The Walking Dead: A New Frontier Episodes 1 & 2: Ties That Bind Part I & Part II

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier Episodes 1 & 2: Ties That Bind Part I & Part II

Definitely not a Walking Start

It’s definitely no understatement to say that Season 3 of Telltale’s The Walking Dead has started strangely. The premiere consists of Episode 1 and Episode 2, which sort of come together to create the initial story, and set the stage for what’s to come in The Walking Dead: A New Frontier. Thankfully, this works in the game’s favour, setting up what I think could potentially be Telltale’s best series yet.

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A New Frontier is set a few years after the events of season 2.

A Brand New Frontier

the Walking Dead: A New Frontier, is set a few years after the end of season 2, and follows the story of Javi, a survivor who has been separated from most of his family and wants nothing more than to find them. Javi is an incredibly strong protagonist, and i’m very interested to see how he develops and changes over the course of the episodes. The new and returning characters here are all very interesting and likeable, and I found myself quickly caring for them as I do with other Telltale characters. Clementine makes a return once again, and her character is easily one of my favourites due to how well-developed she is and has been since season 2.The one thing I wished was handled better, was the explanation of what had happened to past characters. While these moments were quite emotionally impactful, I can’t help but feel like more justice should’ve been done by these characters. Dialogue choices once again play a large part in The Walking Dead, and considering all your options in every situation is crucial. The bigger decisions of the two episodes feel impactful, and they make for story moments that were incredibly emotional and heavy. Emotion is something that the first two episodes of the New Frontier does perfectly, with three plot twists over the course of both episodes, two of which legitimately made me shed a tear or two. The gameplay is standard stuff for the Walking Dead, and combat is once again fairly minimal in terms of interactivity, but it gets the job done. FINALLY it seems like Telltale have hit the sweet spot with performance right from the start. I had no problems when playing either episode and they always consistently ran at 60 FPS. The game also looks gorgeous too, once again using the cel-shaded art style that Telltale have become very well-known for. There’s a large amount of detail to be found in the world as well, which was a refreshing experience when exploring the various locations.

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The end of episode 2 finishes with a twist that left me wanting episode 3 right away.

Verdict: 9/10

The first two episodes of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, act as an incredibly strong debut for Telltale’s third season of the Walking Dead. It’s tense, emotional, fast paced, technically sound, and has a very strong story, filled with even stronger characters. Besides some characters not getting enough justice done by them (in my opinion) Telltale has started off season 3 flawlessly, and words can’t describe how excited I am for the release of episode 3.

Positives

-Fantastic story

-Heavy choices

-Strong characters, new and old

-Multiple, emotional plot twists

-Technically sound

Negatives

-Some characters aren’t done enough justice

Thanks for reading guys, i’m really happy with how this one turned out, it was fantastic. Up next will be a post about the cancellation of Scalebound, because I want to voice some opinions I have on it.

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Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 5: City of Light

Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 5: City of Light

A Rough Finish

Telltale’s Batman series has seen much praise from critics across the board over the course of its 5 episode series, and for good reason. The past 4 episodes have all ranged from a minimum of good to excellent, with some of the early episodes being the highlight of the series. The final episode of Telltale’s Batman series has finally been released, and while it’s a satisfying conclusion to the series in most ways, an abrupt ending and unnecessary story telling make for  a slightly rougher ending then I hoped for.

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Episode 5 takes place across multiple locales, from Gotham City to Arkham Asylum.

Lighting the Way

I want to start of positively by saying that Episode 5: City of Light, does a fantastic job of tying up all of the loose ends created in previous episodes. There’s a satisfying amount of conclusion to be found throughout episode 5, and without spoiling too much, a lot of incentives and back story is revealed, creating a very dark, tense tone for the rest of the episode. It was thrilling to discover revelation after revelation as I further progressed into the 2 hour episode. City of Light looks to develop the characters that deserve it most, further improving upon Bruce Wayne/Batman, Alfred and most importantly, Lady Arkham. The story is enjoyable for most of the episode, with one section in particular being completely unnecessary and out-of-place. The biggest problem with City of Light is how it ends, it seems like it has a few more minutes left to enjoy, but instead it abruptly cuts to black, obviously leaving room for a season 2. While it’s comforting to know that season 2 of Telltale’s Batman is inevitable, I can’t help but feel the ending could’ve been handled a little better. Ultimately, the choices in Episode 5 never come to be as heavy as they can be in Episode 4, but I still found myself torn on multiple occasions, and it still feels like my choice really made an impact on the overall story. It’s truly fantastic this has stayed consistent throughout the series, and I’m looking forward to replaying the series in the future. The combat sequences are once again expertly handled, and while it’s fairly passive, it’s incredible to experience and look at. The detective mode also returns in one particular part of the episode, and once again it’s a let down. While it’s cool to piece together, it ends up being monotonous and slow due to how simple it is, and it feels like it’s there to halt your progress rather than challenge your logic and thinking skills. Much like Episode 4, City of Light runs flawlessly, and it’s definitely the most technically sound episode that’s been released so far, which i’m incredibly happy to say. The game still looks good, but it’s no different from the other episodes. One thing that I have to praise again, is how original and vastly different Telltale’s universe is from any other, and I was once again constantly surprised by characters I thought I knew well.

