When The Walking Dead television show hit back in 2010, it took the world by storm. The long-running comic series already had an impressive following, but bringing the zombie apocalypse to cable TV brought in a whole new audience, and video games were just bound to follow. After the success of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: The Game adventure series, Terminal Reality and Activision have decided to take the license to the first-person survival genre.
Anyone familiar with The Walking Dead knows that the story is less about gratuitous violence and more about the characters and their day-to-day struggle to survive in a hostile world. As with Telltale’s vision, Terminal Reality is looking to deliver an experience that revolves around choices and their inevitable consequences. It is a tale of survival, and sometimes that means leaving others behind in order to save yourself. Throughout the game’s campaign, you’ll travel to many different cities and towns, finding survivors and making decisions as to which direction to travel next. The game is going for a sense of realism, and depending on what type of car you happen to be driving, not every survivor can be saved. Once a character is gone, however, they are gone for good, so each decision is an important one.
In order to place the story within the world of The Walking Dead, the game puts players into the shoes of an already-established character, Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus), along with his brother Merle (played by Michael Rooker). The two are traveling through Georgia with one goal: Stay alive. Survival is priority number one in Survival Instinct, and the game will punish those who try to use the typical run n’ gun approach. Instead, gameplay is centered around distracting enemies to sneak by, laying traps in the form of explosive barrels, and silently sneaking up on walkers just to stab them in the back of the head.
Of course, the real bulk of the gameplay comes down to party management, which has you managing tasks for the various survivors that join your group. Cars need gas and guns need ammo, and these supplies are very hard to come by. When certain missions pop up, you can either opt to run the errand yourself while sending out a party member to tackle another objective, but this often presents a big risk. If you give your party member a weapon to take with him or her, there is always the risk that they won’t come back alive and that weapon is lost. Each survivor has their own abilities that make them better at dealing with certain situations, so picking the right group is key. It is this risk-versus-reward system that truly makes Survival Instinct a unique experience.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is set to be released sometime in 2013, but for now, check out the first in-game footage below.