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October 2021

The Walking Dead: Season Three

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Telltale Games
Release Date: Dec. 20, 2016

About Brian Dumlao

After spending several years doing QA for games, I took the next logical step: critiquing them. Even though the Xbox One is my preferred weapon of choice, I'll play and review just about any game from any genre on any system.


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PC Review - 'The Walking Dead: A New Frontier' Episode 4 - Thicker Than Water

by Brian Dumlao on May 1, 2017 @ 2:00 a.m. PDT

The Walking Dead: Season Three continues the story a group of zombie apocalypse survivors, seeking safety in a world gone mad.

Buy The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

The previous episode of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier gave players a better glimpse of life within the new group, for better or worse. It also gave players more insight on how the relationship between Javier and David is since they rediscovered each other after presuming the other had perished. It had those positives, but it also came with the idea that the game was going to retread plotlines the TV series and comic had already gone through, albeit with a different cast. The fourth episode, Thicker Than Water, has arrived, and if you're familiar with the franchise, you'll know exactly what to expect.

Things start off once more with a flashback. This time, we're taken to the batting cages as David helps try to cheer up Javi after getting booted from the league. It works, but you also get to see some insight into what's plaguing David, after experiencing more of his verbal anger. He's at least aware that his is marriage starting to deteriorate, and while he's decided that going back to the Army would be best for all, he also asks you to look after everyone while he's gone. The little bit of background not only gives you a better idea of one of the reasons you decided to stick around with the family, but it also helps you get a better grip on a decision you'll make later on.

The game then comes back to the present, with both you and David being thrown in the holding cell and subsequently getting blamed for everything going sideways. It doesn't take long before Joan comes in to break up the impromptu fight, takes away David and leaves you to your own devices. This subsequently leads to your escape and mission to regroup with everyone else and leave town. Unfortunately, you have to stick around for a bit to rescue David — and there's a large horde of Walkers at the town gates.

A majority of this episode is centered on setup. You'll spend lots of time trying to execute plans to get everything you need to make a safe escape whether it be getting guns or getting a truck that almost ensures safe passage. Along the way, you'll even get to another Clementine flashback that explains her drive to keep going even after AJ is taken away from her. That scene, if played out right, ultimately leads to a thread that is hopefully solved in the next episode instead of being a setup for a potential fourth game. Until you reach the end of the episode, though, you're not going to get much in the way of progress in the story.

There are two elements that are pretty groan-worthy, though. The first is Gabe, who still comes off as too hotheaded and troublesome . It's typical TV teenage behavior, as he gets moody and too gung-ho at times, often causing harm rather than doing good. It is unfair to ask that a character change dramatically over the course of what amounts to a few days, but he's remained an unlikeable character to the point where there'd be little emotion shown if trouble befell him.

The second element is Joan's rapid character transformation. The end of the third episode cast her as a calm enemy, and you get glimpses of that at the beginning of this episode. However, by the end of this episode, she's suddenly become power-mad and manipulative, a complete change from just one day ago. Her speeches at the end have her go full-throttle insane instead of showing a slow descent, and as a result, when compared to other series villains like the Governor or Negan, she is flat-out forgettable.

The conclusion of Thicker Than Water is exactly what you'd expect from the series, and that's not a bad thing. For action fans, the setup means that the final episode is sure to be full of gore. For everyone else, though, having to spend so much time with some unlikeable and underdeveloped characters makes the episode feel like a drag, so the end is met with relief rather than longing to see the conclusion. It shouldn't be long before the final episode hits, but here's hoping things end on an upswing.

Score: 7.0/10

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