The Telltale studio has grown significantly in the past few years and has gained many new licenses and ultimately revitalized the click and point adventure genre. Regardless of some of their notable misses they always seem to create stories that are both impactful and interesting. Now with the release of Telltales Walking Dead Season 3 episode 3, Above the Law, fans finally get some resolution regarding the outcome of the cliffhanger presented in the previous episode. As with prior episodes Telltale has done an excellent job at delivering moral dilemmas and plenty of opportunity for shaping and creating your own narrative.
STORY AND CHARACTERS
The story presented in episode 3 is good and picks up right were the prior episodes left off. The episode begins with a flashback of the events leading into the beginning of the season and explains what happened to David before the onset of the apocalypse. In my opinion the episode is at its best when you are exploring the dynamic relationships between David and Javier and Kate. Where the episode does struggle in its narrative is in the overall familiar formula. The story doesn’t really bring much new to the table and some of the characters presented within the New Frontier felt underutilized and are all too familiar. However, there are some characters presented in the episode that I felt were a great addition to the plot and have the potential to impact the story in future episodes. The two new leaders of The New Frontier that we are introduced to are Joan and Clint. Both characters are interesting and it was fun engaging in the politics within this faction. We also learn more about Clementine and AJ and we get to finally find out what led to her leaving the New Frontier. The strongest element of this season in my opinion is The New Frontier, and the way this episode played out seems to be leading to a war within the New Frontier which hopefully leads to some interesting story choices in the next episode. Overall the story and characters presented in Above the Law are good and some of the interesting and moral choices you choose have the potential to create unique scenarios in future episodes.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The graphics in episode 2 Above the Law are good and they adhere to the typical comic book style presentation. You can also see some improvements in the new engine and some of cut scenes definitely reflect that. There were a few technical hiccups I encountered during my time with episode 3. At certain moments, the game would freeze for a split second or the framerate would drop considerably during key moments. I also ran into one hard crash but nothing that really detracted from the overall experience. The sound design in episode 3 is also great and the voice acting is top notch as is usual with most Telltale releases. The one element that I felt was missing from this episode and the season thus far is the great music used during the credits. The atmospheric music and sounds for the most part are good but I felt that the Above the Law should have implemented a better credits song to tie in the entire episode.
The gameplay in Above the Law is typical of past episodes and has the player choosing an array of dialogue choices based on your own decisions. There are some quick time events and some small puzzle solving elements but for the most part it stays true to the interactive TV style we have grown accustomed to. I really wish Telltale would just lean more into dialogue and less into the quick time events because the dialogue and moral dilemmas presented are where the series truly shines. Overall the gameplay in episode 3 is good and if you enjoyed past episodes in the series then Above the Law is no different.
Telltale’s Walking Dead episode 3 Above the Law in my opinion is good but misses the mark on some instances. Some of the characters and story elements don’t add anything new to the series but I do appreciate where the next episodes could potentially go. The best moments in the episode are the relationship and family dynamics between Javier David and Kate. I also enjoyed spending some time learning more about the New Frontier and hopefully we get to find out more in future episodes. Overall if you enjoy the Walking Dead series and have stuck with the Telltale series thus far then you owe it to yourself to play this episode at least to get some resolution on the cliffhanger presented in episode 2.