This is a great new take on zombie survival, quick decision making can be very exciting, great graphics and sound. Unfortunately the penalty for death is non-existent, and it's far too easy to stay alive.
The idea of zombies instantly conjures up several video game tropes: hordes of the undead, loads of ammo, and linear gameplay. These “staples” are so prolific in the industry that it’s reaching the point of a pandemic. I already know I’ll be shooting the shambling remains of whatever population that succumbs to the disease/curse. I already know I’ll move from small guns to bigger guns as the game progresses. And I already know that the story will remain the same no matter how many times I play it. Not all games in the genre are subject to this stereotyping, but one of them really break away from it, either. And then we have Walking Dead: The Game, released just yesterday. It tries to be as different from its predecessors as possible while staying in the same category, and that’s definitely a good thing. Also, although Walking Dead: The Game is based off of a comic book and TV show, I’ve never seen either, and it didn’t affect the quality of gameplay.
Slow To Start, Hard To Put Down
The first way to be “different” in a zombie survival game is to focus most on what typical zombie games tend to ignore: story. You’ll spend most of your time interacting with items and characters, building relationships and identities. If that seems like it’s a bit slow, that’s because it is. But any impatience you may have with the pace is swept away once you get sucked into dark tone of the game. Rather than trying to make you jump every now and then with zombies popping out of the closet, the game prefers to take the psychological route. And it quickly becomes addicting. Society has just fallen and the world has ended. How will you reestablish order? Distribute limited supplies? Choose sides between disagreeing groups? Decide who lives and who dies? This quickly becomes one of the few things on your mind: what’s the best thing to do? And here we come to the core mechanic of the game: quick decision making.
Quick Decision Making Replaces Quick Shooting
At first, that might seem a bit disappointing. You’ll quickly change your mind, because these aren’t the simplest decisions to make. They all have consequences, they’re all while you’re under stress, and most of all, they’re all timed. You’ll have just a few seconds to decide anything, from whose life to save to how to answer a simple question. You’ll need to choose wisely, too, because your decisions have impact. Some are short-term and have little impact on the story, and others are long-term, affecting everything and carrying over to other episodes. You’ll know when you come to these because the game will indicate when it happens, and it happens more often than you’d think (or want).
Great Music And Graphics Set The Tone Perfectly
Not much to say here. Disappointed? Don’t be, this just means that it’s hard to find words other than “great” to describe the sound and visuals. be it from sound effects or background music, character designs to distant scenery, you won’t be disappointed. Some of the best you’ll find in the Appstore, easily.
Too Easy To Survive This Survival Game
With a focus on narration and story, it’s obvious that the combat scenes will suffer. As in, they can barely be called combat at all. Getting attacked by a zombie? Just tap on it to attack, or on occasion you’ll have to slide your finger across the screen. This leads into the next criticism well. The game is easy. Way, way more easy than expected. It’s not like that’s a bad thing; the main focus is clearly meant to make you think or panic, and you need to be alive to do either of those.
Speaking of which, there were a couple of times that I died when I didn’t think I would, but not because of surprising difficulty. Rather, slightly inaccurate controls made me miss grabbing a weapon or look in the other direction. It happened very rarely, and free roaming was very easy to control on the touchscreen, but it happened nonetheless.
Lastly, and probably most frustrating, was the autosave. You can’t manually save this game. The game will do it for you, and won’t tell you when it does. You also can’t check afterwards, either. It just seemed a little unnecessary that I wasn’t sure if turning it off and taking a shower would lose any progress or not.
However, you can tell by the score above that these are rather small complaints. I was pulled into the story and forced quick thinking thoroughly and often enough that I didn’t think about much else until after the game was finished. I would definitely say this game is worth your money, regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the series. Waiting for episodic gameplay is annoying, but I have faith that my patience will be rewarded with an experience of the same quality or higher.
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