And so another episode has graced us players once again. The penultimate episode of Telltale’s Walking Dead: A New Frontier, “Thicker than Water“, had everything that was expected of a Telltale game. There were small improvements with the gameplay and Telltale released the game on time (unlike the previous episode) so I call that a win.
Spoiler alert for those who dare to enter!
Now a brief recap of the episode. As per usual, we get a quick flashback before the outbreak with Javi and David at the batting cages. After the AMA with Telltale on Reddit last month, I’ve started to look at these flashbacks a little differently since supposedly the flashbacks try to explore a theme for the episode.
In the present, everything is going downhill for our protagonist: David is taken away for execution, Gabe reveals Conrad’s true fate (if, like many others, you’ve chosen this path) which prompts Eleanor and Tripp to lose faith in Javi (unless there’s a way to avoid that), the New Frontier are after him, and not to mention the hoard of walkers just outside the walls of Richmond. The only flicker of light is Clementine’s appearance.
Every moment with Clem is one to be cherished. Especially as we – literally – witness her become a woman in front of our very eyes. It was hilarious and awkward in this moment of normalcy during such dire times and I just adore seeing Clem back on my screen.
On that note, I love watching Gabe and Clem’s relationship develop (contrary to popular opinion) but on the other hand, I’m just not on board with Kate and Javi’s forced “moments” especially when Kate explicitly asks if Javi shares these feelings of forbidden love. Though, Kate’s fate isn’t left on the best of endings by the episode’s conclusion.
There was more opportunities to interact and explore between scenes compared to previous episodes – a great sign that shows the creators are listening to the fans. I read on the Walking Dead Wiki that this episode has the most determinant deaths out of all the episodes which is something shows how much your choices will impact the fates of the other characters. Though my only qualm with the series so far is how much our choices shape the story outside of character deaths. The one exception seems to be Conrad: potentially one of the greatest determinant character in the Walking Dead series. I’ve read so much about Conrad’s involvement if he still lives so I might just have to do another playthrough with Conrad alive.
In the end, Thicker than Water was a great episode and a massive improvement in terms of gameplay. I’m curious to see how the season ends and where it will leave the characters so here’s hoping for an event filled finale.