There has always been something about Telltale’s finales that have, almost without fail, pulled at the audience’s heartstrings. Now while previous seasons had a solid build-up as well as a great cliffhanger that left players expecting a wild ride during the final episode, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier has struggled heavily in this department. That being said, with From the Gallows being the conclusion to this third season has the company managed to turn things around?
Considering this is a review covering the final episode in the season it is highly recommended that readers complete the previous four episodes in an effort to avoid spoilers as various events from these episodes will be discussed from here on out.
Continuing with the theme of the season so far From the Gallows starts with a flashback that touches upon Javi and David’s past as they play a game of dominoes with their father. This short look back at the past gives us another look at the family dynamic between the brothers and another chance for players to establish Javi’s feelings for his family, something that has been another running theme through this season.
After this brief flashback we are thrown back into the present where the explosive effects from the ending of episode four are beginning to take effect as the stronghold that the New Frontier have set themselves up in is invaded by the horde of “muertos” that was once held at bay. Thanks to the events that have taken place over previous episodes and various betrayals of trust, the tensions between the surviving members of Javi’s group are at an all-time high with danger roaming the streets. Unfortunately some of this tension comes from characters once again shifting attitudes at the drop of a hat and reacting in unusual ways to certain events.
Despite these awkward shifts, these confrontations are easily the most engaging you’ll have with these survivors at this point thanks to the fact that the stakes are so high and everyone is inches away from losing it. After figuring out a plan, the episode takes a slower pace as the group continues to move towards surviving and finalize their little arcs until everything once again comes to a head before the episode comes to a close and players are forced to make a heavy decision that may play a large role in future events depending on how things are handled going forward.
When From the Gallows was released, Telltale described it as being the must customized experience that they have had to offer and that is indeed the case as there are a large number of scenes that you may or may not see depending on who has lived up to this point as well as various decisions and interactions you have chosen to make playing as both Javi and Clementine throughout the season. This can lead to some rather surprising outcomes that will lead to very few players experiencing the same exact events and even discussing the episode after led to wildly different results by the time that the final decisions were made, with some characters living and dying even when certain choices were made during these scenes that were the exact same, leaving some results up to earlier choices that weren’t so easy to discern, or at least not easy to figure out until you are given a rundown of your interactions with the key characters by the time the credits roll.
In an effort tomove the story along at a brisk pace and try to close as many plot points as possible From the Gallows features nothing in the form of puzzles and only simple movement/exploration sequences. Even the action scenes are a bit standard in nature outside of the final few confrontations that, once again, vary depending on your choice. It is worth noting that Telltale once again pulls a fast one with players by making a seemingly difficult decision near the end of the last episode meaningless as the outcome leads to an abrupt and out of nowhere conclusion that, while fitting considering death is everywhere in a zombie apocalypse, is disappointing nonetheless.
It is also worth noting that this episode suffered from quite a large number of glitches. Not only does a character that died in the previous episode, or should be dead at this point anyway, briefly appear during a scene but there are numerous graphical glitches that pop up. This includes a navigational scene that has zombies appear abruptly leading to a death scene after a non-intractable cutscene.
Visuals & Audio
From the Gallows may not feature the most action packed sequences but the amount of gore and detail in these scenes is still handled very well. Another thing that the development team pulled off well this episode are the faction animations for characters as they witness the various outcomes to the events that take place in front of them. Unfortunately, as mentioned before, texture glitches, random jittering character models, and other issues plagued this episode throughout my time with it.
The voice work for the characters, including a familiar face that makes an appearance again, is once again handled incredibly well. This does wonders for the emotional scenes that take place by playing up the fact that these are still decently written characters despite the random emotion swings.
After the events leading up to the end of A New Frontier things seemed rather questionable as the writing has been a bit all over the place and for a time even an end goal seemed shadowed. Thankfully through some strong focused storytelling and events we see a solid conclusion with From the Gallows. While perhaps not as striking as previous events in the series have been, the events that transpire during the episode should please most fans and considering this is the very first time that the series has actually flat out told players that the story will continue, it will be interesting to see where things go after the build-up of Clementine during A New Frontier.