Overall - 50%
The fourth episode of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is all build up and no payoff. The erratic behavior that occurs when going slightly off-script absolutely shatters any semblance of a cohesive narrative. Here's hoping the next chapter offers a more consistent and well-written story.
Things aren’t going so well for Javier and company in the fourth episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead: A New Frontier. Does this chapter do justice to the series, or is it more annoying than Carl?
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier Episode 4 Review
The last episode of A New Frontier saw Javier and his brother David between a rock and a hard place. After finding out the truth behind the New Frontier and the area of Richmond, these two got thrown into the gallows by Joan, the leader of this faction. The next hour and a half doesn’t really excel at fleshing out the plot. The game waffles between flashbacks that barely relate to the story at hand and preparations for their counterattack. The last 10 minutes ramp up the tension a good deal, but players will be scratching their heads at what these characters are doing, as their actions make little to no sense. Without spoiling too much, all of the build up is wasted on some downright stupid decisions that you have no control over.
Unfortunately, this lack of control spreads to the entire game. All dialog choices are more or less the same, and breaking said choices forces the players to act erratically. This is especially apparent with Javier’s nephew Gabe, who can act appreciative one minute and indignant the next. The game has some clear choices in mind, and choosing something outside of these parameters just doesn’t work.
There are also a series of situations in this chapter of A New Frontier that require exploration, but they are simplistic to the point of insult. Highlights include finding a stool to climb on (which is 10 feet away), finding tools (which are 10 feet away), and finding a needle and thread (which are five feet away). It feels like busywork, like your time would be better doing something more productive.
To add insult to injury, A New Frontier has some technical problems as well. The framerate would often take a hit, characters would teleport mid-cutscene, and textures would sometimes pop-in. The computer used to review this chapter has beefy specs, so the hardware is certainly not the problem.
This chapter of A New Frontier isn’t all doom and gloom though. Certain characters, like the series favorite Clementine, are still well-written, and there are those you can’t help but feel sympathetic to. Some of the choices players will take in the chapter require some serious thought, with no real winner among them. It is in these situations that the game shines, but it’s just a shame that consequences don’t always lead to unique situations.
The fourth episode of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is all build up and no payoff. The erratic behavior that occurs when going slightly off-script absolutely shatters any semblance of a cohesive narrative. Here’s hoping the next chapter offers a more consistent and well-written story.