GAMING REVIEW: ‘The Walking Dead: A New Frontier’ – ‘From the Gallows’

The season finale of Telltale's "The Walking Dead" finds Javier and the gang struggling to deal with the fallout of the previous episodes climax.

| June 7, 2017

Warning: Spoilers for “From the Gallows” and previous episodes of Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” follow.

Image courtesy of Telltale Games

Following prior episode’s formats, “From the Gallows” begins with a flashback to Javier and David learning of their father’s cancer, causing Javier to promise his father that he would always stand with David. The episode then transitions to present time where Javier is frantically searching for Kate. Once she is found safe and sound after a bit of a fake-out, the group seeks shelter from the herd in a nearby building. This begins the journey of Javier wrapping up his many relationships from this season, the first being with the traitorous Eleanor.

My own relationship did not end well with Eleanor, which is not at all surprising after she gave up the group’s plan to rescue David in the last episode. David’s anger and need to protect his family quickly shows how it’s been wearing down his mental state, which only makes Gabe more afraid of him. After the episode is over, the game shows how your relationships went with all of the characters went and reminds you of your key moments with them, which I thought was a terrific idea. My favorite moment of the episode comes when Tripp was reunited with the group and has a discussion with Javier about the decision to kill him or Ava, which Joan ends up doing the opposite of. Tripp forgives Javier for his actions from this season and even saves his life later in the episode, which was surprising after I had made so many choices that negatively affected him. Through my choices, Gabe ended up dying, which was a touching scene but I felt Tripp’s had more of an impact after what he did for Javier in the end. Perhaps the most powerful moment came when David snaps and begins to attack Javier to which the game provides the choice to fight back or simply reply “I love you.” You have three chances to fight back until Clementine ends the violence by aiming a gun at David, who quickly drives off with Gabe in tow.

At the end of the episode, the game also presents to you the person that Clementine had become based on your choices. Clementine also sports a new look, symbolizing how she has matured this season, and ends the episode heading off to find AJ, which the game makes clear will be the focus of season four. It will be interesting to see if we’ll be playing as her next season, and whether Javier will be a prominent figure in the season. Joan also may make a comeback, as her whereabouts were unknown by the end of my episode.

The thing that stands out from this season is how much of an impact your choices actually have as opposed to previous seasons and other Telltale games. For example Gabe can either live or die, Conrad could survive to the finale, Ava and Tripp’s fates, and so much more. It really lends a lot of weight to your choices moving forward, and makes me even more excited for whats in store next season.

The game ran just fine this episode for PS4, though that experience may differ for others as always. One thing that is beginning to bother me is how the characters movements and animation resemble more animatronics then living beings. When you have games like “Uncharted,” “The Last of Us” and even “Call of Duty,” its hard to believe Telltale hasn’t made much progress in their engine since the first season of “The Walking Dead” five years ago. This is one of the few gripes I have but it still does not take away any of my enjoyment for the story that Telltale is telling.

The first season of Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” was widely regarded as one of the best stories told in a video game, and I believe that “A New Frontier” strongly continues that sentiment. This finale does a great job at wrapping up Javier’s story and puts him among the ranks of Lee and Clementine, which says a lot for a character we hadn’t yet seen prior to this season. Players of the past two seasons will no doubt enjoy this one, but new players will find that this season also provides a good jumping point into the series, though you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to play the first two. With Javier’s future bright, our attention is turned to the next chapter of Clementine’s life as the matured character embarks on a quest to find AJ, which leaves me eager for the next season to arrive.

Tags:, , ,

Category:Arts and Entertainment, Gaming

Comments are closed.