Review of The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier – Episode 1-2: “Unbreakable Ties”

The Telltale Games studio doesn’t even think about slowing down and taking a break. These guys keep releasing one project after another. So it doesn’t matter whether you wanted to see a sequel to The Walking Dead or not – you get it anyway, sign it. However, for many fans of this interactive series, the release of a new story is a big deal.

Now developers either really do not sit still before the end of the year, or their wallet is simply empty. But in any case, be that as it may, the first season of Batman: The Telltale Series has not yet ended, as old and eerily familiar – the walking dead – are already pounding at the door. However, everyone is worried about a fairly standard question: has the series represented by “A New Frontier” become another conveyor fake? Or does New Frontier still offer something completely new?

Years – what water

Usually, in game reviews, the storyline is given only, so to speak, fleeting attention. Why is that? As a rule, this detail is woven into the gameplay either indirectly or not at all. The Walking Dead series of games is a completely different matter, since it is a kind of simulator of conversation and decisions: a game created from the motive of a work of art, having nothing but a plot.

→ If all past seasons of The Walking Dead have been faithful for the most part to comics, then the new season focuses on cinematography.

I will come from afar and remember the French revolutionary and anarchist Pierre Proudhon. Everyone does not fully understand his idea that anarchy is the mother of order. The meaning of this statement is that from anarchic lawlessness, order will be born without fail, but, as a rule, of a totalitarian sense. To put it simply: as soon as civil society gets fed up with the outrage, they will establish strict order with a leader who will rule with an iron fist. Well, that’s exactly what happened in the world of The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier.

The old order collapsed and disappeared into oblivion. The surviving people found themselves alone with hordes of dangerous and hungry zombies, while with everyday and social disorder. Speaking again in ordinary language: people have nothing to eat, money has lost all meaning, and there is nowhere to get it, so the rules of survival have changed a lot this time.

The same thing happened with the residents of the post-apocalyptic USA, who came to their senses from the latest shocks and decided that it was time to revive civil society, even with some kind of statehood, as they could, in general. This took several years. In the course of these past years, the protagonists of the previous installments of The Walking Dead have changed quite a lot. Someone managed to calmly grow old, and someone, in turn, simply could not live up to this moment. Some even matured, becoming more dangerous and stronger.

→ The main playable characters will be a young man named Javier and an older Clementine.

The first two episodes of The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier depart quite a bit from the previous two seasons. In the new part, the players are introduced to the Garcia family, who live on the west coast. The main character named Javier and his family gather at his father’s house to say goodbye to him before he is about to die. The drama at the beginning of the game helps to see the contours of the relationship, which is well structured and closely related between the new characters. The Garcia family is a kind of mirror image of one of the most important themes of the first two seasons – the search for a new family and trusted friends with whom you feel completely safe.

Telltale Games initially tries to plunge players headlong into the hardships of family relationships. What is not here: romantic relationships, hatred between family members, “ghosts” of past mistakes lurking at the top of family relationships, and much more. Overall, the developers have come a long way from the drama from past seasons, which revolved around the beloved hysterical Kenny. New heroes in “A New Frontier” in the person of Gabe, Kate, Javi, Mariana and Javier immediately win over and over time make them empathize with them.

Time is changing

And, of course, any season of The Walking Dead cannot do without Clementine – one of the main characters of the first two parts. The most prominent character in the entire series is now more mature, more vicious and more powerful than at the end of the second season. Throughout history, the developers have repeatedly tried to “remove” Clementine for a second, and sometimes even a third role, flaunting more and more new characters. Nevertheless, the public did not like it, the bulk of the fans demanded the return of the dark-skinned and capable girl.

→ Is that “Moskvich” ?! Seriously?!

Well, over the past four years, the heroine has grown up. Now Clementine knows how to shoot well, knows how to drive, she is not afraid of much, and toughness for her is a common routine. True, the branded cap with the letter “D” still sits perfectly on her head, so that the same Clementine will appear on the screen, but closer to the age of Eli from the game The Last of Us.

The story of the memorable heroine will be told on behalf of Javier, as well as in the form of several rather dramatic episodes from her past life, which are called “flashbacks” in the cinema. These same flashbacks will alternate with the main storyline, so get ready for surprises. Plus, giving the story this way will be pretty annoying because it’s hard to focus on one particular part of the story. Fortunately, the developers do not overuse such “maneuvers” too much, so you will not have to lose the main thread of the story.

→ The zombies will still be just as dangerous and they will not go anywhere, but this time Clementine does not need help. Moreover, she herself can provide invaluable help now.

