There are some pretty solid zombie games out there. So if you're going to make a zombie game based on the current cross-media hit The Walking Dead it better be at least up to par with the the TV series or Telltale Games' interactive narrative game The Walking Dead. Somehow The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct manages to completely sidestep nearly everything good about the series. Instead becoming a reanimated corpse of a game; shoot it in the head.
The game focuses of the redneck brothers Daryl and Merle Dixon in a prequel to their stories in the AMC television series. Players takes the role of Daryl, the loveable crossbow wielding country boy with a heart of gold, who is voiced incredibly well but is wasted on a game that should go down as game of the year for disappointment.
First off, the developers didn't want anyone to know this game was out, it clearly knew the crap state of the title. No review copies landed anywhere meaning it hoped to get to store shelves and sold to some hapless Walking Dead loving fan before anyone could figure out how bad it was. The graphics are straight out of 1999 and that's being generous. With lots of flat ground and unrendered textures on everything it looks worse than freeware. The gameplay is suppose to let gamers use Daryl's sneaky abilities to get through a level but this doesn't work, every level becomes a sprint and slash fest where gamers end up just jumping on top of a car and knifing zombies because apparently zombies can't reach the top of cars.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct includes lots of cool features, if they worked. Players can pick and choose survivors to add to the group and send them on resource runs to keep stocked of gas, car parts and weapons but when you kick them out, essentially leaving them do die, they don't even get a line of dialogue; they're just gone.
Gameplay problems and weak story aside, the game just seems rushed. With a little more time Survival Instinct may have become a genuinely good game, but instead its half-finished, pumped full of filler and doesn't provide any of excitement we've come to expect from the series.