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The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 2: Ties The Bind Part 2 (Xbox One) artwork

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 2: Ties The Bind Part 2 (Xbox One) review


"Jesus saves."


Episode 1 of the latest season of Telltale's Walking Dead game ended with a major cliffhanger. Luckily, players didn't have to wait long for the resolution, with Episode 2 launching on the same day.

Nevertheless, this review will majorly spoil Episode 1. If you somehow found yourself here and are sensitive to spoilers, you should instead check out the relatively spoiler-free review of the first episode.

Episode 2 begins with a flashback to Javi and Kate, before the end of the world. Here we learn more about their already-flirty relationship, as well as more about David (spoiler: he's a jerk). Here is also where we encounter the most misleading dialogue choice in Telltale history. Kate and David have an argument when David decides to be a huge baby about some inconsequential thing, and if you decide to come to Kate's defense, you instead blurt out a secret that you almost certainly didn't intend to reveal. It's a strange miss from Telltale, who can usually handle dialogue options just fine.

After the flashback, we rejoin Javi and Clementine in the aftermath of the shootout that occurred at the end of the last episode. They're still both alive, and Mari is still dead. Unfortunately, Kate is seriously wounded, so you spend the rest of the episode taking care of that moron who put herself in harm's way for no good reason.

Javi brings Kate to Prescott for medical attention, but when the New Frontier shows up seeking revenge for the deaths of their friends at the hands of Javi and Clem, (even though, let's face it, those guys had it coming), it's up to Javi to diffuse the situation.

Once it's clear that Prescott won't be able to save Kate, instead of just feeding her to the zombies like they probably should, the group's members decide to head to a larger settlement, called Richmond. After clearing a barricade and encountering some zombies, Javi and the rest of the group tell Elanor to take Kate in their car and go on ahead, fearing for Kate's health. It's here that they encounter none other than fan-favourite comic character Paul “Jesus” Monroe! For those keeping track, this is the first comic character to make an appearance since Lily was retconned out of comic continuity way back in Season 1 (the Michonne miniseries doesn't count).

Jesus brings news that Richmond has been overtaken by the New Frontier, which is not great news considering they just sent Kate and Elanor right to their door. The group has no choice but to press on. During the next leg of their journey, Clementine confesses a secret to Javi, which causes some drama with another member of the group. As seems to be the trend with decisions in this episode, the choice of how to deal with him is easy and, once I'd finished playing, I found that more than 80% of players had taken the same action as me. Most of the rest of the choices had similar results. Factoring in the poor wording with that first big choice of the episode, this episode turns out to be strangely weak on that front.

Once again, Clementine is only playable during one scene, which is a flashback. I guess this is just the way the game is going to be. That's OK. She's fine as a mostly non-player character. I won't spoil what happens once the group finally reaches Richmond. The cliffhanger is a good one, especially after you think about its potential consequences for a while. Episode 2 is a bit weaker than the season's premiere, but it's still decent, even if it ultimately feels like they split Episode 1 into two pieces (it is called Part 2, after all). Hopefully, Episode 3 feels more complete.

3/5

Roto13's avatar
Staff review by Rhody Tobin (February 22, 2017)

Rhody likes to press the keys on his keyboard. Sometimes the resulting letters form strings of words that kind of make sense when you think about them for a moment. Most times they're just random gibberish that should be ignored. Ball-peen wobble glurk.

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