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The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Episode 4 - Thicker than Water
Score: 95%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/Action/Survival Horror

Previously on The Walking Dead:

Tensions were sky high in Episode 3 Ė Above the Law while it seemed that Javier was constantly pitted against his brother, David, who also happened to be one of the leaders of Richmond. Behind the tension was a lot of backstory with Javi and David not always getting along, Davidís leaving and not returning to his wife, Kate, and his two children, and also Javi and Kate starting to fall for each other in Davidís absence. Added to this drama was David seemingly not being the nicest guy on the block, as seen in multiple scenes throughout the first three episodes, and as told by Clementine through her flashbacks.

Fast-forward to the end of Episode 3 and we see that Javier, Tripp, and crew are exiled from Richmond but are led to meet up with David at a building outside of town. It is there we learned that some of the people that were friends to David Ė and also happened to have killed Davidís daughter, Mariana Ė were using this building as a storage site for all of the raids they had done behind Davidís back. Decisions are made, and that leads us into what is the best episode so far in the series.

Returning to Richmond:

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Episode 4 Ė Thicker than Water has Javier and crew returning to Richmond to locate and extract Kate, Gabe, and Eleanor. In the process, they all find a location to lie low, but soon realize that they canít leave due to an enormous horde of zombies outside the safety of the townís walls. In the meantime, Javi gets to accidentally overhear some dialogue between Tripp and Eleanor that suggests they had a thing for each other, which may or may not have other implications because it seemed like there may have also been a little spark between Eleanor and Javier a couple of episodes back. That aside, the group decides to raid the armory for some guns, ammunition, and other supplies, with the help of Ava, an inside friend of Davidís who we know packs a punch. Just ask Tripp.

A Continued Power Struggle:

At this point one thing is clear, Joan (who is one of the four leaders of Richmond) is up to a bit more action and deviation than she wants to lead people to believe. Hostility between Joan and David has grown stronger. The other two leaders, Clint and Dr. Lingard, donít seem to show any favoritism, but also both have their own ways about them. Clint leans a bit toward Joan, but her actions do have him questioning things as well. Dr. Lingard has unfortunately all but given up. We learn that he has an additional problem and eventually this leads to an ill-fated encounter with Javier and Clementine.

Meanwhile, David is nowhere to be seen. He had been held captive and now Javi and Gabe have a struggle (i.e. more drama) as to whether or not they should go after David, or if that decision would be too risky. Depending on your responses, the dialogue and course of relationships can take a wide turn in Episode 4 Ė Thicker than Water, and that is what makes this fourth part so damn good. One way or another, Davidís fate is soon revealed.

Maybe the Group Shouldnít Hang Around:

The tension has been strong between all parties leading up to Episode 4, but it soon comes to a head near the end. Kate and Javi confront each other about the growing passion between them. Clem may have a meltdown about David. Javierís actions may have backfired with Tripp and Gabe. There are a lot of emotions brewing in the background, depending on your decision points in the series leading up to this point. Before we know it, we see David with a noose around his neck and Joan playing to the crowd about what needs to be done for the sanctity of Richmond. The approaching stench is not just coming from walkers. Death is definitely in the air, and there is no stopping its momentum.

Episode 4 Ė Thicker than Water is where multiple saves and replayability of the series finally has revealed itself as being worth the time investment because now players can clearly see different relationships unfold based on your previous actions. The problem is that this is The Walking Dead, and at this point, we all know that relationships are meant to crumble and that we should expect the unexpected. Death is a sinister beast that doesnít always follow the rules of a happy ending. It will be interesting to see the finale of A New Frontier when Episode 5 - From the Gallows is released.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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