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Batman is definitely one of Telltale’s strongest series. 

Verdict: 8/10

Telltale’s Batman Series has undoubtedly been one of their best, and while Episode 5 could’ve been better, it’s definitely a fitting conclusion to the fantastic series. It ties up everything nicely, with a strong sense of conclusion by the time it’s finished, albeit an abrupt ending. The choices are difficult to make, character development is fantastic, combat sequences are awesome, and the tone for the episode is surprisingly dark. The detective mode sequence could’ve been better, but it doesn’t bring episode 5 down too much. It’s another strong episode in an even stronger series, and I can’t wait to see what Telltale do with season 2.

Positives

-All loose ends are tied up

-Strong storytelling

-Interesting character development

-Awesome combat sequences

-Technically sound

Negatives

-Some unnecessary storytelling

-Lacklustre detective sequence

-Abrupt ending

Thanks for reading guys, sorry this one took so long, I was on holiday just after it came out. Up next is The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 1 and 2.

Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 3: New World Order

Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 3: New World Order

Consistency is Key

I’ve previously mentioned that Telltale’s original and very unique take on Batman had me extremely interested in it’s world, and I was definitely eager to see and play more of this, so far fantastic episodic series. Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 3: New World Order effortlessly manages to be just as good as its previous episodes, and in some areas, does much better. New World Order is another fantastic episode in this excellent Telltale series, shaping up Telltale’s Batman series to be one of their best.

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The Bat-Signal makes its debut in New World Order.

Sending your Mind Out of Order

Taking place a short time after the events of Children of Arkham, New World Order specifically follows Bruce Wayne and Batman after the election, with the Children of Arkham planning an attack on Gotham City. There are so many things I wish I could talk about but I won’t in order to avoid spoilers, but there are so many plot twists and surprises throughout the episode that I was kept on my feet the entire time. I was constantly surprised by what Episode 3 had to offer, and it had some of the most satisfying decision making thus far in the series. The episode ends on an incredibly unexpected twist, and words cannot explain how ready I am for episode 4. Choices in New World Order definitely feel pivotal in the overall all narrative, making for some of the best in the series so far. Characters in New World Order are further developed, and shown in new lights, which once again was very interesting. I’m continually enthralled with Telltale’s take on Batman and it’s originality. It truly is something else.The combat sequences in New World Order are just as good as the ones seen in the previous episodes of the series, all are entertaining, all are extremely well done, and all are absolutely awesome. Thankfully, New World Order does feature one crime scene much like the first episode did, and while it’s not as extensive, it’s refreshing and intriguing to piece together. The one place where New World Order fails, is once again from a technical standpoint. The infamous framerate of Telltale games is ever present in New World Order, and while it’s not game breaking, it’s definitely annoying. The game definitely still looks nice, with the same cel-shaded art style found in any Telltale game.

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Harvey Dent plays a massive part in New World Order.

Verdict: 9.0/10

Telltale continues to show why they reign supreme over episodic gaming. They consistently release quality series’ and Batman is shaping up to be one of their best. New World Order is fantastic for all the reasons the other two episodes were, but it ups the anti with difficult, yet satisfying choices, epic combat sequences, and a huge amount of twists and turns to keep the player on their toes. 3 out of 5 down and it’s shaping up to be a damn good series.

Postives

-Difficult to make choices, but some extremely satisfying ones

-Decisions feel meaningful and pivotal in the story

-Fantastic combat sequences

-Multiple twists and turns to keep you on your feet

Negatives

-Inconsistent framerate

Thanks for reading guys, up next is Battlefield 1, and that should be up tomorrow!

 

Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 2: Children of Arkham

Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 2: Children of Arkham

Continuing the Trend

To say I was impressed by the first episode of Telltale’s Batman series would be a massive understatement, I felt like I was exploring new ground and interacting with interesting characters that I know and love, yet, I hardly knew them at all. Telltale’s take on The Dark Knight has proved to be incredibly unique, unique enough to keep Batman and it’s mythos fresh. Episode 2: Children of Arkham continues that trend and further improves on it, with incredible character development, difficult choices, riveting combat sequences, and a genuinely great story.

