The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 3: Above the Law (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 04.06.2017

Review for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 3: Above the Law on PlayStation 4

It was quite a surprise in the premier episodes to see Clementine moved to more of a supporting role in this new season, while newcomer Javi took the protagonist spot. Javi and his makeshift family had a hard time on the road before the story began, and an evening harder time in those first two episodes. A simple scavenging run put the family into the crosshairs of a huge and powerful group of survivors known as The New Frontier. There were plenty of shocks, deaths and hard decisions - all the selling points of Telltale at its finest. With a few missteps and disappointments in their recent games, can they keep the quality up with their flagship series?

As with all our episodic reviews, there are spoilers throughout for previous episodes! Reader beware!

While Telltale titles have suffered in quality of late, with many of their new licences being quite a disappointment, this iconic series has continued to keep quality high, at least on the storytelling and writing fronts. The previous two episodes did a fantastic job in tying up the story between the previous season and this new chapter. It has been fantastic to see what happened to Clem, as she had to try to keep her and AJ alive. That story is further expanded in this third episode, giving a glimpse into Clem's time spent with The New Frontier, along with the ultimate fate of AJ, explaining why the pair are no longer together. Flashbacks are often quite the trite narrative device, but here they are superb - an utterly captivating tale that promises to keep a tight hold on the audience.

While these flashbacks that tell AJ and Clem's story are great, the rest… isn't. This episode feels quite a mess at points, with so much going on, so many new characters thrown into the mix, only to vanish or be killed off… It's a strange episode to play through. It gets annoying and obnoxious at points, with cliché characters spouting cringe-worthy lines, but held together with the occasional decent moment. Then, suddenly, the game throws a curveball right in the ninth inning. A stunning finale delivers a genuinely shocking twist and a gut punch that forces the audience to pay attention once more, and leaves them desperate to get their hands on the next instalment.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 3: Above the Law on PlayStation 4

In the recent review of the first episode of the new Guardians of the Galaxy series from Telltale, the lack of difficult decisions were noted as a major issue. When compared with the community, every single decision had around 80% or more deciding on the obvious course of action. Thankfully, it's back to 50-60% here, with some truly difficult choices. With little focus on gameplay and a scattered narrative, the hard choices are what this episode has to rely on - and luckily, it at least delivers those.

Where it doesn't deliver, though, is in the technical aspects of the game. There are some major, major issues here in this episode. It is, without doubt, the most buggy to date. During the first playthrough for this review, the game froze repeatedly, to the point it was almost unplayable. Subsequent playthroughs suffered from similar freezes and crashes also, though to a slightly smaller extent.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 3: Above the Law on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


Telltale's The Walking Dead still keeps to the same high standards of storytelling that it always has, with fantastic characters and truly compelling tales. That being said, the frustrating technical issues end up having a major impact on the final product.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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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