For as quickly as characters come and go in The Walking Dead titles, you've got to give Telltale Games credit for continuing to pull together a compelling cast. Ex-baseball star Javier Garcia's only been around for three instalments, but already he feels like part of the fettered furniture: his complex family dynamic once again the star of Episode 3: Above the Law.
Flashbacks play a large part in A New Frontier's latest piece of fiction, fleshing out events shortly after the fall. Despite robotic animations that wouldn't look out of place in a certain sci-fi juggernaut, the developer once again illustrates the power of great writing: it's hard not to feel something for The Walking Dead's current cast – be it love or loathing.
David – the apparent antagonist who just so happens to be Javi's asshole sibling – takes centre stage in this story, as the seeming safety of settlement Richmond inevitably harbours darker secrets. That means more conversations and difficult decision making, as you're forced to decide where your loyalties lie on the fly.
The maturing Clementine plays a smaller role, and despite her remaining the series' strongest asset, the constant cameos can start to stick out – it feels a bit like she's being shoehorned into the plot just to provide a familiar face. But seeing as she's such a strong character, it's hard to complain about this too heavily – it's nice to have her around even if her presence is approach fanservice now.
Perhaps the biggest criticism that can be pointed at this episode, then, is how unsatisfyingly it ends. Given how tardy Telltale Games can be getting these instalments out, we were hoping for a big cliffhanger to tide us over. Instead, it just seems to stop abruptly; obviously we're still eager to see what happens next, but it's not a great conclusion as far as we're concerned.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 3: Above the Law is simmering. Javier Garcia is a great character, and aside from some cartoonish bit-parts, the cast that he's surrounding himself with is equally intriguing. Clem's inclusion feels a little forced at this point, but it's good to have her around all the same. An unsatisfying conclusion lets this instalment down, but we're still very much enjoying the ride.