If A New Frontier is a sort of mission statement for this franchise going forward, does it succeed in making me want another season of The Walking Dead? I know I don't want the Season Four they're selling (which is set up in a manner that makes me think Telltale is threatening me personally) but if we're looking at this season by itself, as a whole the character work in A New Frontier does a lot to make up for the finale's shortcomings. I got the ending I wanted, but I wouldn't have wanted a specific ending if I didn't care about these people and where they ended up. A disappointing finale doesn't completely undo the goodwill earned by the rest of the season, but a sour aftertaste is still pretty hard to wash out.
The multiplayer works about 45% of the time. The "challenge" mode is more like a training simulation for Skynet. 2/3rds of this game are not up to par. I cannot get three other people together to play Lethal League on my couch. My experience with Lethal League is valid even though I didn't contort my life to satisfy a hypothetical. Some other people might be in the same position, and I hope this review is useful to them.
The more I write about this episode, the less I like it. I actually went back and replayed it to see if the ending could be influenced by the player in any way (it can't), which certainly did Thicker than Water no favors. One disappointing episode isn't enough to write off the whole season quite yet, but I'm certainly less excited for the finale than I was this time last month.
I do wish both games would tone down the fanservice, since that really does nothing for me aside from making me feel a bit uncomfortable. But aside from that, Danganronpa 1-2 Reload is an easy recommendation. It's a visual novel, yes. You're going to spend a lot of time reading. However, just about everything you read will entertain you in some way as you watch these incredibly strong personalities play off each other. If you have any hangups about playing a visual novel, let them go. Pick up the Danganronpa games on whatever platform you prefer and enjoy some of the sharpest character writing I've seen in years.
Isn't that why we gravitate towards stories like these? We look for something we can empathize with; we like it when the relatable is juxtaposed against the fantastic. That concept is the basis of good sci-fi/fantasy/horror storytelling, and A New Frontier understands that more than most video games. I'm invested in the story of the Garcia family. I'm excited to see how their drama plays out amidst the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse. If Above the Law is any indication, the next two episodes are going to be something special.
My favorite story beats in Ties That Bind are unquestionably classified as spoilers, but they all spring from the same place: drama motivated by logical character action. Javi and the gang are proactive and well-defined, which makes their struggle to survive all the more compelling. If the first two episodes are any indication, A New Frontier will be a worthy follow-up to The Walking Dead, even if there's no chance it will be as revolutionary.
I feel bad about panning a game that I adore in principle -- it’s scrappy and unabashedly enthusiastic, which historically has been my jam -- so let me close by saying I appreciate where No Goblin is coming from. 100ft Robot Golf the idea is commendable, but 100ft Robot Golf the video game is a lot harder to appreciate.
Without those lackluster diversions, it would be an amicable trifle. Even at its best, the game feels like an idea gestating in real-time, like a sponge dinosaur filling up with water. So much of Headlander teases you with the idea of what could have been; a shame, because the game we actually got is kind of a bummer.