Holy cow. There are no words I can really say to describe the finale of Telltale’s The Walking Dead: A New Frontier. It was a great episode that brought great moments for the season and delivered a solid ending open for more.
Like my previous reviews, I can only speak from my own playthrough and the path I chose for the characters. Note that there will be spoilers below so read at your own risk.
Firstly, I have to praise the cinematics of the episode. I think the last few episodes were lacking in the whole cinematic department but I loved seeing just little choices in the visuals (like having a shaky camera, blur to actions) that made the episode that more epic. However, it comes down to the common critique of the sseason in that it felt too much like a playable movie than an actual game.
The story itself was a lot more solid compared to previous episodes: continuously moving forward and onwards. While I do think the ending was kinda rushed a bit, I loved that there was more humour and moments that played on the heartstrings of players.
I feel like this episode really emphasised the relationship between Javi and David, and I was glad to redeem him somehow in my playthrough. Though I will critique that one moment where Kate just had to come in during (yet another) fight between the two brothers and make everything even worse. I mean, read the room Kate. Read the room.
But in saying that, other characters (including Clem) were pushed to the sidelines. Early in the episode we get a brief moment with Eleanor, even smaller moment with Ava (or Tripp, depending on who stayed alive), and I’m assuming Conrad as well (still gonna go through another playthrough with Conrad alive). We don’t even get to play as Clem in this episode which is a shame because I loved those moments that helped us catch up with Clem.
So once we reach the end of the episode (again, in my own playthrough) Clem and Javi go their seperate ways which gives me the impression of: what was the point? If we were going to get to know the Garcia family and become attached to the characters, why leave them behind? I would love to see Clem and Javi (and Gabe) go travelling together and continue the search for AJ – though if that is another ending, then that shall be how I’d like to end things.
Speaking of endings, I was fortunate enough to miss a prompt in a quick-time event leading to Javi’s death as he attempts to save Gabe and David. This gave me panic a little because instead of the usual “You are Dead” screen, there was a small heartbreaking scene as we watch Javi die from his bite with Gabe by his side. So I completely thought that Javi’s death was canon for a brief second. Until the “You are Dead” screen appeared. Oh Telltale, that was a genius move.
There are many possibilities for the ending of the game and, while I am satisfied with my ending, I am definitely playing it again. It’s great because I never really wanted to play an entire episode of a Telltale game this much before and From The Gallows really delivered.
Now I do have a lot more to say about the game as a whole since that’s a different thing altogether so there will be a review of the season separately (just don’t expect it right away…). I am curious to see how the fourth season will pan out especially as Telltale has to balance all these different possibilities to craft a consistent story that all players can experience. As long as my darling Clem is remains alive, I have a lot of hope for the future of The Walking Dead.