Disclaimer: zero spoilers ahead. If you’ve played and enjoyed the previous two seasons of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, then you’ll be happy to hear that A New Frontier hasn’t altered the successful formula at all. If you haven’t, then you’re also in luck, as this makes a great new jumping on point, with the focus being on a new set of characters and almost no references at all to the previous stories. Clementine from seasons 1 and 2 returns, but doesn’t really talk about the past at all. The downside of this being that this has rendered all your choices from the previous games almost completely irrelevant (though I would still highly recommend playing them both anyway).
If you’re unfamiliar with the modern Telltale formula, these things are really more interactive movies than games, offering very little in the way of direct interaction, but making up for it with impressively high quality writing and pacing. Not everyone likes this lack of control in a game, but if a highly compelling story is enough for you, Telltale games sure have that part down to a science.
As is often the case in The Walking Dead, while the zombies are certainly still rolling around out there and causing trouble, the real threat always ends up being your fellow human beings and their nutty, irrational behavior. You’ll have to prompt new main character Javier “Javi” Garcia through a tangled web of zombies, raiders, post-apocalyptic politics, and awkward familial conflicts, by means of the standard Telltale timed choices and quick time events.
A New Frontier closely follows the sombre tone of its predecessors, bombarding you with tense choices and action scenes, and punching you right in the feels on a pretty regular basis. Unsurprisingly, this being a zombie apocalypse and all, many things go badly wrong and you’ll be subjected to a lot of highly emotional, and usually incredibly depressing, moments that you would have to be an absolute sociopath to not be affected by.
The only cons here are some performance issues (which are also unfortunately typical for Telltale games). There can be some weird visual glitches, and the game is absolutely going to crash on you, probably multiple times. You would think that with this being their dozenth or so game using this same engine and format, that they’d get around to doing something about these same old technical issues, but I guess not this time. Oh well. Considering how fun these games are and that they’re half (or less) of full price, I suppose I can let that slide again.