A New Frontier Episode 3: Above The Law Review
Hey again you zombie survivors!
So I’m now at the midway point of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier with episode 3!
The third episode continues with the strong theme of family that begun in the first two episodes of the season, following the journey of our main character Javi. I must say that I am enjoying his character and enjoying learning more about his past as it’s helping me to understand how he is shaped as a character.
Like with how Clementine’s character has been well established as our main protagonist in the first two seasons, I feel that A New Frontier is continuing to do the same with Javi presenting us with different ways of creating a very likable and relatable character in this third season. “Above the Law” begins with a flashback of when Javi first hit the road with Kate and the kids during the beginning of the outbreak. One thing I will say is that the flashbacks do serve an important purpose as it shows us how Javi had to step up in protecting his brother’s family, as I feel it’s really vital to the events occurring in the present day plot. In the flashback scenes there doesn’t appear to be as much action but the one thing I am a massive fan of is character building moments, which is something the flashbacks do very well in this game. For me personally, I do feel that this hold great importance in the bigger scale of things during the game and have an impact on the characters, as well as on us as the player.
One of the things that I’m a massive fan of Telltale for doing is how they really get you to care about the characters and step into their shoes as you play through the story. In particular, they’ve done a solid job with how they want to present Javi as the hero of this story. I mean I loved Lee’s character in season one and Clementine in her season two journey, but as a player I genuinely care about Javi as a character and the tough decisions he is faced with making as the story progresses. I must admit I was a little on the fence when I found out that Clementine wasn’t the main character, but I must admit that I have complete faith in Telltale for switching up the main protagonist as I have become a fan of Javier and am enjoying seeing his character grow. I do think that “Above the Law” is serving as a great platform for how I am shaping Javi’s story and I think that the choices and decisions I make are really having an impact on the direction of the story.
The one thing I picked up in this episode over the first two, is that I really got to play around with Javi’s character making him have moments of strength but also there were decisions I made in which showed him to have moments of weakness in his actions. In this episode in particular I was really able to test the waters in terms of the choices I made for Javi. The choices I decided to make tested his relationships with characters around him, strengthening alliances with his group also pushing him to the limits to see how far he would go to protect his family and the ones he cares about. I don’t want to give too many details away of what happens in this episode, but Javi is faced with tough scenarios that reveal new sides to his character which I hadn’t seen up until this episode. I did find it awesome that we got to see Javi reunited with a baseball bat again and he did smack the shit out of some walkers with it. It tied in well with his backstory about being a failed baseball player and in some way, this felt like a way to seek redemption to that part of the character’s life.
I need to comment about the flashbacks in this episode as they were an important part to the story in this episode. I got to see more from Clementine’s past prior to the events unfolding in A New Frontier. I began to understand Clementine’s motives for wanting to survive after seeing what happened to her before meeting up with Javi and his group. I do think the flashbacks in this episode were really important as one of the major discoveries was finding out that Clementine got roped into becoming a member of The New Frontier, so far as they even branded her as part of their sick initiation. That did shock me when I found that out I was like YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME?! So that was a pretty big surprise, plus it turns out that David and members of The New Frontier took AJ (Alvin Junior) away from Clem and she is determined to get his back no matter what the cost. I am enjoying finding out pieces of what happened to Clementine before the events of the present, as it’s giving me an indication of how her character has changed and why she doesn’t trust anyone. I’d be the same in this zombie infested world!
In respect to the title of season 3, Above the Law gives more of an insight into what A New Frontier is and what the group of survivors, The New Frontier, are all about and what they are capable of. This group in particular is a definitive concept of The Walking Dead…a group that is about creating a safe haven, a community where people can live behind closed doors without the fear of walkers. The community they live behind is called Richmond, which in some ways reminds me of Alexandria, which is a fortified little town behind a strong wall with constant sentries guarding the perimeter. What I thought was cool in this episode is that we got to meet a new bunch of characters, all of which are leaders of the town one of them being Javi’s brother David. I liked it as I got a sense that this could be a major break for Javi and his group, but at the same time I had a bad feeling about this new setting something just didn’t feel right about it.
Overall I thought that episode 3 Above the Law, added another slice to Javi’s story placing him in some real threatening situations resulting in an ending that see’s him being locked up in the prison we first come across when entering Richmond. Some serious shit went down when Javi and David try to challenge the woman calling the shots at Richmond and now I wonder what will be in store in the next episode. I really am stoked for the later part of the season but also a nit nervous as I have a feeling that not all of the characters are going to make it out alive, especially if it means Javi going to war with the leaders of Richmond. I hope the strong character development continues as this is a major factor on the development of the story. I find myself becoming attached to Javi as a character and as a player, I want to make sure he gets through this story in one piece without too many losses.