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Bruce and Selina have some really clever interactions throughout the episode.

The Same but Different

Episode 2 picks up right where Episode 1 left off, and in classic Telltale fashion, whatever choices you made in the previous Episode affects the next, and it’s incredibly apparent in the first 5 minutes. I started to feel legitimately bad about one of my choices in particular and i’m sure that’s a feeling i’ll eventually get used to. Gotham City is still in the middle of an election, and the counts are close. It’s coming to an end, but crime is still at an all time high in Gotham City, and it’s your job as Batman to deal with it in the best way possible, all while trying to find out what mastermind plan is in the works behind closed doors. My eyes were glued to the screen for the hour and a half it took to me to finish it (a lot shorter than episode 1) and I never once felt bored or that it was dragging on. The main star of Children of Arkham is the development of characters throughout the course of the episode. We get to know a lot about the Waynes and Bruce as a character himself, as Episode 2 further explores what caused him to become the Batman. There were legitimately challenging choices I made throughout the duration of the episode, and as I think of them now, i’m sure i’ll come to regret them later. Simple things like choosing whether or not to visit Mayor Hill as Bruce or Batman can change the entire dynamic and gameplay of the episode and I look forward to playing through again to make the choices I missed out on. Combat in Episode 2 is just as good as Episode 1, with an awesome bar fight with Catwoman about half way through. The lack of a crime scene section was a little disappointing, but I can understand why there isn’t one. One thing that Telltale have been consistent with is taking the same characters i’m familiar with, and turning them into something i’d never expect. I like to think I know Batman lore fairly well, and the fact that Telltale are still surprising me with their vision of The Dark Knight is to be applauded. Characters are being shown in lights they’ve never been shone in before, it’s fresh, new, and I absolutely love it. Episode 2 manages to look as good as Episode 1, with detailed character models and average environments. Performance is still an issue though, and it seems the game can never keep a consistent frame rate, but it’s definitely not unplayable.

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We learn more about Joe Frost, and why he did what he did.

Verdict: 9/10

Telltale’s Batman series has been incredible so far, and I really hope they keep it up and only get better from here. It’s shaping up to be my favourite Telltale series, with excellent choices, great combat scenes, interesting takes on characters, and meaningful character development. The usual flaws hold it back from being perfect, but hopefully Telltale can iron them out in Episode 3.

Positives

-Interesting takes on old characters

-Genuinely gripping story

-Incredible combat scenes

-Great character development

-Difficult choices throughout

Negatives

-Inconsistent frame rate

-Short episode

Thanks for reading guys, The Bioshock Collection is up next and it’ll be up tonight!

Harry.

Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 1: Realm of Shadows

Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 1: Realm of Shadows

The Telltale Treatment

To say the guys at Telltale are geniuses is pretty accurate, if not a massive understatement. They’ve achieved some incredible stuff over the years with The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, with a few minor missteps along the way with the Michonne miniseries for example, which even then wasn’t that bad. I’ve been a massive fan of Telltale’s work since the Walking Dead originally came out, I’m also a massive nerd for Batman, so naturally, excitement got the better of me when I learned that Telltale were developing their very own Batman game similar to the fashion of their other titles. Does episode 1 show promise for the next 4 episodes to come, or does it simply use the caped crusader in a struggle to please its fans. I’m glad to say that for the most part, Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1: Realm of Shadows is looking to be one of Telltale’s best pieces of work yet.

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The colour of Batman’s gadgets can also be changed, making for a more personal experience.

Crime Fighter, Detective, and Entrepreneur

Set during the start of Bruce Wayne’s attempt to make Gotham a safer place, Realm of Shadows follows the story of a troubled Bruce Wayne solving crime, influencing politics, and still dealing with the death of his parents. Realm of Shadows does a fantastic job at establishing various characters like Vicki Vale and Jim Gordon, characters are easily likeable, or quite the opposite in the case of a villain. Convincing voice performances are everywhere, and Troy Baker does a good enough job as the Dark Knight, although I can’t help but feel it can be a lot better. Key choices are tense, I often felt like whatever I said could potentially end in consequence, and moments of immense pressure had me panicking. Who knew something as simple as choosing whether or not to shake a hand could be so intense?

