Reviews - Updated on April 14, 2022

The notorious “syndrome of the second album” in the case of “The Walking Dead” from Telltale Games affected the second season, which was still inferior to the first. Well, the third, where the Cuban baseball player Javier joined the beloved Clementine, respectively, turned out to be even more controversial. And I, looking back at all five episodes of The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier, reluctantly have to abandon my own words, said in the review of the first episode – no, “The New Frontier” is not better than the first two issues. But it’s far from a failure.Walking Dead: A New Frontier game review

Seeing this flashback is worth a lot.

New frontier and shadows of the past

Yes, in terms of entertainment, directing, graphics, animation, in terms of complexity and interestingness of QTE, the third season, as I wrote, took a step, and somewhere two or three forward. The plot composition itself is also more complex and interesting, with constant flashbacks and difficult topics. After all, now the authors actually tell two main stories. Xavi tries to protect his family in every possible way, and when he gets to the city of Richmond, led by a tough and brutal group of survivors, the New Frontier, he also unravels the tangle of an uneasy relationship with his brother, David. It was with his children and wife that Javi tried to survive until he came across a long-lost relative…

Xavi meets Clem, who has her own worries – the whole season she has been trying to figure out the fate of baby AJ, the child of Rebecca, who died at the end of the second season. For the boy, Clementine actually became a mother, but after she joined the ranks of the New Frontier, their paths diverged – and not without the help of David Garcia.

As you can see, everything is really dashingly twisted and intertwined. Accordingly, there are more characters, a more complex tangle of relationships between them, and over all this lies the shadow of the heroes of past seasons, the decisions we made then. Yes, as I wrote, at the very beginning of A New Frontier, many of those choices by the authors are actually mucus down the toilet, but not all. And even in subsequent episodes, these decisions sometimes affect: for example, in one of Clementine’s flashbacks, under certain conditions, you can see Kenny or Jane for the last time. And it’s really strong!

Illusion of freedom

However, this “blooming complexity” in many ways played a cruel joke with the third season. Under the weight of their own twisted storylines and relationships between the characters, the scriptwriters involuntarily tried to ease their task in some ways, but in some ways they frankly failed to cope with it and did stupid things.

The fact that the entire action of the season takes place in virtually one place, in Richmond, is not so scary. The fact that many moral dilemmas are just an illusion and the script will still follow the beaten path, just slightly altering some scenes, adding one character to them or removing another, is also familiar. A person whom we could kill, but did not kill, the entire subsequent passage will behave as if he already, consider him, and not, before the key scene in the fourth episode, he will generally quietly go to the side, then appear for a minute, to immediately heroically to die – everything, of course, in order not to complicate the life of the writers and ensure a more or less the same cast of characters at the decisive moments of the season.

Walking Dead: A New Frontier game review

In the fourth season, we will see the real beauty Clem.

About more important plot decisions I will not explain in more detail. Let me just say that no matter what options you try, the script cannot be changed. Only at the very end will there be a key choice, which determines which of the people closest to Javi will live – it, apparently, will affect the starting alignment of the fourth season, which is clearly hinted at by the finale of the third.

Sources of irritation

But all this, I repeat, is not so scary, and in many respects it is traditional for interactive series from Telltale. It is much sadder that many of the characters, except, in fact, Javi, Clem, David and his wife Kate, are either weakly or stupidly written. Gabe, Javier’s hysterical nephew, was turned on by almost everyone who completed A New Frontier. He irritates, always whines, pulls the blanket over himself, says nonsense. It is clear that this is just a child who also grew up without a father, but accusing Xavi of killing the person who, in fact, held you at gunpoint, is idiotic even for a pimply schoolboy.

Gabe makes us all the way talking platitudes about parenting, growing up, the importance of being a man, and so on. It can be seen that in the duet of Javier and his nephew, the authors tried to recreate the relationship between Lee and Clementine, but they did it much worse and more banal. And in general, in the third season there are too many empty words and clichés that the characters constantly exchange, even when zombies or New Frontier patrols roam five meters from them. I suppose that in the first season it would not be so conspicuous, but in the third the same trick no longer works, the degree of self-repetitions goes off scale, and all this verbiage begins to annoy.

Equally unnerving is a burly, grey-haired man named Tripp, who acts like a big kid, yelling at Javi, asking for love advice, or jumping in with his advice at the wrong time. Tripp, like Gabe, is a continuous source of nonsense, platitudes and annoyance.

The script also has holes, inconsistencies, illogicalities and stupidities. Why do the heroes go to accuse the leaders of the “New Frontier” without weapons and only then, after a series of not very pleasant events, does Xavi make a sortie for the “trunks”? After all, nothing prevented you from doing it before, not after. Why is a hefty Tripp going to collect things, and Javi and two children manually pushing an armored car in a parking lot? It seems that for such a task it is necessary to take exactly the one who is stronger, isn’t it?

Walking Dead: A New Frontier game review

We fight with people here almost more often than with zombies.

And the line “Clementine – AJ” is written strangely. Why is a young child sent somewhere outside the well-fortified and well-equipped Richmond? It seems only so that the writers have a reason to write a fourth season.

Brother. Two

However, shouting that this is a failure, that they don’t give a damn about all these characters, that the finale does not evoke any emotions, that we don’t feel sorry for anyone, and that we don’t need a fourth season means to behave in much the same way as the hysterical teenager Gabe. In the third season there are a lot of strong, emotional moments, and Javi’s relationships with Kate, David and Clementine are spelled out quite deeply and interestingly. Especially with the brother and his wife – here the authors raise questions that are completely new for the series, talk about family values ​​and problems, about difficult brotherly friendship, about whether it is necessary to resist our true nature, about what we choose, we are chosen, but this often doesn’t fit…

In addition, due to the initially more complex scenario, burdened by the events of past seasons, there are more options for relationships between characters and more situations, albeit not significant, but still a choice that can come back to haunt even after a couple of episodes. You didn’t kill the man who took you to Richmond in the first episode – you will see him in the very finale. A trifle, but nice.

Towards the end, the authors do not just show the usual alignment, what decisions you and other players made in key situations, but give a detailed dossier on relationships with each character.

And, what is especially interesting, they tell us what kind of character Clementine has formed based on the results of the whole game – and here it turns out that our decisions depended on whether Clem would stay with Xavi in ​​a key situation. After that, I want to take back all the injections addressed to the scriptwriters. I have Clem received the rating “Faithful fighter”, and I want to believe that this will still affect the fourth season …

Walking Dead: A New Frontier game review

In some situations of moral choice, the authors surprise us very much.

***

Yes, The Walking Dead: Season 3 periodically raises the question point-blank: have the authors written themselves out? Maybe we should stop here and now and finish this story? Personally, for myself, I will answer it like this: this is a series that I am hooked on, so I will, of course, be waiting for the fourth season. Because if I paid attention to the script’s nonsense and annoying characters, I would never have finished Breaking Bad. Because there were more positive moments, strong emotions and drama than anything bad. Because in the finale, when I looked through tears into a trembling sight at my beloved girl who turned into a zombie, I didn’t care at all and didn’t give a damn. Because Clementine is alone there again. For now…

Pros: Overall an interesting, dramatic script that tells the stories of the two main characters; there are really bright characters with detailed relationships between them; many of our actions have consequences, even if they do not affect the global scenario; noticeably prettier graphics and animation; dynamic action scenes.

Cons: there are enough inconsistencies, stupidities and illogicalities in the script; some characters are poorly written and frankly annoying; a lot of empty talk about common truths and platitudes.

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