By Fabrice Stellaire / January 24th, 2017
|Title||The Walking Dead: A New Frontier|
|Release Date||December 20, 2016|
|Genre||Visual Novel, Survival horror|
The Walking Dead games have contributed to defining the essence of narrative games. This third season of The Walking Dead by Telltale Games brings back well known faces but also introduces new protagonists. But is the magic still there?
In this new season of The Walking Dead Javier, a former professional gambler, is the main character of the story. He is a man who has often been seen by his brother David as an immature adult who lacked a sense of responsibility. But the events happening in the world force him to grow up and become tougher. That description seems to sum up the philosophy of this series. Circumstances and tragedies often show us an unexpected side of people we know, and this often reveals the best or the worst of mankind. Javier quickly meets a well-known girl, Clementine, who is going to have to team up with him.
Unlike previous protagonists, Javier has a lot of people to protect – his brother’s wife, Kate, and David’s children, Gabriel and Mariana. While Mariana is a responsible and reasonable girl, Gabriel still has to evolve and grow up since he is quite rebellious. On a side note, the art and the character design are rather similar to what you could find in the first two seasons, so no surprise here. After playing for half an hour, I quickly experienced some typical elements of the series: depressing tragedies, a feeling that death can happen at any moment, and a world where there is no room for running away or trying to not face reality. Those scenes are very emotional and may shake sensitive players, but also leave a feeling of déjà vu. I think that is because the previous games have accustomed me to this despair, pretty much like the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones accustomed me to the idea any character could die. Maybe our society is trying to reflect its own concerns and issues in fiction where our fears are materialized in a brutal way.
The game retains classic elements from Telltale Games and you will have to make a lot of decisions which will impact the future of the story. There is no right or wrong choice and all decisions can be justified in a way, which is certainly what makes these games good. It is hard for me to point out any specific flaw in those two episodes, as they retain the same level of quality from previous games. This third game retains what has made the success of Telltale games, and conveys a deep atmosphere of tension, danger, and despair. The music clearly contributes to raising the tension and the emotions characters feel. You will not experience anything new in gameplay, but you will still enjoy the intensity and the suspense of the Walking Dead series. It is important to note that if you have played previous games, you may have to manually import your saves. The full process is detailed on Telltale’s website.
Sold for $22.99, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is a good narrative game that does not renew the series but makes you experience the tension of a post-apocalyptic world where humans show their true colors. I spent about 8 hours on these two episodes, but you may spend less time on them depending on how you play.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
PCSteamTelltale GamesThe Walking Dead: A New Frontier