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Oh My Darling, Clementine

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Rachel Murphy

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Review of the TellTale's latest Walking Dead Video Game: "A New Frontier"

After two phenomenal and anticipating seasons, TellTale games has created yet another season of the Walking Dead, titled: “A New Frontier.” While it’s extremely impressive in continuing the game’s storyline, TellTale manages to disappoint players with what seems to be lazy work in the game’s display.

“The Walking Dead” is a game of choices, and the storyline is based on which choices the player makes along the way. For those who are not familiar with the game or have a hard time remembering where it left off, here is a recap:

In season one, the players follow Lee (voiced by Dave Fennoy), a college professor who was on his way to jail for domestic violence. During his car ride, he crashed due to a walker (zombie) in the road, starting up his new life in the zombie apocalypse. While wandering around the woods, he discovers a house where he meets young Clementine (Melissa Hutchison), a young girl left at home while her parents are on vacation. Lee and Clementine travel around the country, meeting up with other survivors in attempts to survive. By the end of the season, they discover that Clementine’s parents have turned into walkers, and Lee dies because he was bitten. Through season one, the player takes the position of Lee, holding responsibility for Clementine’s survival, while also making tough decisions that will affect both of the two.

In season two, players played as Clementine, and followed her story after the death of Lee. The second season really focuses on the experience of individual survival, unlike the first where the focus was on caretaking. She discovered fellow survivors, which led her to a world of trouble. They faced incarceration and numerous deaths. During the final episode of the season, Clementine (the player) must make a choice between two of her acquaintances: Kenny (voiced by Gavin Hammon), whom she has known for years but is arrogant and hot headed, or Jane (Christine Lakin), a strong survivor who dislikes Kenny’s strategies. There are five possible endings to season two.

My personal favorite feature of the game is the animation, because it is very similar to the illustration in the comic books, where the walking dead originated. Now, players have reached the current game, season three. And of course, there will be SPOILERS!

The storyline is quite satisfying to players, for Telltale introduces a new main character: Javier (better known as Javi). The game kicks off with him and his family during the beginning of the infection outbreak. Players are introduced to Javi’s family drama between him, his brother, and his sister-in-law. Flash forward a few years, and the story shows them on the road. Through many close calls of being killed or bitten, the family is separated, and Javi meets Clementine on his journey back to find his family. In this season, players experience survival in a partnership. Along the way, Clementine tells Javi about a growing organization who call themselves “The New Frontier,” and their members have branded their symbols onto their bodies.

Once reunited with Javi’s sister-in-law, nephew, and niece, they get involved in a shoot-out, and Javi’s niece, Mariana, is shot and killed by The New Frontier. In addition, Javi’s sister-in-law, Kate is wounded in the crossfire, and they seek medical help.

The start of the game is extremely anticipating, and the journey ahead is completely unpredictable. I also must say that the choices in season three are much harder to make than before, because they are just so apprehensive. For example, one of the hardest choices I had to made was to either surrender Clementine to The New Frontier, or to allow them to injure and kill an innocent companion.  The story is full of a ridiculous amount of twists, turns, and revelations that players would not expect.

In addition to the jaw dropping storyline, I really enjoyed the gameplay and was completely engulfed in it. In first person shooter battles, it is more of a challenge to hit the enemies, and for a second, it really feels like the apocalypse, and the options are life or death. One thing I really love about this series is that when looking for solutions in a dangerous situation, players are required to really think about every strategic move they make, because anything from spark plugs to bedroom dressers can be useful when trying to escape walkers.

If you’re looking for a riveting and anticipating game, “The Walking Dead: A New Frontier” is made up of everything that creates a game that is actually good.

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Oh My Darling, Clementine