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Haven Review: Walking Dead: A New Frontier

Skybound known for creating the wonderful comics and possibly their biggest hit The Walking Dead, which has spawned a great television show and for us most importantly the Telltale series and from that we now have our season three! Walking Dead: A New Frontier!

Following the story of Clementine and her journey in the world inhabited by zombies, shes begun to grow into a young beautiful woman who can still pop a cap into someone arse when the need arises and honestly, its been a roller coaster just watching her grow up from her experiences with Lee in season one and her adventures with Kenny in season two. Now we get to go on the emotional roller coaster again as she has to traverse the zombie filled wastelands again with new friends and allies trying to protect herself and them as well. How time and the times have changed a once fairly wide eyed girl into a person who has to struggle each day for her own survival it.

Like all Telltale titles I am not fond of the control styles and its fairly linear story-telling, but that is because I’ve played so many at this point but what I do love so far is the story. There is just something about the Walking Dead that keeps dragging me back, not the show but the Telltale experience. I am deathly afraid of the undead and for the most part it pushes me away from the show although I have watched it. But The Walking Dead franchise mixed with the way Telltale shows the story off is wonderful.

Playing through a A New Frontier I still encounter the same situations would you expect, but it ultimately becomes more of a refreshing moment rather than a tiresome en-devour. Because now the stakes are higher with only your family at stake the game makes you choose what you would do to protect them.

Like its predecessors music for the most part isn’t really a crucial part to the game, for most of the game its basic linear story-telling but the void of sound helps set the tone even more for the game because you are in a post apocalyptic world where zombies are everywhere and the biggest threat you face is each other.

People replace the sense of kindness for cruelty to get by and to try to survive against the new frontier. But really though it is just so nice to see Clementine alive after all these years and still taking care of that baby in tow aiming to keep herself and the kid safe as they blow people and zombies brains out.

Conclusion though the game  is pretty nice, and considering its Walking Dead title again from Telltale I didn’t really need to say that, the titles generally speak for themselves and they remain a staple of enjoyment in the games we play.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: The Walking Dead: Michonne

Spoiler Alert: This review is written as commentary on story elements within the game. Reader discretion is advised.
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The Walking Dead has become synonymous with Telltale Games in recent years, standing with its own unique characters who don’t appear in the TV series (except that one time with Glenn, but that was only in Episode One!)

Now however we have The Walking Dead: Michonne, a character that does appear on TV. This game gives us a bit of back story to her character, her regrets and the weight she carries on her shoulders. Right off the bat you’re thrust into her story, with her chopping through some brush while avoiding zombies (ahem…sorry…I mean walkers). She begins to hallucinate about what I can only assume are her two daughters.mich

From there, as in all Telltale titles, you’re met with amazing fight scenes in which you must kick everyone’s ass by pressing certain button combinations. This is followed by the obligatory cut-scene and finishes with Michonne uncharacteristically pulling out a gun and letting the player choose weather she blows her brains out. Being the sword-wielding bad-ass that I am, I choose not to and was soon met by some rather unsavory characters who took me aboard their ship.

From there we were floating down a river in our lovely sailboat, and Michonne wakes up from a nightmarish nap; The crew of the ship checks to see if she’s okay before receiving a distress call from their trading partners aboard another boat. Continuing on in yet again classic Telltale fashion, the story then brings you to search for a radio signal. More boat issues begin, and the ship gets stranded. You take a row boat over to the other ship that the signal was coming from, and conveniently get parts to fix your ship.HeadChop4_1920x1080

But you already know, since it’s a Walking Dead title, that nothing goes according to plan. The boat tips over, you avoid getting bitten by walkers from under the water and you make it ashore…only to be thrown into another dark scenario. This time its followed by the first Walking Dead combo cut-scene where you must push all the buttons in the right succession to survive; a twisted game of “Simon Says”.

So more exposition befalls you as a group of men break into the place, trying to get a bag of supplies, and mistakes you for a troublemaker. So they kidnap you and take you to their super secret base, which isn’t so super secret. This dark game has become even more dark, because it’s The Walking Dead.

Alright let’s stop for a minute here. The Walking Dead is a dark series. We all understand that it’s a zombie Apocalypse and that there are roughly 300,000 people left on Earth. But what bothers me about the stories is just how often these events happen with the original Walking Dead game from Telltale Games. You must see the story play out in a way that makes considerably more sense, where they’re held up in a hotel and are working their way forward. But in The Walking Dead: Michonne it feels like they’re just trying to advance a person’s story with unbelievable acts that they’re presenting as believable.
The-Walking-Dead-Michonne-4 With a long string of coincidences that help make her who she is, it feels like this game is falling short of her comic book counterpart. There are two parts left to go and hopefully that will make up for that. As this is a Telltale game, it will be limited to 3 episodes instead of 5 or 6, like the rest.

Don’t get me wrong, Michonne is a great character and very well received. Hell, she actually gets raped in the comics, endures it and gets revenge later on. But in terms of how bad-ass she is, there feels to be a huge gap. It feels also that the first installment doesn’t do her justice.

The Telltale formula is getting really old and there’s almost no innovation that makes it feel like an actual game to me. It feels like Simon Says meets a story book, and not in a creative way. I honestly wish they would take a lesson from King’s Quest in terms of design, but that’s just my input.TWD_Michonne_Kids

Overall the story is a bit lacking, as are the interactions throughout. Nothing really kept me interested in playing, but hopefully the next installments will fix this.

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
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