TellTale Games’ The Walking Dead (A New Frontier): Season 3/ Episode 3 “Above the Law” – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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While the wait was so long I damn near forgot how I was playing out Javier’s story, god it was so satisfying to be back in The Walking Dead universe.

Play Through Time

1 Hour and 25 Minutes

Storyline

No person can survive thinking too much about others and listening more to their heart than their head. With that idea in mind, David and the fellow leaders of Richmond surely seem like monsters. Especially as you learn the official reason Clementine was kicked out. However, with everyone experiencing lost and trying to minimize the damage not only in numbers but also minimize the damage put upon one’s own mental state, sometimes hard decisions have to be made.

But, as always, the hardest decisions you’ll make is who will you remain loyal to, who will you spare, and who will you trust your life with?

Highlights

An Asian Woman As The Villain

Major spoiler, but Joan is behind all the evils we learn about in this episode. Which, for me, was remarkable and refreshing. If only because it wasn’t some white man who was running things and was the “One who had to make the tough decisions.” All of these men, and assumingly there are women around too, were following the hardline orders of an Asian woman. Not one who was young, could do some form of martial arts or anything, but simply a woman who was willing to take on the weight of what harm and deaths her decisions would cause. If just because it meant her, and her community’s, survival.

A Moment Which Will Leave You In Tears

As much as Clementine sometimes seems like she comes and goes like a beloved guest star, when she is around she is to be taken note of. She reminds you, as you try to get into Javier and David’s drama, what originally may have drawn you into the story.

Take this AJ situation. That baby we have been trying to keep alive for I don’t know how many episodes, but he represents so much more than is noted. He isn’t just the hope of raising a newborn to maturity in a time when babies are the biggest liability. No. He represents the remaining trust Clementine has. That little kid is the one thing which keeps Clementine’s heart from turning to complete stone and her sole focus being on surviving. For what reason besides not turning into a walker? I don’t know. But with the decisions I made so that boy could live and learning he might be alive, much less the last time we see him he says Clementine’s name! Oh, I was tearing up.

Something I loved since, with this series, I feel the main time it may have you in tears is because of a shocking death. So for it to build up to a moment in which death wasn’t the separation but an act of love, it was a nice change of pace.

Clementine Being The Bridge to a New Generation

Leading to the need to also praise how Clementine bridges the old generation to the new one. For, as of now, I think it is pretty clear Clementine eventually is going to have to die. It may not be this season, could be the next, but either way I feel it in my bones she will sacrifice herself for someone else. But, before that happens, she is introducing us to a new family, helping us connect with them, and thus is bridging her story to this new one.

The Difficulties of Making a Decision

One filled with so many complicated decisions regarding who shall hold our loyalty and whether we will remain loyal no matter what, or depending on how the wind blows. But there is something noted by Clint, one of Joan’s loyal supporters, about diplomacy. I can’t remember what he says off hand, but it is made clear that you can’t stick to the middle ground, trying to make everyone happy, forever. Something I think is really going to become true eventually.

For this series, hell, the TellTale licensed shows in general, I think are known for forcing us to choose between two favorites. Usually, it is in the form of making one happy or mad, with the chance of recovering the relationship later, but death seems to be around the corner. Leading you to wonder that with Javier, at least the way I played, trying to maintain his relationship with his brother, Kate, Clementine, and Tripp, who will be the one I ultimately have to sacrifice? Much less, will it be setup in such a way where there will be a desire for multiple save files just because the decision is just that devastating?

Low Points

Even More Limited Movement Than Past Entries

There was practically no exploration at all in this episode. Pretty much, they had you do quick time events and force you to move the mouse, or right analog stick, to focus on a particular object. There were no discovering mysteries, learning more about Richmond, or anything like that. The series grows more and more linear and while the story doesn’t suffer for it, it does make it seem we are on the path to this just being an animated series vs. a video game.

The Fight Against Badger

The fight against Badger was probably the first time in awhile I died because my hands didn’t move too quick. Which I’m marking down as a negative for I’m trying to understand why, after all this time, now the quick time fights punish you, immediately, for hitting the wrong buttons or not being quick enough? Should this need for dexterity be considered a glitch or a new norm? Could it be, with such a limited ability to move about and explore, to keep you engaged we should expect more engaging fights? I do hope so but considering taking out walkers still is something of ease, I’m not getting my hopes up.

Notable Turnpoint Decisions

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