We just played through Episode 4 – Thicker than Water from The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series and wanted to share our thoughts so far on this cool game from Telltale Games.
Who: Telltale Games
Makers of several games including various Walking Dead games, Batman (we reviewed previously), Game of Thrones, and Now Guardians of the Galaxy.
What: most recent Walking Dead game from Telltale games(still featuring, though in a lesser role, the young and very tough Clementine)
When: released on April 25, 2017
Where: various platforms – PC (My chosen Platform) via Steam, XBox, PlayStation, iOS, Android
This game is another episodic choose-your-own-adventure type game set in the world of Walking Dead. A New Frontier focuses on Javier (Javi) Garcia and the tough decisions he has to make as leader of what's left of his family in this zombie filled post apocalyptic world. The game is rated M for Mature due to Blood, Gore, Intense Violence and use of Drugs so it's not a game I'd recommend for kids. Fans of the Walking Dead comic, the previous Telltale Dead titles or episodic game will, however, probably enjoy it quite a bit. The game basically plays out almost like a movie or TV show where you get to participate at various times. I found myself diving deep in to the story. This is great but more than once I was surprised at times when I had to engage with the game to make decisions or fight off bad guys. The controls are not difficult. On Steam/PC you can use either keyboard or controller .. you just have to be ready to take action. If you fail to take action, there's no real harm as the story will either play on (in the case of making no choice on how to respond) or you'll respawn if your lack of action causes you to die in the game. I died at least once in each episode and generally it was because I grabbed the wrong controller type or just wasn't ready with hands on keys.
Episode 4 starts us off with a pre-zombie flashback with Javi and his brother David. We learn some background information about David's marital troubles and why he joined up in the military. The in ‘present day' we find Javi and David imprisoned in the city of Richmond after having confronted Joan about her approach to supplying the town. I assume the game plays out mostly in this fashion even if you make some slightly different choices along the way. David is taken away by Joan leaving Javi alone in the decontamination room. Javi eventually escapes and meets up with his slightly annoying nephew Gabe. Gabe and Javi make it back to David's house where they meet up with the rest of Javi's family and the remaining folks from the Prescott town.
After some drama with Kate, and then Tripp's desire for love advice (in the middle of all this!), Ava, Gabe and Javi take off in search of weapons. Weapons are acquired and Javi gets stabbed due to a mess up by Gabe (again, I assume this is part of the main story line) and Javi runs in to Clementine who is looking for a young boy she used to parent.
I don't want to run through the whole episode and spoil all the detail but there is quite a bit packed, once again, in to this episode with some pretty dramatic twists at the end. You've got to make several tough moral choices along the way. You can see the effects of earlier decisions playing out as well and I'll give one example. In my play through, Javi shot Tripp's friend Conrad in an earlier episode. This decision comes back to haunt Javi in this episode as Gabe, annoying Gabe, reveals this to Tripp during a heated argument. Not cool Gabe. Tripp is understandably angry and turns against Javi.
The story up to and including episode 4 is quite engaging even if you haven't played all the other series. I'm really looking forward to the conclusion of the series and to some replay after finalizing. I can't find official word on release date but the community link says “May” so hopefully we'll see the final episode in the next 30 days or so.
Costs and where to get the game
$24.99 for all 5 episodes – Again, Ep 5 is not out yet. Also, I'm estimating approx 5-8 hours of game play on your first pass through.
Here is the Telltale link containing links to the various platforms: