The adventure starts out with you playing as Daryl’s father in The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct who suddenly gets killed by zombies. Once he passes away then you become Daryl and embark on a quest to find your older brother, Meryl. You must journey through the zombie infested countryside of Georgia and try to find supplies as you go. Your first quest in the game is to find gas in order to get the escape vehicle up and running. Players will have the chance to gather a few supplies before leaving which include sports drinks, MREs, melee weapons, guns and bottles. Bottles along with flares can be thrown to distract large groupings of zombies which comes in handy during missions and scavenging.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct has crisp textures, intriguing gameplay and funny dialogue. Players will get a taste of the dialogue once they step into the car and a map appears asking you where you want to go. You will need to preserve gas which usually means taking the highway, but you can waste a little more gas and take the scenic route in order to scour for more supplies. Players will watch their position move on the map as the characters banter back and forth in the background. It would have been a little more interesting to drive your car across environments, but this method gives the game an old-school feel from a simpler time. Basically, it gives you a breather to relax in between missions from all the zombie-killing action.
The game’s soundtrack is a little bland and doesn’t install the amount of emotion needed for a zombie game of this nature. As you play through the game you will come across other survivors who you can choose to help or leave behind. If you feel evil enough then you can even find ways to get them killed. The zombies are very unpredictable in The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct which is something I enjoyed. The fact you never know if you will be attacked helps install the fear one would experience in such a situation. There are times when you can blast your weapons right beside a horde of zombies and not one will turn their head, and then there are other times when you can be as stealthy as possible, and still attract a horde. One of the best aspects of the game are the mini-games. If you become overrun by zombies then they will try to grapple you which automatically starts a mini-game. Now the face-stabbing party begins! While the game has some annoying aspects, one must admit it also has some entertaining ones as well. The unpredictability in the game means that anything is possible. Players can run out of gas, their car can break down and all of the unexpected can happen--just like in real life!
Rescuing survivors can be very handy because they can also assist you in missions and helping to scavenge for supplies. However, don’t get too attached because many of them won’t be around long! Daryl is rather heartless when it comes to other characters in the game and he would leave behind a whole family for a sports drink. Basically don’t expect a lot of drama when it comes to those heart-wrenching decisions of who goes and who dies. There is also little diversity when it comes to environments and zombies. Almost everything looks the same and you will feel like you are experiencing one long déjà vu sequence at times. But wouldn't all towns look about the same? Overrun and destroyed? Also, the game is based off the television show and how many diverse environments do you really see during the series? All in all, the fact that everything starts to look the same kind of meshes into the theme of the Apocalypse.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct may not be the perfect zombie game but in the end it is still fun. If you are a fan of the television show then you will enjoy the game’s character dialogue, the backstory and familiar environments. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is now available for $49.99 on PS3, Xbox 360, PC & Nintendo Wii U. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence & Strong Language. For more information on the game, check out the official The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct website.
Developer: Terminal Reality
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC & Nintendo Wii U
Release Date: March 19, 2013