Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier... reviewed!

This installment is... one heck of a love & sorrow experience... for me.




The Walking Dead show is tough for some of its fans to watch... and when it comes to the TellTale series... it's just as tough (to play). Totally not in the sense of it being a hard game as far as difficulty settings go (they've never taken that approach to these games), which makes it an experience that all gamers (that meet the age requirements... and the ones who don't give a crap about the ESRB) can get into if they can handle it. Controls are incredibly simple so that you can focus on the real challenge... but on-screen commands will keep you on your toes when its time. They aren't just used just to be used either, it's a good balance... like for dodging, moving things, trying to force doors close to keep zombies out, tussling with enemies, etc.

The Walking Dead video game series as a whole... take you a different route when it comes to difficulty. Decisions... decisions... it's something about those decisions that can save the day or just really screw up a situation in traumatic fashion. Some of it... you can't avoid even if you've prolonged the inevitable (dying that is)... so it is what it is. That said... you should check it out regardless because the experience is memorable. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, brings even more action than the first two seasons (for me)... but don't get me wrong, the first two are far from less than. They have their own charms, characters... and they're part of the storyline and experience that has built up to what we have in A New Frontier. The story is progressive (even down to your decisions/game saves) and definitely shows the growth from where things began with the shock of zombies emerging... to zombies just being a part of life now.

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier places you in the role of a new character in the series by the name of Javier Garcia... a former baseball star who has to deal with family drama, love triangles, foes that are still among the living... and of course zombies. You get plenty of back story in this one which I really appreciate because It sheds light on the Garcia family and other character relationships. This breaks things up so that you aren't always in tense action (some of the time) and really gives your offline audience more to enjoy as far as the overall story is concerned. The way they lined up some of the scenes made it more difficult to make decisions (because I knew or eventually found out who a character was)... but I managed.

You spend a portion of time dealing with zombies in this game, but most of it consists of dealing with the New Frontier. The zombies are still there, but they're kind of the threat you know is around... and avoid while dealing with a more skilled enemy (which can actually end up being yourself at times if you make the wrong decision). Twists and turns had me at “Hell No” because some decisions make you wish you can take them back, some... more than others. Percentage wise... after each episode you get to see what decisions other gamers made, and this season... fewer people chose the decisions I made. The decisions recorded further add to the interest I have regarding Crowd Play... that gets the audience in on the action via mobile devices... and I think it was a genius idea to dial up crowd participation instead of having them get mad at the decision you've made. I'm curious to know how things would play out with family and friends joining in on the action.

I try not to give spoilers... so I will keep it as vague as possible, but (dammit, TellTale) there is someone who died in horrible fashion... much too soon and I have to point it out. I would've thought this particular person would go out in a blaze of glory, but it was just crappy for me... and felt like the person was just... killed off after all they've been through. I can't even count this as a con, wouldn't be fair... although the story is what these games should mainly be judged on beyond bugs, other than that... the story is fantastic. I guess there was just no place to fit this person except for the backstory. I will go back to see if I can change fate... but it really didn't seem like it. (Sigh)

Some of you may look at a game like this and wonder where the replay value could come from... but based on the decisions made, it's easily packed with replay value by way of different decision making. Until you've exhausted all decisions to see what may happen differently, there will always be the chance of something happening differently... and that's the beautiful thing about this game. I went ahead and play through to completion, but after making certain decisions... there are various choices that justify me thinking “I'm going back to do that differently”.



I haven't mentioned this before... and I actually just realized it myself: I think one of the biggest reasons why I enjoy this series... is that there are movies that I would watch, and no matter how many times I'd watch the movie, I'd wish something different would happen at certain points. This sort of gives me that opportunity via this series.

Visually the art style has always appealed to me in this series, and season 3 is no different... it holds up well, which is a benefit for games like this that aren't relying on the latest graphics enhancements to wow the audience.

Overall, you get twists, turns, action, choices and consequences in one heck of a worthwhile experience that has proved to be worth the money yet again. Based on it being an experience... I recommend playing with an audience. Don't forget a nice sized TV, popcorn, drinks and a nice sound system to really take it in. The $5/per episode that gives you a movie-like experience... gets two thumbs up from me, and it was always priced just right in my opinion.


Fun factor: 5
Visually: 5
Replay value: 5
Price: 5


“5 / 5 Cool Points”