Review by AlexFili
"This game is fun but too short and not worth full price"
The Walking Dead is a successful comic that has since been adapted to AMC's hit TV show of the same name. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct focuses on a character who is exclusive to the TV show called Daryl Dixon and is currently a fan favourite. Daryl Dixon started out as a racist redneck who only cared for his own survival, since the second and third series of the TV show, the character has changed a lot and has attracted a large number of fans.
The game is a prequel to the show and you start out by learning what happened during Daryl's early days during the undead scourge. While there aren't any amazing revelations, you do get a bit more information about the characters and there are some characters that get referenced in passing.
The good things about this game include a solid combat engine and a range of weapons to choose from. While the combat is not quite as good as Dead Island, you can reliably take down Walkers with stealth attacks and later get stronger weapons.
Each melee weapon is different from the speedy but weak hammer to the heavy and slow sledgehammer that can take down walkers in a single hit. In terms of guns you have pistols, shotguns, rifle and of course Daryl's trusty crossbow. You'll want to use the crossbow as much as you can to kill walkers silently and retrieve your crossbow bolts.
Silence is important because walkers pick up on sound a lot. One way you can draw walkers away is by throwing a bottle or a flare in the opposite direction, when they charge towards the noise you slip past them the other way.
As you progress through the game you'll want to pick up food rations, weapons, ammunition and fuel. Fuel is important for making your way across the map on the road sections. Some of these sections will give you a choice, do you move the car stuck on the road or take an alternative route?
One great feature of the game is the survivor management. As you progress in the game, you get access to different survivors. You can only pick up a certain number of survivors, based on the size of your vehicle. While you may sometimes want to save everyone, ultimately you sometimes have to choose a location and hope for the best. Some survivors are also only found on the random encounters and so can be overlooked. It's worth helping them survive since you get a bonus at the end of the game.
Sadly it's not all non-stop fun and there are a few bad points about this game. This game is relentlessly hard, with no difficulty select screen. This means that if you're not careful, you will die many times until you learn how to move around properly and what areas are dangerous to be in. You can sometimes get away from walkers in buildings, but often you can get trapped and face an early demise.
Another gripe with many people is the game length. At most, the campaign mode can be completed in around 5-8 hours. In other games this isn't such a major problem, but since there is no multiplayer or co-operative modes of any kind, it's a big big problem. The ending is also a bit of a let down as it doesn't really fill in any gaps or explain anything of importance.
If you have the option of getting Dead Island then I would suggest that you try that game out first, as it's fairly cheap. Otherwise you could potentially get this game but I would say you should get it cheap, simply because of it's length and problems. It's still pretty fun at times though.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 03/26/13
Game Release: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (US, 03/19/13)
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