Well dear reader, we are reaching the end of our little journey. This and one more episode, which is the finale and boom – The Walking Dead: A New Frontier done. It’s been a cool experience and while in general I have been able to enjoy the whole series very much so, reaching the end of it, I stumble upon that dreadful feeling with all Telltale games that I have – tough decision making.
Now for those of you, who have read my recently released Guardians of the Galaxy – Ep 1 Review, I talked about something that bothers me in these games and I decided to leave it for this review because we reached the point where it becomes notable. This is what I wanted to mention and while not entirely a bad thing, there was one huge setback for me, hence why I will complain about it.
Truth is – I hate making decisions for some … reasons I won’t go into, but whenever I come across this crossroads in games, it’s like hitting a brick wall. This is actually a good thing – important choices like that are very crucial for any Telltale game and not only – ANY game that feature this type of genre. And I’m actually glad that I finally reached such choices that weren’t predefined or I can decide on what to do easily, because I remember exactly what happens to me. Every time I reach such a hard choice, I pause the game and unleash the consideration process. So as with here we had 2 such choices at the end of the episode and it was even more stressful for me, because they came very close one after the other and I was basically PLS TELLTALE STAHP (don’t listen to me – don’t stop :D). Anyhow, the thing that actually matters and what I want to complain about is … why the lack of a neutral option? Like seriously it’s either A or B and no neutral in between. Most of the time the game will not allow for a neutral option and I’m not whining about this, because in reality it’s the easy way out, rather than sometimes I genuinely want to pick the neutral choice, because it best suits the character that I am building.
Allow me to build upon an example. SPOILER TAG. The one choice, which was hardest for me was when Joan had Tripp and Ava on the stage and wanted me to decide who should live and who should die. Okay so, first of all, me being … well me, I began researching consequences of choices and I was already pulling my hair out, because genuinely I didn’t want to make this choice. I like Tripp, no matter what happened beforehand, we had bro moments together and I couldn’t just leave him under the bus like this. On the other hand, I can see Ava’s connection with Clem and I built a positive relationship between them. Also she stuck her neck out for our little rebel group and helped us out a lot (hell she even helped Clem in the flashback). What I’m saying is that I couldn’t just toss her at the guillotine as well, because she helped out a lot and she remained loyal to us, no matter how bad our situation was getting. Here I would have logically made a neutral choice, however, if you let the timer run out – Javi gets shot and guess what. Game over, please restart … WHY?! And then there is the other thing. Whomever you pick, the other one lives. Oh, okay, so I had to pick Ava, Tripp to get angry at me and then explain to him “Oh, don’t worry, dude, I picked her, only because I’m a medium and I knew she would not shoot you”. Anyways, one more thing. Why do you give me the choice to shoot Joan, after this one? What the hell is stopping me to do it now, while she’s blabbering? Nothing technically. I just think that choice contradicts a bit, because in reality if I can so forwardly shoot at her a bit later, I could have surely done so, even before she noticed me. In the end, I never liked having to pick between 2 people in this series (s1 and s2 included). I wish we had more options for save them both or more neutral options, but I guess I understand why we don’t have that, because it would always be the easy way out.
Other than that, I’m happy with how Javi’s character is turning out to be. Also David. The more flashbacks I get with David, I can find him more like-able and he actually has guts now, in comparison to episode 3. Yeah most of the times he can be more compulsive than he should for his own good, but I knew he would be like that from episode 1, because his character was built up this way. He is still family though and I can see he cares, but in his own dysfunctional way. Only thing that bothered me was when he said “I will never leave you” and I was all like “Are you sure? You were singing a different song in episode 3, when you were about to send me off … brother” >,<
And there we have The Frontier. I’m not so sure I saw the development I wanted, guess the community was falling apart from mid-episode 3, however 2 things that still bother me. First of all, the lack of crowd development. I was very pleased of an option to try and win the common people of the Frontier but the winning never came. In fact there was never a debate. We were just throwing accusations at each other. It was just Joan talking and me talking and a bunch of decisions and the crowd remained as voiceless as ever. I was actually hoping to be able to turn some of them over to our side and that would of course depend on past choices, but I did actually research and it doesn’t really matter when it comes to crowd. It’s just there to look pretty and it doesn’t even do that. The other thing – Clint. TOOK YOU LONG ENOUGH TO HAVE A VOICE MAN. DID SOMEONE HAVE TO DIE IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES FOR YOU TO STOP BEING A RETARD??? I’m glad he spoke up, finally, alas too late and still he was on Joan’s side even when he saw what she was doing. The doctor. He was the closest thing to a likeable character. I could see he was a good man, however it was still hard for me to sympathize for him, since I didn’t really see any noticeable build up to reach that point of sympathy. Other than that, the whole Frontier was represented by Joan. I don’t like this because it’s a whole goddamn community, represented by an antagonist, a voiceless card, David and that doctor. And 2 of those people can be as if they never were there, so might as well call it just David and Joan. I also researched that and if you leave the doctor alive, he doesn’t even back you up in front of the people, hell, he is not even there.
At the end of the day, I can still say that I am disappointed in the memorable characters from the Frontier. Beside Joan and David, we have minor antagonistic characters such as Max, Badger and Lonnie (I’m not sure that was his name) and one protagonist in the face of Ava. For such a big community to produce so little memorable characters … tc, tc, tc. I mean back at Richmond, there were more characters to like with personalities. And speaking of Richmond …
I’ll put another SPOILER TAG. ELEANOR WHAT THE HELL???? Okay, so this entire time I had the impression that they were close. No matter romantic status or such with those clumsy attempts from Tripp (though I did find that cute), point is I thought she at least cared for him on a friend level, since they were together a lot and all. And then she goes on to rat us out to Joan. First of all, did she not think Tripp would get it too? Also, why did she not react when they brought him out on the podium with Ava? And then she has the audacity to tell me “Javi, no!” when Ava is picked to live. I really think she should have had more interaction in that scene and I also think that her actions are kind of controversial.
In this episode we continue to experience the flashback manner of storytelling in order to see the earlier days of Javi’s family and also how Clementine got to where she is now, past season 2. I like that the Clem flashback is different, depending on whether she left with Kenny or Jane from season 2. Alas I had to You Tube these, because my current playthrough of season 2 ended with me killing Kenny and leaving Jane behind. I keep wondering though, why do they make Clementine disappear like that. I keep forgetting where she wandered off and when, and I always wonder where I’m going to find her next. On one hand I like this unpredictfulness (that’s not even a word), because you never know what situation that might create. Not to mention, to this day (excluding Kate and Gabe), she is the most loyal character to Javi.
I’m looking forward to the finale, I really want to know how the occurred situation at the end of episode 4 will play out and how this story will end. Hopefully we’ll see some justifications for some characters and I’m looking forward to meeting Jesus again, so I really hope he is in the finale. He was actually one of the characters I managed to really like in the short amount of screentime he received, but alas he was absent from episode 4. On the note for verdict. I remember I gave episode 3 a 7 and that was based mainly on the disappointment of the Frontier. I guess here we do see some development, but other aspects of the episode pull it back to an 8/10. Telltale, I am waiting for a 9/10 minimum finale so come on!