – A New Frontier (AKA Season 3) is an interactive story rich experience involving zombies. The first 2 episodes of season 3 are available right now, but the next 3 episodes will come at a later date.
It isn’t completely necessary to have played the first two seasons, but I do recommend it. If you play them first, you’ll have a better understanding of the season 2 characters that also make an appearance in this game, and you can choose for your choices to carry over into this season if you want to. In season 3, you play as Javier (Javi) instead of Clementine. At first I was unsure how I would like the new character, but Javi seems like a solid protagonist. His character is flawed, but not too flawed that he becomes unlikable. He feels like a real person, a believable character who is just trying to do the best for his family in tough times.
A New Frontier is exactly what kind of game you expect from Telltale Games. It’s a cinematic game focused mostly on creating an immersive atmosphere and rich story. You spend a lot more time watching the game, than actually doing things in the game. There’s a tiny bit of point and click gameplay here and there, but for the most part you just need to react to events, and select dialog options when prompted to do so.
When picking your dialog, you have limited time to make your selection, and your dialog choices influence how the story plays out, but it might not necessarily influence the final outcome. The choices system offers potential replay value, but even playing again with completely different choices, there is likely to be some repetition watching the same cutscenes that are unskippable.
- intriguing story, and it’s quite enjoyable playing as Javi (Clementine still makes appearances throughout the story, but don’t expect her to be the main focus)
- great atmosphere and good immersion
- well written dialog, with phenomenal voice acting
- music and sound effects all feel on point
- graphics look good, and the style is consistent with many other games by Telltale; the smoothness of the animation is noticeably improved in season 3 when compared to Season 2 & Michonne
- full controller support
- very short episodes compared to Season 1 & 2
- (nitpick) the controls are not customizable (default WASD, Q/E + mouse will be fine for most)
- (nitpick) the cinematic story-telling won’t appeal to everyone (i.e. you’ll spend more time watching rather than playing)
The full game consists of 5 episodes, and the first two episodes were each roughly 1 hour long. I’m a little sad that the episodes in this season are shorter than in seasons 1 and 2, but I’ve still enjoyed the story nonetheless. The cliffhangers certainly leave me wanting more, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. If you’re a fan of interactive stories, Telltale Games, or their previous The Walking Dead games, then this game is one that you will likely enjoy as well. However, if you don’t like cliffhangers, you might want to wait for the whole season to be released before playing.