The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 2: Ties That Bind Part II (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 29.12.2016

Review for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 2: Ties That Bind Part II  on PlayStation 4

This is the second episode of the premiere two-parter in The Walking Dead: A New Frontiner, recently released by Telltale. The first was a return to form of the glory days of Telltale, filled with the elements that helped establish the studio. As the first part of the premiere began to reach its conclusion, everything seemed a little too positive - a family reunited, everyone happy, a bit of banter with Clem, and then bang. Quite literally bang, as a gunshot blew through the brains of Mari, and then Kate being mortally wounded, too. Now the new gang is rushing back to the relative safety of the town of Prescot in the hope of helping Kate, but their enemies aren't far behind. For a look at The Ties That Bind Part II on PC, check out this review.

As with all episodic reviews, there are spoilers for previous episodes throughout, so be warned…

The first episode spent its time establishing the world and its characters, introducing the audience not only to Javi and his family, but also to a very different Clem. That episode also gave enough choices and branching points in the narrative to justify multiple playthroughs to get the whole story, not to mention taking the player's choices in the previous series and showing unique flashbacks for Clem set between series two and three.

Continuing the trend of the first episode - of mixing present day with flashbacks for both Javi and Clem - this episode has more glimpses into the past of the protagonists. For Javi, this shows that his flirtation with Kate is not something new and was happening even before David was out of the picture. Meanwhile, Clem's history between Season 2 and Season 3 is further fleshed out, based on the choices of the player in the previous season. The first episode showed how Clem's time was spent depending on if she went out alone, if she stayed in Howe, if she teamed up with Jane, or headed off with Kenny. Regardless of these choices, the world kicked Clem's backside - hard. These flashbacks continue and are expanded upon here. Each truly justifies their viewing and all contain a real gut punch for those who built attachments to the characters in the previous seasons.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 2: Ties That Bind Part II  on PlayStation 4

Speaking of characters, Javi gets a few more allies here, too, as some of the residents, along with a friendly local bartender from Prescot, and then branches into two potential additions to the party, either Tripp, the no-nonsense leader of Prescot, or Eleanor, the young doctor from the same town, a girl that shows a great rapport and potential flirtation with Javi. Then there are the "bad guys." The Walking Dead world has always been filled with villainous groups, whether it the Governor's people, the Saviours or the Whisperers. This time there is the titular New Frontier, the same group who had taken over the junkyard that Javi's family clashed with. This episode explains a little more about the group and its members and, as with most groups like this, they aren't all bad. There's even a cameo from a fan favourite character.

Gameplay-wise, the QTE sections are same old, same old, but at least they are fast and fun, with plenty of zombie stomping moments. The real shine in the gameplay corner of this episode is once again the choices - other than a very annoying moment in Javi's flashback where the option has no relation to the outcome… "Tell him off" indeed, that's really not what's implied - the rest of the options are filled with truly difficult choices to be made, all ending on an unbelievable cliff-hanger that will keep players on the edge of their seats waiting for an explanation to the sudden revelations of this episode.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 2: Ties That Bind Part II  on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 2: The Ties That Bind II keeps the course, delivering another quality storytelling experience with aplomb. Javi's story is a compelling one and fans can't help but clamour for closure and answers for what happened to Clem… and what happened to AJ. Plenty of pieces are in motion and this is building to be a very special story. If only Telltale could get this quality over to its other recent titles...

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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