[There are possible spoilers in this review.]
A Telltale game series hardly needs an introduction, but just in case, Telltale’s The Walking Dead is an episodic decision-based action game loosely based off the original titular comic book series. The episode begins where we left off with the new protagonist, Javier, and his struggle to keep his brother’s family together in a post-apocalyptic world. This episode is pretty decision heavy with a lot of quick time events, unlike the last episode which felt more exposition heavy.
Gameplay is still the same and requires use of the WASD, E, and Q keys as well as the mouse. The quick-time events are not as forgiving as the previous episode. The decisions are a lot more difficult and often must be made split second. There are several environments to explore, but not much choice in how you choose to interact within it. Essentially, there is the appearance of choices within the environment, but there is only one real way to do things. This does not take away from the playthrough.
In regards to actual issues, this episode seemed to suffer from a few glitches, especially in regard to fluidity. There were numerous clipping textures or moments when body parts became transparent and passed through objects. This was evident in several cut scenes, but thankfully not during gameplay. There were also unnatural pauses within the beginning cutscenes despite the audio continuing. These issues may be the result of having more rendered cutscenes to account for than the previous episode. The other issue I had that is consistent within the series was the sudden camera angle changes when exploring, which makes for an awkward experience. It was not too much of an issue in this episode, but it is something that has resulted in unintentional consequences. I feel that this may not be an issue at all with the console version of the game.
The story itself was quite entertaining. It was immensely action packed, especially at the end. There were plenty of moments that caught me by surprise and kept the tension building. This was an episode where you can really see the effects of the decisions you’ve made. It really highlights the potential of Telltale games. The only issue I had was the scene between Clementine and Ava, which was perhaps an attempt to humanize Ava, but came off as a forced cliche. Other than that, I really enjoyed the story’s progression. The decisions were consistently challenging and accompanied with pressure or drama that drove the story forward. I really felt the payoff of waiting for more action from the previous episode.
Overall, I believe that this was one of the stronger episodes in The Walking Dead series. It has plenty of replay value, which is important with series like these which feature multiple endings. Despite some aesthetic issues that could perhaps be patched, I think that this episode is well worth your while for fans of Telltale or The Walking Dead. The cliffhanger has me eager to see how the series concludes in Episode Five.
Watch The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier Episode 4 Thicker Than Water Video:
You can download Episode 4: ‘Thicker Than Water’ on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Steam, iOS, and Android-based devices. The episode will also download for all users of the special Season Pass disc for consoles, which includes the critically acclaimed two-part premiere episodes, and grants access to Episode 4 and all subsequent episodes in the five episode season for download as they become available.