Overall - 60%
The first two episodes of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier stick a little too close to its roots, but those looking to immerse themselves in The Walking Dead universe have found their nirvana. Think of it as zombie-flavored comfort food - if you know what you're getting into, you'll no doubt enjoy yourself.
Telltale’s world of walkers returns with the release of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier. Does this two-episode premiere ramp up the tension, or is this series better off dead?
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – Episodes 1 & 2 Review
A New Frontier is an interesting release, in that it appeals to a number of different types of audiences. Those with zero Walking Dead experience can dive right in, as the game stars a number of fresh faces. Fans of the television show and comic are covered as well, with plenty of nods and cameos to the universe found there. Longtime fans will no doubt be pleased as well, with the return of series mainstay Clementine and a number of flashback sequences that focus on the consequences of your decisions from previous seasons.
So how does the story fare? A New Frontier plays it safe in these first two episodes, following a structure that fans will no doubt be familiar with. Down on his luck baseball player Javier is accompanied by his brother’s wife and stepkids as they try and find a way to survive a post-apocalyptic landscape. Unfortunately, during their hunt for food and supplies, they come across a cult-like group called “The New Frontier” that quickly prove to be more enemy than friend. What follows is a battle for survival, complete with some downright tough decisions.
Longtime fans can swap out “New Frontier” with “Saviors” or “denizens of Terminus” and get the general gist of things, which could be good or bad depending on whether you’re looking for something new. Unfortunately, the first two episodes don’t really bring the sense of dread and fear that other Walking Dead villains have brought to the table, though this may change in the future. Though there are some shocking moments, a number of them have already been used in previous seasons, somewhat cheapening the impact.
The gameplay also plays things safe. Much like their other titles, A New Frontier follows the same dialog-heavy structure the studio is known for. There is some light puzzle solving to break things up, but the focus is by and large on the interactions made with both friends and enemies. Though the story can seemingly play out in a number of different ways, many players will no doubt have the same experiences in the end. It feels at times that the game was designed to be played a certain way, and choosing options that deviate from that structure break the script. There were a number of times where characters would stand around in silence for more than 10 seconds, and other times where people would ask for something already given to them. It takes away from the immersion, which is crucial in a title like this.
The first two episodes of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier stick a little too close to its roots, but those looking to immerse themselves in The Walking Dead universe have found their nirvana. Think of it as zombie-flavored comfort food – if you know what you’re getting into, you’ll no doubt enjoy yourself.