The Walking Dead: A New Frontier Episodes 1 + 2 Review and Discussion

Clementine is back! All the gamers can finally rest easy knowing that we have more of Clementine’s story to play. Yes, I know, it’s not all about Clementine but she is a huge part of it. No one can deny that since we first met her in season one of the acclaimed Telltale Games’ series The Walking Dead, her character would become a favourite in the video game industry and one that player’s would be itching to see more of.

By the second season of Telltales’ The Walking Dead, Clementine had become the playable character and we became even more attached to her as we helped shape who she had become and who she was going to be. Now by the third season, I was filled with both excitement and curiosity to see how Clementine’s story had unfolded in the time we’d been away.

Although Telltale made in clear from the get go that Clementine would be a playable character in the game, she wasn’t going to be the only one (cue the collective gasps!) In season three we were also introduced to a new face known as Javier, a young man perhaps in his mid-twenties struggling to keep his family afloat in the post-apocalyptic world. I have to admit, like many other players, I found myself wondering whether this wasn’t going to be the game we’d waited for. The very second I turned on the game though, I was biting my tongue.

I loved the cinematic opening that introduced us to Javier’s family in the early days of the zombie outbreak. It was sleek, relatable and somewhat frustrating as a Walking Dead veteran to see the characters being so naive and unbeknownst to the shift in the world they once knew.

Javier will do anything to protect those he cares about, very much similar to Clementine. I couldn’t help myself from grinning ear to ear when I finally had the two of them in a scene together. From my previous game-play with Clementine in the earlier seasons and the new game-play with Javier, it was easy to form emotional connections with the two of them both on their own and the relationship they share.

Overall, episodes one and two needed to be released together. After playing episode one, it just made sense. Both episodes barely hit the hour mark so content-wise players would not have been satisfied with the release of just one singular episode after waiting so long for it’s release.

One thing I noticed when playing as Javier was that my decisions became incredibly biased. Javier’s opinion of Clementine was my own and even though he really shouldn’t trust her or her actions, myself as a player knew Clementine as one of the good guys so I agreed with her on everything. What she says, goes. I found this situation also familiar when dealing with the introduction of comic book favourite Jesus. Those familiar with the character either through the comic books or the AMC television show, know that he is a good guy so why wouldn’t we automatically trust him?

Another key thing for players to note is that Clementine is only playable through flashbacks (thus far and most likely for the rest of the game). Even then, it isn’t for long. Sure, you accept her presence alongside a playable Javier but you do get an itching to control her in combat (alongside Javier) or have a better idea of what’s going on in her mind. Saying this, I suppose it adds to the mystery surrounding what happened to Clementine in the season two to season three interim.  One of the most important flashbacks happens in the first episode and sheds light on the ending players chose for Clementine in season two. Needless to say, after watching various playthroughs and reading others’ discussions, players don’t seem to be very satisfied to find that their choices ultimately didn’t matter. Of course, this made sense. It would be pretty far-fetched to think season three would have multiple narratives going at the same time.

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is off to a great start. Clementine makes her much awaited return and Javier’s story is only just beginning. If the episode two cliff-hanger is anything to go by, we’re in for epic ride.

4/5