Clementine and Javier will not have a permanent home. For almost the entire game, they will have to engage in a journey that will be filled with a variety of dangers. They also face a shortage of food, water and even shelter. It will be possible to play for two characters, and Clementine at key moments will play the role of a certain protector, as did the “father” Lee, or Kenny. Naturally, in order to fully understand the storyline, fully understand its whole essence, references, it is imperative to go through the previous two seasons. Otherwise, much may remain incomprehensible. Of course, if you are a beginner. Yes, you may not like it, but believe me, you will experience the most exciting emotions throughout all three seasons.

Heavy relationship barrier

→ First meeting with bandits who regularly spoil everything that is possible throughout all seasons. Therefore, New Frontier was no exception.

The main storyline will go through Javier’s attempts to learn a little more about Clementine, in particular, this concerns her past, which is covered with the thickest darkness. It is quite expected that the girl will not be particularly happy to paint all the horrors that she has survived. So the situation between the characters will be too tense for a couple.

In the course of various emotional conversations, players will have the opportunity not only not to choose any answer option, but also to remain silent. And if you have not made a choice, then the further conversation will continue as if you had chosen the option to remain silent.

In less than ten years

Everyone knows very well now that nowadays the developers are not fed with bread – just give the opportunity to promise the players something of that kind. At one time, Telltale Games grabbed the same thing, so at the start of the third season of The Walking Dead they announced that they would first offer as many as two episodes at once. Everything went into action: loud statements, demonstrations and much more. The authors stated that they decided to release two episodes at once in order to tell and show a lot, since everything that was conceived would not fit into one episode.

Technically, the studio really kept its word: on release day, players received the two promised episodes. However, not everything is as smooth as usual. The fact is that the total duration of these two parts is about two and a half hours, that is, the time is quite an ordinary timekeeping “pilot”. So we can safely say that the “pilot” series was simply cut into two parts for no apparent reason.

→ Release or shoot the bandit?

However, it’s not all bad. Telltale Games really got their head around and worked all the corners. Firstly, “A New Frontier” is notable for the fact that the developers have finally taught the virtual operator to move. In “Ties That Bind” there are practically no standard measured switching of plans: the camera no longer lingers in place, takes more spectacular angles and, in general, a pleasant movie is shown. So now in The Walking Dead it is much more interesting to follow what is happening, especially given the large number of new dynamic scenes.

Secondly, the studio either decided to throw it away, or just save for later its trademark feature of recently released games, when players were given the opportunity to play a character three or four steps, after which they took control back. The debut episodes of The Walking Dead Season 3 are quite similar in gameplay to the beginning of this whole story from The Walking Dead. So now if they give the opportunity to walk, then with some specific purpose and task. For example, collect supplies or maybe repair a winch. And without this “QTE” there are enough plugs in each barrel. In general, everything is used to the point and with meaning.

→ Want to know where Clementine’s finger went?

In addition, the visual part has also changed in The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier, so “The Walking Dead” does not look disgusting for once. Of course, the game is still far from ideal – there will be various flaws everywhere and further. But overall, the painting moved away from the messy mess that consisted of textures. I think if they add some really good camera work, it will make a really nice interactive comic.

Homemade plot

→ The operator tries as if he was given three awards at a time.

In addition to all of the above, The Walking Dead 3 has the ability to edit the old storyline. Well, use the old save by itself. So about the editor: by making all the necessary and key changes to the scenes that are important for the storyline, it will be possible to customize the story in the past the way you want, but too lazy, for example, to go through again.

The plot editor is unlikely to cause difficulties, since it is quite easy to learn and even has Russian-language text localization. Moreover, it is worth noting separately that the addition of “400 days” also has a small impact on the start of the third season. Influence, in turn, will be decisive and far more important than most of the events from subsequent episodes. In total, during the creation of the game, the authors took into account about 42 different plot events, so it will only be more interesting further.


After the interactive Batman: The Telltale Series came out, concerns about the quality of The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier were indeed, and not unfounded. However, the debut episodes of “A New Frontier” are still much better than Batman’s story. Most importantly, the third season brings to mind the first. The first season, which everyone, without exception, loved.

Telltale Games decided to focus on the dynamics and setting, thus producing good series filled with interesting actions. True, the impression is sometimes spoiled by standard techniques, like unexpectedly popping up zombies and some general secondary narrative. After all, why not give some bandits, marauders as new heroes? One could steal, betray, and even kill calmly. However, it was not so, in the universe of The Walking Dead once again miraculously come across the surviving family-good-natured people.

Another thing is that at last Telltale Games remembered that players can be given the opportunity to wander around the locations on their own, and “QTE” should not necessarily cause everyone suffering and pain. Great work has been done on textures, lighting and animation. Although in some places everything is still not as perfect as we would like, nevertheless, there are improvements. The most important thing is that in the rest of the episodes, the developers do not follow the standard rake of the seasons, because otherwise the ending will be known in advance.

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