After a long wait for the previous installment in the Walking Dead saga, the fourth and penultimate episode arrived quite swiftly. Telltale have previously stepped up a gear with the pacing of previous episodes and stellar cliff-hanger endings to ensure we, the fans, will return. But can they keep the momentum flowing with ‘Thicker Than Water’ ?
This review will remain largely spoiler free, and not touch on story specifics. So fear not if you have yet to dive into the series.
As soon as we begin, you’re thrown into a flashback sequence that explores the relationship between brothers Javier and David. Telltale are cleverly fleshing out a much needed look into the lives of our new characters which opens up the players mind in terms of seeing the situation differently. However the focus is equally centered on the now unplayable (except in flashbacks) Clementine, as we learn more about her new demeanour and what exactly happened at the very end of Season 2. We get those long awaited answers, dependent on how you chose the previous season to end, that is.
Clementine herself is beginning to mature, as Thicker Than Water takes its first step toward bringing our beloved teenager into womanhood. If you’ve played the previous seasons, it’s a touching, if not awkward for Javier, scene that manages to capture the nature of the situation and how the impending zombie apocalypse has eradicated education from a child’s life.
Telltale have toned down the pacing for the first few chapters of episode 4. But this is no doubt a deliberate attempt to lure you into a false sense of security as your situation intensifies. And with that, we’re faced with numerous, quick decision making dilemmas in what leads up to a shocking end, paving the way for the final episode.
If you have previously been playing A New Frontier, Thicker Than Water is another essential episode. And if not, Telltale have done no harm in creating another outstanding experience. Whilst there are less actual playable scenes you can physically walk around in, the on rails, quick time event action keeps the story flowing enough to ensure you won’t want to miss the conclusion.
Episode 4 is available now from the Xbox Store, priced £5.19
Thicker Than Water paves the way for an explosive finale in the war against The New Frontier and the Walkers. A slight slower pace may seem off putting, but episode 4 soon reveals itself to be another excellent emotional roller-coaster entry in the series.