Despite clearly having less action in this episode, A New Frontier remains engaging.
Editor’s Note: This review contains light spoilers concerning the first couple episodes of A New Frontier. Readers’ discretion is advised.
What Is It?
Following its doubleheader premiere towards the end of last year, Episode 3 also begins with a flashback scene that gives players the opportunity to shape new protagonist Javi’s character as he essentially takes over for his brother David as the head of the family.
After the short segment, the chapter immediately picks up right where the second episode left off–the group’s standoff with The New Frontier, apparently headed by David.
Why Should I Care?
Any Walking Dead fan will tell you that organized communities don’t work. They just don’t pan out the way they’re supposed to. Whether it’s Herschel’s Farm, Woodbury, Terminus… Each and every one of them ends up in shambles. Even that place Clementine retreated to at the end of Season 2 wasn’t safe.
It hasn’t happened yet with Richmond and the New Frontier, but look no further than the title of this chapter. It’s about to go down.
With David back in the fold in Above the Law, players should find themselves torn when it comes to how to interact with him. Obviously, we know that David is in a position of power and for the most part, he’s been a dick to Javi — but at the same time, as Javi you’ve been watching over his family for more than a few months and might also be porking his wife. It’s also both Javi and David’s fault in multiple ways that Mariana died, so to say things are complicated would a gross understatement.
Further complicating things is Clementine’s (obvious) return. Again, Javi is the protagonist here, but considering Clementine is there, it’s hard to not want to have a connection to her because of what’s happened in previous seasons. We learn more about what happened with her and A.J. in this episode, as well as her ties to the New Frontier, and in doing so, it also makes it hard to continue to trust her the way you’d normally want to. There were even some cases where I wanted, and did, take David’s word over Clementine’s.
The main draw to Above The Law is shaping Javi to be the guy you want him to be. There aren’t any huge decisions to be made, but the struggle between thinking about what’s best for yourself, your family, your brother, and your group makes shaping Javi all the more interesting.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
I don’t know how they did it and how they continue to do it, but Telltale has done a heck of a job keeping this story engaging despite the fact that there really isn’t even much to do in this episode. For the most part, the episode is littered with dialog and all it’s really doing is shaping Javi’s character. We get a couple action scenes, including one where the old baseball player in Javi gets to use a bat, but again, it’s largely just you watching the story progress, and that’s totally fine.
In fact, Javi is actually starting to become more interesting than Clementine.
Check out our reviews for previous episodes of this season’s The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead, A New Frontier – Episodes 1 & 2: The Ties That Bind