It has been some time since the last two episodes for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier were launched. I was hopeful that the back to back releases of the episodes were a sign that Telltale Games was going to get this season out there rather quickly. Sadly that was not the case as it was three months until the third episode for this season of The Walking Dead to release, but release it has. I brushed off the last episode and recounted were I was in the story and now it is time to have a look at Above The Law. Here's our review of the latest episode that has just released.
Some bad things have happened in the previous two episodes and we are still dealing with all of that. Someone has been shot and we found ourselves in the worst place to ask for help. Thankfully Javier's brother is one of the men in charge of this community so things can't be all bad. Now we get to enter in and see if all of the horrible stories are true or only the misconceptions of the surrounding communities. This is The Walking Dead so all of that is a possibility. Also it is possible that humans have degraded in morality just as the dead have in flesh. Now is the time to find out…
The first issue I ran into with this episode of The Walking Dead all revolved around some of the dialog that was written for a few scenes. Generally the story and dialog is so well-written in these games that when Telltale Games makes some odd or bad choices it is a glaring thing. For me it all revolved around more of the characters narrating their actions as they went and then having dialog just to have some. It was a really poor choice to do this as it felt like they were trying to pad on some work just so the voice actors had something to do. I get that it is something humans actually do in stressful spots, but some of the time it was for nothing and seemed out of place. Not a game breaker by any means, but it brought the experience down just a bit.
It also felt like this episode was always set to easy mode when it came to puzzles and actions sequences. Most of the past episodes in The Walking Dead line have had some really solid sequences with a few easy ones mixed in to give it all a balance. This was not the case in Above The Law. Maybe Telltale was trying to throw us a bone and give us a softball gameplay experience, but for me it detracted from everything else I was experiencing in the game. Including one of the bigger choices in the episode. I won't say what it is, but while there were options to take, the way it was all set up it never felt like there truly was. Maybe by design or maybe by accident. Either way it was lacking some difficulty that The Walking Dead has always brought with it.
I've griped in the past, on The Walking Dead: A New Frontier and other titles from them, which it felt like the choices and options available always felt forced to tell their story and not the one we wanted. I was expecting that with the situation that Javier and his brother were going to be placed in here. Instead of things feeling forced by Telltale Games, it was me forcing specific events. Even when I though things were going to go extremely south because it was how the story felt like it was going to go, I was able to bring it back where I wanted. This is how these games are supposed to be done and every time Telltale gets that right, it boosts my excitement even more for the next episode.
Building off of all of that, it looks like we have hit the right spot again in the story where the climax is starting to build in The Walking Dead: A New Frontier. A lot of their other titles have held off until the end of episode four or right when five begins, but at the end of Above The Law I felt like the right level of shit has hit the fan that it won't seem like the true pile is going to fly out of nowhere just because the season is coming to an end. The pacing and reveals in this story have been placed right where they were when the first season of The Walking Dead captured me. As long as they have things planned out well from here, this will be in my top tier of titles and stories that they have produced.
Is this the best episode of any of The Walking Dead that they have produced? No. The dialog felt off and there seemed to be no challenge. Id it an episode you should be playing? By all means yes. This is where I feel the season is truly taking off form and it looks like a great conclusion and story is on the way. It is not a forgettable episode by any means and if you really want to see where The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is heading, this is one that you need to pick up. Given how long it seems that we are waiting for each though, it could also be worth waiting until the full season is available in one shot. Use your judgement based on that.
I give The Walking Dead: A New Frontier — Above The Law Six Baseball Bats To The Head on the Baseball Bats To The Head scale.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier — Above The Law
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier was developed by Telltale Games. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier — Above The Law was published by Telltale Games for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 28th 2017. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.