The Walking Dead: A New Frontier Review

The Walking Dead Season Three is both an improvement, and a deterioration, compared to Season Two.

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Telltale has been doing this for a while now, and they’ve gotten good at making the player care about at least some of their characters, and I’m fairly sure I was supposed to hate those other two. The game immediately made me invested in the survival of the main group, diverging that Season Two never managed. The complex personalities of Javi, his family, and the people they come across are varied, interesting and well-characterised.

Interacting with these characters turns out to be fairly difficult. Season Three has an extreme issue in its dialogue system that I don’t remember in previous games: The dialogue options can vary significantly from what it makes your character say. One example that comes to mind is in episode four, wherein I attempt to protect a character that overreacted and resulted in an avoidable conflict, which got the main character stabbed in the shoulder. I choose the “I messed up and got stabbed” option, only to blame the other character anyway.

There are many other examples of this, and it results in the player geeling as much as vulnerable to the poor dialogue system as to the vast undead hordes.

The Walking Dead has never been a series that’s been big on gameplay,, but somehow Season Three has managed to reduce this even further. I am not exaggerating when I say that each chapter consists of cinematics with quick-time-events during the action scenes. The slower scenes of walking around an environment, exploring and solving puzzles, are still present, but they have been shortened and are far less frequent.

This robs the game of it’s pacing, as it now lacks any significant down-time. There are still luls, but since they take place in cutscenes the player must stay alert for quick time events.

The Walking Dead Season Three is an enjoyable addition to the series, but its poorly defined dialogue options, and it’s reduction of what was already sparse gameplay, makes it far weaker that it deserved to be.