The Rob Reviews The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
The Rob wasted his weekend playing this garbage so that you don’t have to.
I need to be very clear when I start this review DO NOT mistake this Walking Dead game for the 2012 game “Walking Dead” (minus the “Survival Instinct”). THAT game is one of the greatest games I’ve ever played (literally), and a FAR cry from this latest game. Run out and buy WALKING DEAD as soon as you can… Avoid WALKING DEAD: SURVIVAL INSTINCT like a plagued walker.
This confusion is probably what “Walking Dead: Survival Instinct” is hoping will help boost its sales. Early this year, the 2012 downloadable “Walking Dead” was getting an unheard of amount of praise and press for being one of the greatest gaming experiences of all-time. And it was, it was unlike anything I had ever played before. It reached through the screen and gripped you, refusing to let you go until the story of Lee and Clementine reached its dramatic conclusion. It was a PREMIERE example of why I believe video games are the supreme vehicle for storytelling, even better than movies. You can make your own decisions and literally take the journey with the people on the screen. It was a twisted and intriguing story that allowed players to make their own decisions, whether minute or grand, and would adapt the outcome to your experience. It was magnificent and I should probably review it in the near future. It was a great example of a game that did EVERYTHING right…
…Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for “Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.” Obviously, the AMC television series The Walking Dead is experiencing a tremendous popularity and success. Combine that with a recent and incredible response from an earlier game (made my by an entirely different company), and you’ve got a huge need for a follow-up while anyone and everyone are buying anything they see with “The Walking Dead” on the cover. All of the decision making and storytelling that made the first game great is completely absent. The clearly defined personalities and uncomfortable situations that make the TV show cable biggest success story are nonexistent.
Instead, Activision plopped out the most generic, unwelcoming, unoriginal, uninspired first-person shooter I’ve ever had the displeasure of playing. The game focuses on TV series B-level player Dixon (the dude with the crossbow). While it exists in the same “universe” as the TV show, don’t expect to recognize any other faces in this awful game, outside of his brother, the one who lost his hand in season 1 of the show. You’ll encounter other nonplayable characters throughout the game’s duration, but they’re completely nondescript and interchangeable, completely devoid of a personality or distinguishable traits.
The gameplay takes place in different sections on Dixon’s way to Atlanta. Whenever his vehicle breaks down, he gets out to continue the story. Along the way though, you’ll breakdown outside of these predetermined areas and often times have to search for gasoline, supplies, or parts. These sections are unbearably annoying. They’re completely unnecessary and time-consuming, used as a cheap way to make the game feel “fuller” than it actually is. When you actually get to your next “real” stop, you’ll find the difficulty to be all over the place. Some places a complete cakewalk, others painfully impossible, it’s utterly unbalanced.
The zombies are a mess, too. They’re all the same, with a few different skins. They act the same and there are no bosses or switch-ups to be had… Just mindless walkers. There was an annoyingly low level of ammunition, health, and gasoline, and even you CAN find some, you have a limited inventory. So if you’re not hurt RIGHT NOW, you’re either out of luck, or going to have to ditch one of your weapons.
I played this game through to its completion. Thankfully, this game “only” wasted about a dozen hours from my stupid life, but to be honest, I’d rather have them back. At least then I’d have been able to sink those hours into a different, but definitely BETTER game. Stay away from “Survival Instinct,” but make sure you play the earlier Walking Dead game!
The should have called it “The Walking Dead: Survival It Stinks!”