Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
0

Gaming News

'The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct' preview: More brains than brawn

By
'The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct' screenshot

© Activision


The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a first-person shooter counterpoint to Telltale's episodic, conversion-driven Walking Dead series. Set before the TV series, it sees players use stealth and their environment to evade walkers, and work together with other humans to survive.

It's been a rough couple of weeks for Terminal Velocity's The Walking Dead project. Against the backdrop of high sales and game of the year awards for Telltale's episodic Walking Dead game came the first trailer for the first-person shooter, a video that provided an underwhelming first look at the game.

It was since revealed to be a fan-made trailer constructed of old, still-in-development footage. While the "big deal" in terms of reaction was graphical quality, producer Glenn Gamble claims the game today looks "a hundred times better than what they did". While we wouldn't quite go that far, the visuals and the game itself is far more interesting than that initial trailer let on.

'The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct' screenshot

© Activision



Survival against the odds

Survival Instinct is a survival stealth-action game with light management elements. Travelling through Georgia as brothers Daryl and Merle before the events of the first season (when Rick is still in a coma), you must juggle scarce resources such as fuel, food and ammo across an ongoing story arc.

With a focus on stealth over action, carefully considered and quiet movements are more advised than running gung-ho through a level. Walkers react to the sight of the player and sounds around them, so survival is more assured if you make use of melee weapons, close doors behind you and using distractions such as throwing bottles and flares. Obviously, guns are a big no-no.

While in the show the discovery of survivors offers new possible threats, in Survival Instinct they appear to mainly be a resource. Found as part of the story or found hiding away in missions, they can be recruited and taken with you once their demands are met.

Some simply want safety and will join effortlessly, while another would request equipment or might simply want to trade. Helping them out with a good deed can then see them return the favour later in the game.

'The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct' screenshot

© Activision

'The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct' screenshot

© Activision



The zombie apocalypse is unpredictable - and replayable

Once they have joined your party they can be sent on an errands for extra fuel or food before each story mission. Since all resources are shared, weapons found in the environment can be given to survivors, increasing their chances of success. But depending on their individual expertise, some might come back empty-handed, or perhaps even not come back at all.

While Survival Instinct is perhaps more Zombi U than Left 4 Dead, it does have randomised elements to ensure multiple playthroughs are different each time.

The placement of some zombies and which seemingly dead bodies spring back from the dead isn't determined, nor are the placement of resources. A room could see you flush with food supplies, but on another playthrough, you could be greeted by angry hordes instead.

A further incentive to replay is a 'new game plus' system. Finishing the adventure with certain survivors unlocks game-changing 'relics' that can toggle health, speed and ammo boosts, and whether you start with certain silent weapons such as the crossbow.


So perhaps like the show itself, then, there's more to The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct than initially meets the eye, offering an interesting blend of management and randomised action for an unpredictable and replayable zombie adventure, one that looks to pack more brains than brawn.

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct will be available on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U from March 29 in Europe.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...