Review by knowurrole
"Don't believe the hate. If you enjoy the show, you will LOVE this game."
Let me start with some history. I've been gaming since I was a little kid. Because of that, I'm not more inclined to play the unique games, ones that offer a little something different. Games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Crysis, Halo, etc. are all the same to me. So when I heard that a first person shooter based off The Walking Dead was on its way, I couldn't help but be skeptical. Now that the game has arrived, I can safely say that I had no reason to be worried. This is one of the best, most unique first person shooters to come out since GoldenEye back on the Nintendo 64.
You play as Daryl Dixon, the guy with the crossbow in the TV show. If you were to poll all Walking Dead fans asking who their favorite character is, he would certainly come out with the majority of votes. This was an amazing choice. The game involves you searching for his brother, Merle, just after the virus outbreak. On the way you'll encounter other survivors, amazing weapons, the signature crossbow. Oh yeah, and walkers. Plenty of walkers.
Most people don't like this game because it's different. And that's fine. If you're looking for the exact same first person shooter experience all of the time and never get bored of it, this game isn't for you. But if you want something original, then you will absolutely love what this game has to offer. This isn't Resident Evil where zombies automatically know where you are and charge at you. It's not Call of Duty where you go in with guns blazing. No. You need to use strategy in this game. Go into an area guns blazing and you're going to alert plenty of biters to your location. Being stealthy is usually your best option.
Another thing that sets this game apart from other first person shooters is that you are given choices. You can send your fellow survivors out to gather supplies. You choose which route to take to your next mission objective. Each time you are given three different choices of routes, all with something completely different to offer. Nothing about this game feels like you've already done something a ton of times. You'll reach the end without feeling the slightest bit bored, as everything leading up to that point is different. You'll hardly ever do the same thing twice. This means that you can play the game multiple times and get a completely new experience each time. Kind of like you're playing a different game each play through. Whoever designed the branching paths is a genius, and gives this game a ton of replay value.
Speaking of replay value, there are a ton of collectibles scattered throughout the game. If you need incentive to play through the game multiple times, this is one of many. But even that isn't necessary. This is just such a well made game that I can play it over and over again without getting bored. It really is that good, especially if you're a Walking Dead fan wanting to play as Daryl Dixon, arguably the greatest character in television history.
I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that it does a tremendous job setting up a sequel.
Now, keep in mind that this game is based off a show about zombies (well, walkers). If you can't handle being scared, this game is not for you. The atmosphere is genuinely creepy, the zombies are scary, the violence will make you cringe, and there are some well placed jump scares that you will not see coming. At the end of the day, this actually goes down as one of the scariest games I have ever played. But don't let that stop you. If you can get through the horror aspect, there's a lot of fun to be had.
For whatever reason, this game has gotten some hate directed its way. But that's normal. Whenever something comes along that dares to be different, it's met with people who want to dislike it for no reason whatsoever. Most of those people likely haven't even played the game and won't give it a chance because of how unique it is. But for everyone else, bored of the same exact first person shooters coming along with nothing new to offer, this game is a masterpiece that must be played.
+Branching paths, all with something different to offer
+High replay value
+Truly scary, with some well placed jump scares
+The walkers are smart and require you to be even smarter to outwit them
+One of the most unique first person shooters I have ever played
+Perfect use of music and sound effects
-Graphics are good, but not great (not bad enough to lower the final score)
Final score: 10/10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/02/13
Game Release: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (US, 03/19/13)
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