*Some Spoilers Ahead*
The Walking Dead games from Telltale have usually been exhilarating and gripping, making them feel like you are watching the comic book with its unique style and tone. The New Frontier is the third season in the franchise and continues using the choices you made in Season One, Two and 400 Days. Where we had just one character to control in each “season”, this one shows we get to control both the returning Clementine and new character Javier.
Clem is much more mature in this game and maybe this girl is no longer as innocent as she used to be? Even though we get two characters who we can control, I still feel happiest to play as Clem. She is hard to work out at first, you want to trust her, but can you? We also have the new threat with the New Frontier, a group which are causing a lot of trouble and may or not be known to Clementine rather well.
Dependent on your decisions, there is a couple of old faces you get to re-visit. The end of Season Two was over two years ago, so we get a few flashbacks to remind us of your choices and it is great nostalgia to the very first episode if you have Kenny feature in yours. Clem is also still taking care of AJ no matter what the outcome. Also, unlike the majority of the game, this one does feature a very prominent character from the comics and TV show making a welcome appearance to connect the worlds.
I should mention Javier is also an interesting character and it is nice to finally control someone outside of that initial group from the first game. Javier is shown to be a family man and a very caring person throughout, even having his own life placed in the hands of Clem to bring together a great pairing for two strong characters. Sadly, Javier is the only new character that really interests me and kept me hooked; the rest of the New Frontier and Javier’s family do have some good moments, but not enough to remember them after the game.
The gameplay mechanics are the same as they have always been. You get some quick-time events, a couple sequences where you have to do a series of buttons in a certain order and a number of occasions in which you are searching for items to continue the game. Though these are staples of Telltale Games, it is now feeling a little stale and offers nothing new to the experience. Where the choices do indeed tailor the game to you, the end is almost always the same.
This being said though overall, I did enjoy the game with the acting probably at its best from all the seasons. Melissa Hutchison is still the star and her more mature version of Clem is by far the most important protagonist, as we have seen the character grow up over the last 5 years and don’t overly want to see her story end just yet.
I only hope we get some more interesting support characters next time round and maybe give us more significant threats (though the sequences in episode 5 are really fun). Worth a play, just don’t expect the same joy as before!
Final rating: 3/5
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove