It has been years since I played season one of Tell Tale’s “The Walking Dead”. I hadn’t played season two due to having owned it on a different machine. I wanted to continue my story, and my brain wouldn’t allow me to start all over. When I was approached to review A New Frontier: Episode 4, I was reluctant. I knew that if I took this challenge I would have to play season 2, plus three episodes of the current season, but I threw caution to the wind, and decided to marathon the series in 4 days. I am glad I did. It is the best way to enjoy these incredible adventures.
The Walking Dead series has a history of being some of the most well written and incredibly performed video games. New Frontier has kept up with that tradition here. Chances are if you are reading this, you have played the first three episodes of this series, so you likely know the tension building up to this episode. Unfortunately “Thicker than Water” is all about the set up for the explosive finale, as most pre-finale’s tend to be. Having said that – this episode might leave something to be desired if you are just playing it on its own.
All stories have ups and downs – it is a proven formula for story telling for centuries. Usually the order of events for a story’s plot is: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Episode 4 is the “falling action” section. Each episode here usually has its own mini version of this, but in a truncated 2 hour experience it can be lackluster. I recommend playing at least the previous chapter once more in order for it to have its proper impact. It is a shame that Tell Tale releases these episodes so far apart, because not having episode 3 and 5 as book ends really hurts this episode as a stand alone entity. That’s not to say we don’t have something fun here to play, but if you are playing episodes as they come out, this may leave a poor taste in your mouth.
All in all, you probably know what you are getting into here with “Thicker than Water”. It is a slower moving portion of the story, serving to resolve the previous episode and set up the next. If I had to give it a numerical score I would give it a 7/10. It is a good part of a greater game. You may want to wait for the season finale to come out first and play them both back-to-back.