I’ve just managed to finally get to the end of The Walking Dead Season 3 even though I don’t actually know why I watch it any more. Apart from the great effects and gore, it’s all rather talky and boring with characters I really couldn’t give two hoots about!
‘Survival Instinct’ tells the story of probably the two most interesting characters; Southern drawl brothers Daryl and Merle, and their plight before the TV series first began and features both the likenesses and voices of their respective actors Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker.
The game begins with no real explanation as you play as another character who soon meets his demise, and then you’re thrown into the shoes of Daryl as he goes on a road trip to find his brother, meeting other characters on the way and trying to avoid becoming a tasty snack for all the walkers out there.
Straight away you’ll see that this certainly hasn’t had a lot of spit and polish thrown at it. In fact, it’s a rather lazy first-person game thanks to a number of factors. First of all, let’s talk combat. There are a number of guns and melee weapons to choose from but to be honest, you’ll spend most of the time using the knife as that’s most effective. Sneak up on a walker and you can perform a gratuitous stealth kill – no complaints there! It’s just that if you fight one face to face, things are just a bit comical. You hit them in the face four times as they take one on the chin, and then they just fall backwards like a faith healer has just zapped them with the power of God. If you get swarmed by them, you then get to partake in a little mini game where you must move the cursor over their faces and stab them one by one until they either die or you eventually run out of energy and get eaten. You won’t want to use a gun much as they’re slow to reload and result in all the walkers running towards you because you’ve just rung a dinner bell that goes boom.
As you help people you can then get them to tag along and order them to go and find supplies whilst you do the main missions. There’s some strategy to employ here such as giving them the right weapon for the job and a risk meter which shows how successful they’re likely to be, but this definitely doesn’t have the same depth as you’d see in Assassin’s Creed when you send one of your brotherhood on a mission.
Aside from the main missions you’ll also have random stop-offs on bridges and in towns in order to push cars out of the way that block your path or find batteries and fuel to keep your wheels moving.
When it comes to presenation, Daryl’s voiceover also sounds like Norman really couldn’t be bothered to actually do any voice acting although Michael Rooker does voice Merle a lot better, probably because he’s got previous experience, such as playing a character in Black Ops 2 recently. Graphics are also nothing to write home about, they look like something from a game that came out 5 years ago.
I would say that fans of the TV series would find something extra here to transcend the mundane, repetitive experience of Survival Instinct, however, there’s not even any extra insight here into the characters or the world. If you want to kill zombies there are plenty of other better games to choose from. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct gets a below par 4 out of 10.
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