Warning: Spoilers for previous episodes of Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” follow.
Picking up right after the huge cliff hanger of the last episode, Telltale keeps the ball rolling with even more revelations and character building. The episode was largely story driven with the majority of it spent making dialogue choices as Javier, leaving only a few sequences with you in full control. This is not at all a negative, as the game did a great job at making you balance the multiple relationships Javier has and trying to keep everyone happy, which is not really ever possible in a Telltale game.
After being reunited with his brother David; Javier is given a tour of The New Frontier and gets a chance to meet its residents, including the other three leaders of the settlement. Eventually Javier and company leave the settlement and meet back up with Clementine, who we learned was a part of The New Frontier last episode. We get a look at why she left in the form of another flashback, also explaining her hate for Javier’s brother David. While there were not as many decisions involving Clementine, I continued to find myself siding with her due to the attachment that I have for the character based on previous seasons, a sentiment that seems to be shared by many others online as well. It would be interesting to see how someone’s choices might play out if they have not played the previous seasons, removing any preconceived bias for Clementine. Payoff for the death of Mariana also comes in this episode and is largely shaped by your own choices as well, which many fans have longed for since the first episode.
With my time in Telltale games, I have never had an issue of crashes until this episode despite many others having the problem before. It occurred early on and thankfully I did not have any other issues during the episode, even the framerate was solid all throughout. Another minor gripe is at one point Javier gets taken down by a walker when he could have easily just run by, making the suspense of the encounter just feel forced and unnatural. Jesus was also introduced last episode and is a prominent figure in “The Walking Dead” universe, though has yet to play any major role other then some very cool action scenes.
With a large emphasis put on character development, this episode continues the great storytelling that everyone has come to expect with all of Telltale’s series. Many online have complained that the episodes this season have been too short, while I can see the argument, I think that quality is a higher priority than quantity in this game’s case. It will be interesting to see how long it will take to get the next episode, given that Telltale recently announced another series beginning this month based on the “Guardians of the Galaxy” comics. It’s always a fun experience to play these games as they release, although it may be wise just to pick them up once all five are out and will likely be on sale. While Javier is not quite on the level of Lee or Clementine, he has still proven to be a dynamic character and one that fans will want to root for as the season winds down and things heat up between the group and The New Frontier.