The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier Is As Bloody Brilliant As Ever

Anyone who’s played through the first two seasons of Telltale’s insanely good adaptation of The Walking Dead knows what an emotionally gruelling rollercoaster it can be—in many ways more so than the TV series. Choosing which words to say or what actions to take can have catastrophic consequences, and watching a key character meet a harrowing demise can have you regretting some of your past decision for days on end.

Arriving three whole years, The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier introduces to an all-new protagonist named Javier Garcia, an ex-baseball player on the road with his brother’s second wife and her two stepchildren. If you’ve seen the trailer or cover art for this season, you also know Season 2 protagonist Clementine plays a role once more. Fortunately, you also get to control her in flashback chapters that explain what the hell happened to her between Season 2 and 3. Of course, what occurs in these flashbacks depends on where (and with whom) she ended up at the end of the previous season. My playthough saw her fleeing Wellington with a sad and hungry AJ.

While we’ve only been able to play the first two episodes of this season (with a third instalment allegedly slated for some time this March), it’s safe to say the series is as gripping as it’s ever been. While I was hesitant to start a new season without Clem as my main character, Season 3 keeps things consistent by giving us a new playable hero (Season 1 was Lee), with Clementine still at the centre of it all. Seeing her from a different perspective also shows us just how far she’s come from the first season, going from frightened youngster to frighteningly badass teen. It’s not overly generous to say her evolution has been more compelling than any character on the TV show, which has been on for nearly seven seasons.

Getting back to Javier (or Javi, as he’s often called), like every character on the Walking Dead, his life is pretty disastrous. Shunned by his family for being an absent baseball star and despised by his brother for missing their father’s passing, you could say he’s as much of a tragic figure as Lee or Clem. In the first episode, Javier and his remaining family reach what appears to be a safe haven rife with food, gasoline, and other resources, but it’s not long before he pisses off the wrong dudes (who we later learn are part of ruthless community who call themselves The New Frontier) and gets separated from his troupe, but luckily runs into our former heroine.

From there on, it’s pretty much up to you to shape the narrative. Whereas the first episode has a somewhat slow burn, the second one is fairly action packed, and even introduces an iconic, and nimble, character from the comic and show. Spoiling anything else would be a major disservice, since this is a story-driven game first and foremost.

If you haven’t played Season 1 and 2, you definitely need to start at the beginning, with each of your unique choices altering the next season. Once you’ve finished both, don’t hesitate to get a Season Pass for A New Frontier. While it introduces a host of new characters and situations, it’s fully on par with what we’ve come to expect from this standout series, only with better graphics, more fine-tuned gameplay, and way faster load times (seriously, what was up with Seasons 2?). So turn out the lights and get ready for one of the most absorbing interactive dramas ever.

The first two episodes The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier are out now on Xbox One, PS4, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. If digital downloads aren’t your thing, you can now pick up a physical copy for Xbox One and PS4, which will also unlock episodes three, four, and five as soon as they become available.

Check out the trailer below and a have a nice zombie apocalypse: