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The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct PDF Print E-mail
Written by Adam Kerr   
26 03 2013

 

Image Licensed video games. There was once a time when these were just not accepted, and for a pretty good reason. If we go back, a long way back, into the Atari era, you'll find a game. This game is, even now, considered to being the biggest, money grabbing farce ever. The game was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In the wake of Steven Spielberg's film of the same name, combined with the video game explosion of the 80's, the game flew off the shelves. The game itself, was a flop. An unplayable mess, clearly designed to cash in on the success of the film title and it worked, selling 1.5 MILLION copies worldwide. Despite being ripped to shreds by critics and fans it started a chain reaction.


 

The 90's came and South Park happened. It sold well, but again the game was a flop. The worst was yet to come. Batman games, Superman games, Aquaman games, were all being churned out yearly. They were constantly destroyed by critics and fans and yet people kept buying them, so they kept making more. Then in the new generation, the 2000's, something started to change. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic came first, receiving universal acclaim. Then came Batman: Arkham Asylum which, along with it's sequel (Arkham City) was praised by everyone who tried it. Tell-Tale released The Walking Dead, an adventure game, praised highly for an exceptional story telling experience that forced from the eyes of even the toughest gamers. So finally, it seems, the tide is turning, could Terminal Reality's The Walking Dead: Survival (TWD:SI) Instinct build on these successes?

Gameplay

This game had it all going for it. Financial backing from Activision, experienced game developers in Terminal Reality and even being able to build from the same game engine as Call of Duty. So, can somebody explain how on Earth this game is so dreadful? I don't enjoy hating games, but sometimes it's just unavoidable. From depressing slow characters to a repetitive and annoying zombie killing mini game, there is literally nothing to enjoy about this game. The best place to start will have to be survival. It's part of the title so it's clearly an important factor. An important factor that was obsolete by the end of chapter one. The reason for this simply being, I had enough of everything. Literally, I had to pick up no more food or fuel between chapter one and the end of the game. Inventory wise, survival is simply too easy, so what about the hordes of undead?


Well, as individuals, they're idiots, which is fair enough, they are idiotic in the television series too. OK, so what about when they're in a pack? They become very polite Zombies, that's for sure. When a Zombie gets too close, they initiate a mini game, in which you must move the mouse (analogue stick) over their head and stab them. This may seem like a good feature, until there is about fifteen Walkers surrounding you. All of sudden it's just a constant repetition of the same mini game and even more annoyingly, this is actually the most efficient way of killing them. Guns, in this game, are just pointless. Why are they there? All they do is attract more of them nasty Biters (who tend to spawn, out of nowhere in front of your eyes). When it comes to fighting the Zeds off, you'd have more fun not fighting.

Story

The story is set as a prequel to the television show. It follows Daryl Dixon and his search for Merle (who is in prison). To be fair to whoever wrote the story for this game it isn't actually a bad storyline at all. It's just a shame that these two characters already have a back story and it wasn't what the game portrayed it to be. This of course won't bother the people who aren't originally Walking Dead fans, although, I really can't see a reason to want to play this game if you aren't just a massive Walking Dead geek who must know and own everything related to the franchise.

Game Length

Now, this is a big one. Most games that cost 30 (like this does), would normally last for about fifteen to eighteen hours (main story), and possibly longer with if there are other things to do on the side. I completed THW:SI in two hours and thirty minutes. Two hours and thirty minutes, including sneaking through the game, trying to play it properly, disposing of many zombies. I honestly believe that, if you were to simply ignore the zombies and decide not to search the limited building you can enter, this game could be completed in an hour. There are flash games, for free, that last more than double that.

Overall

Having started talking about how licensed games were originally failures, used to make money but recently had some form of surge into popularity, this game may have killed the momentum. Already the poor standard of gaming has caused an outcry to boycott licensed games. People are angry, they were charged a great deal but they didn't seem to get much in return. The game is shoddy, everything about is just yells bad business on the publishers part. Alas, someone has once again slapped a popular brand name on a disk and we've all succumbed to temptation and bought it. If you want to buy a Walking Dead game, but Tell-Tale's version. It's half the price and ten times longer. Actually, this review is ten times longer.

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