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The Walking Dead: Season Three

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Telltale Games
Release Date: Dec. 20, 2016

About Brian Dumlao

After spending several years doing QA for games, I took the next logical step: critiquing them. Even though the Xbox One is my preferred weapon of choice, I'll play and review just about any game from any genre on any system.


PC Review - 'The Walking Dead: A New Frontier' Episode 3 - Above The Law

by Brian Dumlao on March 31, 2017 @ 2:30 a.m. PDT

The Walking Dead: Season Three continues the story a group of zombie apocalypse survivors, seeking safety in a world gone mad.

Buy The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

When we last saw this latest Telltale season of The Walking Dead, it was one surprise after another. Kate's injuries after the gunfight in the first episode have left her with days to live. The town of Prescott has been overrun by Walkers. The remaining survivors and their temporary traveling companion, Jesus, head to Richmond. It's revealed that Clementine was once part of The New Frontier, the group that caused most of Javier's troubles in the first place, including the death of Mariana. Finally, Javier's brother and Kate's husband David are found alive, they're also part of The New Frontier. There's a lot to process, so the third episode, Above the Law, calms down — but only for a bit.

Like the previous two episodes, Above the Law starts off with a flashback of Javier and Kate as they scavenge more stuff from the neighborhood, so they can continue to live out of the family house and see if help is coming. When that goes bust and Javier is almost killed by a walker, they decide to leave the house. They make sure to leave a letter for Javier's brother David, if he should return. From there, we're taken to the present day, where the rest of the group has been placed in a quarantine cell while Kate and Gabe go inside the Richmond compound.

The early parts of the present-day story are mostly catch-up material. For most of it, you're simply filling in David about details of what had transpired, including Mariana's death. You can see how Richmond is run, but the purpose of this segment is to get to know David a little better. Depending on your choices made in the game thus far, you may or may not view David is a complete villain, but at least there's an attempt to flesh him out more than the flashbacks did.

That's probably the strongest element of this episode. Even if it isn't done in wide measures, there's more character development for some of the cast. Gabe still has some admiration for his father and remains unaware of past actions. Tripp has a little regret about not following his heart. Jesus serves as a moral compass for one part, and even though her flashback isn't as harrowing as what you'd seen before, you begin to understand why Clementine hates The New Frontier.

The other thing you'll notice about this episode is that there's plenty of action in it. There are numerous situations where you'll fight off Walkers and at least one scene where you go after a person. There's probably more action here than in the past two episodes combined, so it also serves to slow down the plot development after what the player experienced in the previous episode.

All of these positives do come with one big negative, and that's the present-day story. The new characters you meet in Richmond don't get too much time to develop beyond the roles that are explained to you during your initial meeting with them. Worse off is the fact that the end of the episode goes by the series' standard playbook when it comes to visiting new towns. The same type of speech about survival is given with a slightly different tone, and if you've watched the series, you pretty much know how this will end.

It'll be curious to see where the next episode of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier goes from here. The retread of similar plotlines from both the comic and TV show feels stale in Above the Law, even with the slight twist regarding the new characters. At the same time, the character development balances that out, and they remain as engaging as before. The last two episodes will determine if the season can pull through, but for now, prepare for some rehash.

Score: 7.5/10

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