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

By Joe DeAndrea 31.03.2017

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

Like most episodic games, the season premiere generally spends its duration setting the tone for what's to come, exploring the characters, setting, and potential plot points that may be expanded on down the line. For Telltale's third season of its zombie smash, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Ties That Bind Part I introduced the audience to a brand-new cast of characters and even bigger threats, and it included a protagonist that the story will steer its focus on, rather than previous star Clementine. She hasn't gone anywhere, though - she's right in the midst of all the chaos that's beginning to unfold. Episode one showed that this season was going to be worth keeping an eye on, so does episode two, Ties That Bind Part II, live up to expectations?

Part one still probably has some jaws left planted on the floor, and if it told anyone about Telltale's agenda, it's that the series hasn't lost its ability to cause that massively huge shock factor. In general, episode two deals with the aftermath of Javi's fresh tragedy and builds on previous relationships, as well as new ones. Most importantly, it moves at a much quicker pace without a dull moment in its hour or so length. Between tough dialogue choices and high-tension action sequences, it ends up feeling more like a "throwback" The Walking Dead episode, rather than the "taking the mould of the reboot" feel that part one brought on.

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

Flashbacks are prevalent yet again, helping put together the pieces of Clementine's past with a much more emotional tone. It's another concept that's heavily rooted throughout, too; with the focus on family, there's a heck of a lot of meaning behind what goes on and events that take place - whether they're in the present or the past - and one thing to appreciate so far is just how much the sense of dread and sombreness drives the narrative to places Telltale hasn't gone in before. As a result, puzzles and brainteasers take a bit of a backseat in exchange for more plot progression.

Ties That Bind Part II follows a familiar trend in The Walking Dead plot devices, where safety never lasts for long. Of course, it is an undead apocalypse, so how else can the story really get going without a constant string of life or death scenarios? However, it's to a point where if the downtime feels like it's gone on for a while, it probably has, and you can bet that something blood-pumping happens soon. This sort of kills the element of surprise, but luckily, Telltale compensates for it by making the ensuing action pretty unpredictable - and the end of the second episode is perhaps the biggest cliff-hanger yet.

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

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

With the end of episode two, it marks the finale of not only the second episode, but Ties That Bind as a whole. Really, it didn't feel entirely necessary to split it into separate parts - both felt drastically different and stood perfectly fine on their own. It could mean that the rest of the season is going to take an even bigger turn or shift in tone, however, and given how things leave off, it wouldn't be a surprise. Ultimately, the excellent pacing and satisfying climax here makes it a great follow-up piece that continues this harrowing story.

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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