With the release of Walking Dead – A New Frontier‘s final episode, From The Gallows, the season has come to its conclusion. There have been a lot of tough moments, but also a lot of heart-warming ones. Themes of family and morality play a large part in the season up until the very end. So does the final episode give the season the close it deserves?
In the previous four episodes, decisions made by the player affect things like how other characters view Javier and what characters might live or die in the final hours of the game. If you foster a relationship with a character and back them up when they need it, they will be more likely to support you later in the game. These relationships can be fragile however. After initially being very abrasive with Trip, I began to actually like him so I started to side with him more when things came up. Then I was faced with a choice that ultimately made the difference between life or death for Trip. I made the tough decision that would end in his death and all the work I put into the relationship was gone. Telltale conducts this emotional warfare a lot in their games, and they typically do it very well. There are characters who you truly become invested in, and knowing that they could become zombie fodder at any moment makes the time you spend with them all the more precious.
A lot of the deaths in this episode felt lackluster. It seems like it’s almost required for Telltale to kill off a large number of characters in the final episode. In From The Gallows the deaths ultimately felt included to meet Telltale’s typical formula instead of being core components to a tragic and somber story. One of the most important characters in A New Frontier dies and you find out way after the fact (depending on some of the choices you’ve made). This death is something that Javier should have a much bigger role in, because otherwise it just cannot have the impact that it could. With the stakes being set so high with so much going on, the ending seems to fall short of the mark thanks to these things. The most rewarding factor is seeing Clementine becoming a young woman and stepping closer to her ultimate goal.
As mentioned in my previous reviews, there still exists a handful of technical issues worth mentioning. When there is a lot of activity going on in the game, which happens frequently in the final episode, texture and faces struggle to render. I also encountered a comical bug early on where characters would be cross-eyed while talking to each other. I don’t like to harp too much on technical issues, but anytime they are severe enough to take the player out of the experience, they are problematic.
There is a lot of great things about From the Gallows but unfortunately the ending lacked enough impact to make its conclusion stand out among Telltale’s wide library of games. While it is still a game that I recommend to anyone who likes a good story, because I still think A New Frontier has a good story, don’t expect it to hit as heavy as the conclusions to the first and second season. Stay tuned for the complete review of The Walking Dead – A New Frontier, coming out in the next few days!