It’s been five months since the inception of A New Frontier, the third season from Telltale in The Walking Dead universe. With what has mostly been a fluent ride full of twists and turns, the fifth episode ‘From the Gallows’ looks to wrap up the season on a high. But can it maintain its momentum right till the end?
This review will remain largely spoiler free, and not touch on story specifics. So fear not if you have yet to dive into the series.
With episode four leaving us on tenterhooks with a cliffhanger, the season finale looks to wrap up all loose ends. The primary focus of this season has been on our new protagonist, Javier and his family’s struggle for survival in the walker infested world. Telltale have exceeded with exploring the struggles of a relationship between Javier and his brother, David. There are times where you are left to make some extremely tough decisions and as such, empowers the player to become emotionally attached to the situation, and the downright hopelessness that you’re encountering.
Episode five starts off fast paced, but it soon slows down as most of your loose ends are tied up by the fourth chapter. What you may find is inconsistencies with conversations. One minute someone is extremely pleased with you. The next you have no choice but to piss them off. Whist this is a common trait, it felt ever more present in this episode. It could entirely be down to how the player perceives the conversation, but it indicates that the script was becoming drawn out and tiresome. That being said, it’s also easy to overlook as by this point, you feel a genuine connection with the characters.
Clementine plays a large part in the latter stages of episode five. You’re faced again with choices which could alter your gameplay on a larger scale. And whilst she has not been a direct playable character this season, her presence has been essential to tie the season in with previous events.
From the Gallows will have your emotions running high at times. As you would expect with any Walking Dead game, there can be some brutally straining moments. But at times it comes across as very lacklusture, failing to reach the impact of previous seasons. And this comes down to the inconsistencies with dialogue and how we perceive the characters.
The season ends rather abruptly. Once you’re in to the last two chapters, it’s all about mopping up the story and before you know it, the credits are rolling with what is a touching ending. But for a season finale, and one which confirms the story will continue, it just feels rushed and empty.
Telltale have succeeded in many areas with The New Frontier. They are experts at engaging us with emotional attachments to our characters. And at times, the season as a whole demonstrates the absolute best of Telltale. But it also hints at their own complacency in terms of believing they’re the best at this genre. These signs of sloppiness are there, but they don’t ruin what on the whole, is an excellent season, which fans of the previous two installments should have on their must buy list.
Episode 5, From the Gallows is available now to purchase from the Xbox Store, Priced £5.19.
Despite a feeling of inconsistency with character conversations, the season finale offers up a short but satisfying conclusion to the third season that will take you on another Telltale rollercoaster of emotions.