The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 4: Thicker Than Water (Xbox One) Review

By Joe DeAndrea 04.05.2017

Review for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 4: Thicker Than Water on Xbox One

After coming off the mediocre finish that ended The Walking Dead: A New Frontier's third episode, Telltale attempts to right the ship as best it can with the penultimate release titled Thicker Than Water. Solid at its core, episode number four is more of the same that has been seen all season long, but it tends to succeed better at certain aspects where it may have fallen short previously. With one episode remaining, Thicker Than Water ultimately sets up for what should be a memorable finale.

Something to note about episode four is that, other than its ending, it isn't packed with much action, as heavy dialogue tends to drive the narrative in a slow-burn fashion. This is something that Telltale would seesaw with regularly - sometimes, the action-less moments of an episode were trite and did little to make the viewer feel very invested. However, when they do it right, like in this case, it makes for some of the more solid moments in the game.

In terms of the appropriately titled Thicker Than Water, players once again see the development of Javi's background and relationships via flashbacks - mainly, Javi and his brother and their connection before the apocalypse. With the flashback complete, the viewer gets a better understanding of not only Javi, but why he decides to try to keep the family together when his brother is originally out of the picture. Though flashbacks may appear to be played out in excess at this point in the season, or as a crutch to take place for present-day moments, there's credit to be given to Telltale for managing to make them worth the watch. As each one explores various facets of characters effectively, they end up being one of the things to look forward to the most with each episode release.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 4: Thicker Than Water on Xbox One

As far as present day goes, however, the episode clearly has a strong "set up" feel to it that penultimates generally do. The big bad for the season - revealed as Joan in the last episode - completes her transformation as a power-hungry maniac, and despite the sudden shift in her personality, the change hits just as hard as it would have if it had been built upon over a larger period of time.

Interestingly, as Telltale succeeds in drawing things out to make a relationship more impactful or a payoff more meaningful, they also have a knack for flipping a moment on like a light switch - and it just goes to show how quickly things can change in their worlds. As a result, it's hard to stay too disappointed at certain plot devices when it can all be improved in an instant, and they've shown that it usually will be.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - Episode 4: Thicker Than Water on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

With a high-throttle ending leading to a satisfying conclusion for Thicker Than Water, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier finally heads back on track when it comes to finishing up the job. While another cliff-hanger, it's one that feels like it'll actually lead somewhere instead of predictability lingering at the forefront. Things are set up beautifully for the finale, and players will see if all the risks going into this season end up being worth it.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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