MAKE THE PLAN.
IMMEDIATELY CHANGE THE PLAN.
After a strong first episode, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, “Ties That Bind Part 2”, continues the tightly paced second installment of the season. The action packed episode draws on some similar themes as the first half of “Ties That Bind” while introducing deeper backstories to characters.
The second episode begins, similar to the first, with a flashback centered around Javi’s family. The relationship between Javi and his sister-in-law, Kate is explored further, allowing players to form a strict boundary relationship or skirt the line with sexual tension. That relationship is ultimately tested in front of David, Javi’s brother and Kate’s husband. The reflecting decisions in this sequence seem innocuous at the time, but gradually show their effects through the episode, climaxing towards an important event at the end.
Once we return back to present day, Javi and Clementine begin to reflect on the events that occurred at the end of the first episode. This, along with the two of them reuniting with Kate and Gabe, offers strong dialogue between numerous characters during this lull right before the tension drives back up. Critical decisions pop up again, but offers little impact to the next few beats. Soon tension drives back up with a new character to the Telltale series, though fans of the Walking Dead franchise will cite him pretty quickly. The idea of trusting this character is logically presented, and eventually pushes the story along nicely.
Throughout the latter half of the episode, clear tension amongst the characters becomes palpable. A boiling point eventually occurs after some interesting revelations emerge along with some unspoken hatred towards a prior decision in the episode. Players are forced to decide how they want Javi to react to this, and climatically make the most important decision in the episode. This choice not only forces a clear branching for the end of the episode, but lays the groundwork for the preliminary moments of the next.
Graphics in The Walking Dead: A New Frontier continue to be marginally improved over other seasons, however, unlike the first episode, there were several moments where frame rate plummeted. Though this didn’t entirely affect the experience, it was frustrating enough to deal with.
The Verdict: 8.0 out of 10
“Ties That Bind Part 2” continues the momentum of the first episode while blending in backstory for several characters. The growing tension throughout the episode kept the uneasiness high, leading to the very satisfying climax. My concern with so many flashbacks was set aside due to their relevancy, though they were a bit too relevant – aligning almost too exactly with the storyline of present day.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.