The Walking Dead: A New Frontier’: Ties That Bind Part I & II Xbox One Review

If this what is expected from the third season of The Walking Dead you should pre-order the entire season right now

By Grayshadow, Posted 21 Dec 2016

The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 1 & 2 starts off like any another story within this universe, then it starts to turn into something different. It introduces a protagonist and delivers one shocking moment after another and before you can catch your breath the next part begins. The pacing has been refined to include more context instead of simple puzzles that pad the episode. If The Walking Dead Season 3 maintains this momentum it’ll surpass the last two seasons of this acclaimed series.

The Walking Dead Season 3 stars newcomer Javier Garcia, a former Baseball star now turned zombie survivor. After being separated from his family during the outbreak Javi now travels with his brother’s wife Kate and their two step-children Mariana and Gabe. At first, things are simple, survive by collecting supplies and keep moving. Like most things in The Walking Dead things become more complicated and that’s where Season 3 of The Walking Dead shines.

Like other Telltale titles, a bulk of the The Walking Dead has you choosing between choices that alter the story. Based on how you treat people and who lives or dies will change how the narrative shifts. What was shocking is a number of times I was caught off guard. I expect Telltale to make these revelations rare between episodes but Ties that Bind frequently introduces unexpected twist and surprises. 

What made the experience that more humanizing was the use of relatable situations. Javi wants to protect his family however, should you maintain your distance from your brother’s wife? Decisions like these are less rooted in morality and more about personal belief, building Javi into your own character. 

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier’: Ties That Bind,NoobFeed,Telltale Games,

Clementine does make a return in this episode but is controlled only through flashbacks. In an attempt to connect season 2 to the events of season 3 Clementine’s past actions are shown through these sequences. Like Javi’s choices, these decisions will alter the story and offer context into Clementine’s past. It’s an excellent way to maintain the connection many of us had with Clementine since season 1 without making Javi seem weak. Both characters play off one another brilliantly and depending on your choices will learn to trust one another or simply see each other as a means to one's end.

Telltale has abandoned the simple puzzles that hindered the series the past. Instead the player simply has to locate a specific item and take it to the right place. No need to change batteries this time. It’s relieving knowing that instead of wasting time with a simple task that I can get to the next dialogue choice quicker. 

Speaking of dialogue The Walking Dead Season 3 maintains Telltale’s grade-a quality. Characters each display unique personas and the voice-actors give fantastic performances, as expected. For those who’ve played season 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead will notice a massive change in Clementine's tone based on who she’s talking too. At times I was shocked that this was the same person Lee saved all those years ago. This isn't the same girl Lee saved all those years ago.

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier’: Ties That Bind,NoobFeed,Telltale Games,

Notable changes have been made to the interface. The cursor feels more responsive and sensitive to trigger points. The difficulty has also been scaled back, allowing players multiple inputs for quick-timed events instead of resulting in failure for a wrong button input like in Minecraft: Story Mode. The game still suffers from graphical issues such as environmental clipping and my game crashed twice. However, save points were frequent enough that restarting wasn’t much of a hassle.

The Walking Dead Season 3 Ties that Bind is a step in the right direction for this franchise. Not only does it deliver the iconic decision system but the refreshing pacing made thrilling moments more frequent. The shift from Clementine to Javi creates a great divide between veterans of the series and newcomers without sacrificing either side. If this what is expected from the third season of The Walking Dead you should pre-order the entire season right now!

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Telltale Games
Developer(s): Telltale Games
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Zombie Apocalypse
Release Date: 2016-12-20

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