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The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episodes 1 and 2 review

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The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episodes 1 and 2 review

I think my feelings at the start and the end of A New Frontier sum up its opening episodes well. Over the course about three hours and two chapters of the two-part Ties That Bind, I went from being disappointed in its story, not quite invested in its characters, to being excited to see where the narrative goes next.

Despite its namesake, this is The Walking Dead and Telltale structure that has defined the developer's library since 2012, that familiar blend of cutscenes, dialogue options, light point-and-click aspects, and rotting undead.

A New Start?

The newest and most interesting change in A New Frontier is in its protagonist and focus. Seasons 1 and 2 were very much centered around Clementine, from both Lee's perspective in the first and then from Clem herself in the second. But A New Frontier introduces us to Javier, "Javi" to friends and family, a young man struggling to keep his family safe.

It's through his eyes and story that we enter A New Frontier's story, meet new friends and foes, and encounter Clementine once again. Except this is an older more withdrawn Clem, with secrets of her own from the time between Season 2 and 3, and interacting with her from Javier's outsider perspective rather than trying to protect her and play as her makes for a compelling twist on The Walking Dead's story.

Of course, for players who are invested in the series due to Clem's story, the shift in protagonist and perspective might be off-putting at first. But Javier's struggles and characterization is well-done enough to make him a likeable character.

A Bad World With Bad People

In many ways, A New Frontier's central struggles follows the kind of plot points and twists that one might expect from a work of zombie fiction and The Walking Dead. In fact, it almost felt like those familiar aspects were to the story's detriment during the early moments of Ties That Bind: Part 1. But the season finds its footings by the end of Part 2, with a compelling final moment that will make the wait for Episode 3 tough.

Of course, more specific detail would be spoilers, but rest assured that the character-driven conflicts that often anchor the series' bleak survival and gory walker action will be at the forefront of A New Frontier.

New and familiar protagonists, new groups, and survival against threats alive and dead: A New Frontier is both the Walking Dead you expect and the one with the most interesting shift in the series yet. With Ties That Bind, this season is off to a promising start.

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episodes 1 and 2 review

While some elements may feel too predictable, A New Frontier is off to a promising and compelling start
Christian Valentin
Christian Valentin
Christian always had a interest in indie games and loves to give the games that so easily go unnoticed the attention they deserve