The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
Gameplay - 6
Presentation - 3
Story/Creativity - 4
Lifespan - 5
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is clearly a money grabbing attempt at the popular license and because of the rushed status; it shows within the game evidently. There are some interesting ideas here with picking up survivors and giving them tasks, so if you can forgive a lot of the game’s flaws you may enjoy yourself here.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct contains a few interesting elements but ultimately it’s a poorly made rushed game and nothing more but a cash grab attempt on the popular brand.
Everybody knows the mega popular TV show The Walking Dead, it has a major following. Of course, naturally spin offs were going to happen from such fame. Last year developer Telltale games made a five episodic adventure game based from the show, and received critical acclaim for its wonderful depth in storytelling and emotional depth of the characters.
Here we the exact opposite with The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Quite clearly from the get go you can see a poorly made game, with unappealing visuals, stiff game mechanics and generally it’s uninteresting. However, players may forgive most of the game’s shortcomings and might find some experience to endure if they can ignore all of that.
A first person survival game seemed appealing when crossed with The Walking Dead. After completing and loving the Telltale series I wanted more, but of course I was skeptical after learning Developer Terminal Games were making it, with their last game being Kinect Star Wars.
This time around the plot is based towards the TV show, where you take the role of Daryl. It takes place before the first season with Daryl, along with his brother Merle, trying to survive the onslaught of the new Walker threat.
The idea is set out pretty nice I admit. You drive to different locations on the map, looking for supplies including fuel for your vehicle, food and ammo for the weaponry you find along the way. There are multiple paths to choose when deciding a location at times and can take different roads to that destination.
When traveling, your vehicle consumes fuel – so when you go to your next location on the map you can pick whether you use the back roads, which consumes more fuel but you may more supplies along the way or the highways which is quicker and uses less fuel but with less chance for salvage. There is also a middle ground option as well.
Once you reach your destination, you’ll be in an open area starting with your hunting knife. Objectives you will given to you and you must find your way to the points by fighting your way through the zombie hoard, or move stealthy without being seen.
You have a compass to assist you to find where your next objective is located. But, you are free to move around the area and find much needed supplies to help your survival. It’s imperative you do this as supplies are very limited and you need everything you can get to survive.
Along your findings you might find other survivors with some giving you side quests to do in return for supplies. They will also join you when traveling if your vehicle has enough seats. Before starting a new area you can assign them to find supplies and give them a weapon from your inventory. A percentage rating shows the likeliness of their survival where you may or may not see them again.
Choose your weapon wisely as using guns will sound every Walker in your area towards you, where bladed weapons are silent and you can catch them for quick kills if you get behind them.
I found the combat to be quite stiff, particularly when using bladed weapons. Guns weren’t much of an issue but they don’t feel as tuned as top quality games have.
You can pick up supplies to heal your health, and for distracting Walkers that are in your way. Once you complete an area you can store them in your vehicle and switch items in your inventory for the next location.
So are my issues with this game? It’s not a broken game by any means, although there are plenty of glitches to be found. It’s just all very bland and uninteresting. Once you find Daryl’s brother he does very little to help you take down the Walker herd. There isn’t much story involvement or progression even though you’re moving one place to the next; it does a poor job making us feel or care.
It’s a shame because they are some decent ideas at work here, it’s just none are executed well. It’s clear that it looks like a rushed job to get the game out while the TV series is still intact.
Now we come to the visual aspect of The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. I have to say, this is one of the more dreadful looking games I’ve seen in quite some time. We’re talking early this generation standard which is a good 6 years old now, even good PS2 games are still looking better than this.
It’s not particularly the design that wrecks it; it’s the way it shows on your screen. It’s very distorted and fuzzy with a bland look of everything around you. The characters models aren’t very detailed at all, the only thing I found with decent amount of detail were the zombies, which is noticeable when their up in your face.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct needs at least six to eight months more development to get the graphics at a par level, it’s clearly unfinished. As I said before, perhaps the reason was to rush it out during the series – unfortunately people may get suckered into buying this game because of that.
There isn’t much to the sound design as there isn’t much in the game itself. Themes play only when traveling to locations, and when zombies are closely nearby you. The Walkers make their deranged sounds appropriately, although weapon sounds aren’t convincing as you may have wanted.
You can complete the game in about five to six hours. I wouldn’t buy it at full price, it’s a bargain bin game all of way.