Combat is fairly standard for a Telltale game, it’s purely pressing the right buttons at the right times. It’s definitely fun to watch but don’t expect any Arkham-like combat here. One thing that really surprised me was the detective aspect of Realm of Shadow. You have to look for evidence and piece together what happened using logic chains. It’s refreshing, intriguing, satisfying, and extremely enjoyable to finally piece everything together. Last but not least, visuals and performance are fairly standard for a Telltale game. It uses the same trademark cel-shaded art style and looks all the better for it. Gotham is captured perfectly with this art style, and it brings out the sort of beautiful grittiness found in Gotham. I hadn’t experienced any crashes throughout my experience, but I did experience frame drops fairly often, which was quite annoying.

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The Batcave is extremely high-tech. 

Verdict: 8.5/10

Realm of Shadows does a fantastic job at starting up Telltale’s next series. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Realm of Shadows from start to end, I’m incredibly excited for the rest of the series to come out, and I’m definitely going to go through again to make different choices. If you’re a Telltale fan, buy this game right now, trust me, it’s more than worth it. For those who are curious, it took me just under 2 hours to finish Realm of Shadows, which is fairly long for Telltale.

Positives

-Likeable characters

-Pressuring choices

-Detective segment

-Well-captured Gotham City

Negatives

-Frame drops

Thanks for reading guys! Up next is No Man’s Sky which should be up in few weeks or so. Harry.

The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 3: What We Deserve

The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 3: What We Deserve

An Average Finish

The Walking Dead: Michonne’s third and final episode serves as a very average conclusion to the mini series as an episode. It manages to do what the first two episodes couldn’t, evolving the supporting cast so that the player actually cares about them. However, in the process of doing so, What We Deserve seems to forget what the first two episodes did so well. The fight scenes are nowhere near as awesome , which is quite disappointing. Michonne is continued to be well fleshed out, and is stupid as the final choice might seem on paper, it’s a legitimately hard choice to make. The supporting cast are further developed too, and it works out quite well. I cared for Samantha and her two brothers, an obvious comparison is here between the brothers and Michonne’s daughter, and i found it to be quite affecting. The story finishes with a very strong reveal, but What We Deserve is barely a satisfying conclusion.

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Verdict: 6/10

The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 3: What We Deserve serves as an average finale for an average miniseries. This is definitely the weakest Walking Dead season Telltale has released. Hopefully season 3 doesn’t follow the same path, I doubt it will.

Positives

-Surprising reveal

-Developed characters

Negatives

-Very average finish

-Weak combat sequences

Thanks for reading guys, up next is Uncharted 4! Have a great day – Harry.

The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 2: Give No Shelter

The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 2: Give No Shelter

Still Trying

The second episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Michonne, further explores Michonne’s dark past as it once again catches up to her. The problem is that while in the process of constructing Michonne as an incredibly deep and interesting character, other characters and the overarching plot are left behind. Michonne’s daughters still haunt her, and the flashback sequences in episode 2 are just as interesting as they were in episode 1. I seriously cared about Michonne through the entire episode and it’s really nice to see that Telltale are doing her character justice. Episode 2 picks up immediately after where episode 1 finishes, and I won’t explain that just to avoid spoilers. From there, the plot is fairly predictable, which is disappointing, but at least some of the characters are developed to a degree. I was genuinely stumped once or twice on the choices I was confronted with, and I found myself wanting to go back in order to see what would happen if I chose the other options. The combat sequences in episode 2, are thankfully just as good, if not better than episode 1’s combat. It’s intense, the choreography is amazing, and Michonne looks like a complete badass when slashing and hacking through walkers, and I was really pleased to see one particular feature at the start of the episode, but I won’t spoil what that is. The episode does finish quite strongly, and I’m really looking forward to the release of episode 3 next month. Give No Shelter only took me a little over an hour to finish, which is shorter than In Too Deep, but I felt like it went for the right amount of time.

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Episode 2 picks up straight after the end of the first.

Verdict: 7/10 

Telltale are doing an incredible job of fleshing out Michonne’s character. She’s proving to be more and more interesting with every episode, which is just what fans want. Awesome combat sequences and fan service make it a memorable episode, however, the fairly predictable story and underdeveloped supporting cast holds Give No Shelter back from becoming the saving grace of In Too Deep. I sincerely hope episode 3 can fix this, and that it keeps doing what all the other episodes have done right.

Positives

-Michonne is an incredible, deep and interesting character

-Amazing combat sequences

-Episode finishes strong

Negatives

-Supporting cast feels underdeveloped

-Predictable story

Thanks for reading guys, Hyper Light Drifter is up next, followed up by Dark Souls III in a few weeks! Thanks again for reading guys – Harry.