A New Frontier Episode 2: Ties That Bind Part 2
Welcome back survivors!
I’m carrying on with my review of The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series – A New Frontier with episode 2 titled Ties That Bind Part 2, so I’m gonna jump straight into it.
The second episode in A New Frontier picks up pretty much where part 1 of Ties That Bind ended, picking up the pace that was set in the season opener. I did feel like this episode was closely more linked to what I love about The Walking Dead and does a solid job of solidifying the brilliant story plots that Telltale have formulated in their games since the first game. It does a great job of building on the foundation set in the season premiere and also what occurred in the first two seasons of The Walking Dead, one thing for sure is that the ending of this two part episode has really set the scene and is setting up what could be an amazing season for the game. More so than ever with these games, I do feel like the choices I will make throughout the story really will matter and I will have to tread carefully as the plot develops. As a gamer, I like to think strategically and in these games I think my choices will be more important than the previous two games.
This episode picked up from that really shocking and dramatic ending of part 1. The second part to Ties That Bind’s really made Javi realise just what it will take to survive in this new world and what he would have to do to protect the ones he loves. It emphasised more about the theme of survival, which is something I’ve always loved as a fan about The Walking Dead, both in the show, comics and the games. The episode starts with a flashback sequence with Javi and his family, giving you choices that don’t affect the present events, but do matter in the flashback moment. I still selected choices like I would have done in the present, as the flashback segment was more about Javi dealing with the shit happening with his family as well as what was happening in the world. The one thing I tried to do during my playthrough was to select choices that built on Javi’s sense of hope and determined to make things right with his family, even if there were obstacles that were trying to take that away from his character. I was like, nope you’re not gonna break me and my boy Javi!
I did notice that some of the choices made did have an impact on the episode as it unfolded, as they did help to strengthen Javi’s relationships with the people around him. I like how a simple thing like gathering supplies around you can have a serious repercussion later on in the game, but it can also have a rewarding factor with the other characters that I came across. I did feel like the choices I made regarding Kate and the kids was important as this would strengthen the characters as the story progresses and the obstacles they come into contact with later on. I don’t think they made too much of an impact on the overall story as of yet, but I just wanted to strengthen the bonds between Javi and his family at this early stage. I’m not going to go into details about the story as I don’t want to give anything away, however as I’m playing through this game I am beginning to pick up on the choices I’ve made in the past do seem to have an affect on the present between Javi and the other characters which I really liked as thought this was a cool approach by Telltale.
I think this applied to Clementine as well as Javi, as I think that the flashback scenes we see from her in part 2 did have significant importance. I did wonder what the season title, A New Frontier, meant and this is addressed in the episode and I think that the core concept is pretty awesome. We find out that there are a group of survivors called The New Frontier and let’s just say that have their way of doing things and we find out more about the impact they are having in the zombie infested world. I really like how The New Frontier have had a serious impact on Clementine and we find out more from her backstory that got her to where she is in the present. The choices that I made in the flashback for her did have an impact on the present. I noticed that there was an emotional segment in the episode from choices I made in the flashback, that made for some really great character development from Clementine and how she acts towards others after what happened to her.
The key thing with this season so far is that where I imported my saved files from the previous seasons, both on her part and even Lee’s, are having an impact on the tone of the season with the way she reacts with some of the characters and events unfolding around her. I have a feeling that every choice I make in the game, whether it’s a small or a major choice, will affect the story in some way later on down the line. I can’t say how much it will affect the overall bigger picture in the season but I think that every choice I make is something to think about. At this stage I don’t think the choices presented will have a major impact on the plot this early on, however I do think that the way you as a player decide on your choices will carry some weight as the story unfolds.
One thing that sucked in part 2 of Ties That Bind is that there were some pretty sad and emotional moments that me hit right in the feels…..damn you Telltale for being so brilliant with these games! I mean early on in the episode there is a pretty tense and dangerous standoff between Javi’s group and some bandits, that doesn’t end too well and results in the remaining survivors having to seek medical help urgently for a certain character. I mean nothing is this simple in The Walking Dead so just when I thought I was in the clear, more trouble ends up on my plate and I’m like shit! As a fan of The Walking Dead comic books, I thought it was awesome that there was a certain fan favourite character that appeared on the scene which added some great moments to the story unfolding. I’ve noticed that so far in the game, A New Frontier doesn’t seem to be slowing down on the strong characterisation as that is what the bread and butter of Telltale Games is especially for The Walking Dead series. There wasn’t many epic cinematic moments that stood out like in part 1, but I think this episode was more aimed at character development and educating the players what has happened to certain characters before the present events. I gotta say though that the quicktime action sequences were just brilliant and looked so awesome, they added tension and excitement to the danger our characters were presented with.
Here are the choices I made in Episode 2:
You and 60.8% of players told David that Kate wanted to leave him.
You and 58.6% of players opened fire.
You and 86.2% of players took him at his word.
You and 89.4% of players killed Conrad.
You and 95.9% of players capitulated to Max’s demands.
How do these compare with the decisions you guys made in this episode?
My famous one second final thought…. Ties That Bind Part 2 is a strong, developing episode that has delivered some pretty amazing character moments with a combination of tense and exciting action that has got me glued to the game wanting to play the next episode right now.