Telltale's "The Walking Dead: A New Frontier" Fails To Get Much Love

Walking Dead, Telltale
The third series of the popular game is just not getting the love its predecessors got

Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” has always been a huge hit, but what went wrong with the third season?

The world went crazy when Telltale first released its first episode of The Walking Dead back in 2012. It was a masterpiece – a mixture of great characters, a spooky centre (thanks to the zombies, of course), and extremely difficult decisions to make which affect the outcome of the game. Then, along came Series 2, continuing the story of young Clementine that we all got to know and love in the first series.

Last year, the first episode of the third series in the franchise, “A New Frontier”, was released, getting fans excited all over again. However, the game just didn’t seem to hit off as with the first two series. And things only went downhill after that, with Metacritic giving the first episode 81%, the second 80%, the third 75% and the most recent one, episode four, just 72%. The fifth and final episode is due to come out next week.

So, what went wrong?

The first and second series were a huge hit, but it’s clear that Telltale are losing long-time fans. The main problem, in my opinion, is the characters. In series one, everything was new and exciting, and the characters were slowly introduced one after the other, meaning players got change to get to know and love them all, before some of them (some depending on your choices) are brutally killed and deleted from the storyline.

In series two, Clementine is the playable character – a character we have now known for five whole episodes. There is a brand new group of people, but the bond to Clementine, due to the fact she is now a playable character as we watch her grow, means we get to know the new people through the eyes of Clementine in a unique and thrilling way.

Then came series three which gave us brand new characters again, but players instead control Javier, and not Clementine. Clementine does indeed play an important role in the series, but as she seems to come and go as she pleased throughout the storyline, it leaves us players wanting to know more about her, meaning we are less bothered about the characters we play and interact with throughout. The end of the fourth episode gives a typical Telltale choice of saving one of two people, yet I didn’t care about either of them for it to really be a difficult decision – compared to in the past where I have needed every last millisecond the game gives you to make a choice.

The same beloved play style is still there, but we’re just not getting attached to the characters

The “New Frontier” city, Richmond, doesn’t actually get enough exposure

Another problem is the introduction of the New Frontier settlement. It is mentioned throughout the first few episodes, but only in episode three do we finally get to see it from the inside and get to know the place that has been causing devastation around the area. And then, suddenly, you have to somehow try and feel sorry for the people living there due to (without giving anything away) certain happenings that are making them look bad. Yet, how are we supposed to care for them if we haven’t had time to truly get to know the place? It seems just all a bit rushed.

Perhaps the final episode of the series will be an absolute hit – the fourth episode did indeed end in a big cliff hanger, but the emotions were just not really there for me to give a huge deal about certain character deaths throughout. So, I guess we shall wait and see!

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A British Nintendo-geek at heart, I love creating, I love storylines, and I also love a good zombie fight or two. When not writing articles, you can find me playing games, probably with a cup of tea.
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands: A Telltale Game Series, The Sims 4

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