The AMC Walking Dead Game: Can it Rise from the Grave?
Ben Conrad / Feb 5th, 2013 2 Comments
Activision‘s attempts at suppressing most (if not all) gameplay footage with any meat on the bone for the AMC Walking Dead game has most gamers who are fans of the series worried. After the negative reactions to the footage from The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct that was displayed and subsequently pulled, Terminal Reality‘s lead effects artist Glenn Gamble has stated in interviews that it was old, and that the graphics have come a long way. This has yet to be seen (literally) and the game launches in less than two months, something unheard of in the gaming industry. Only a few scarce screenshots that don’t offer much can be found. Even the main website suffers from hyper minimalism, save a link to pre-order the game and a short teaser flash video that features no in-game footage, which makes gamers wonder if it’s come down to publisher Activision realizing the game is going to be so awful that it’s not even worth spending money on a marketing campaign.
Where’s the beef?
[adsense250itp]Trying to research the game leaves little to be found; the pros listed to combat the cons seem to be regurgitated from the synopsis listed on AMC’s website. Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker reprise their roles as Daryl and Merle Dixon, something fans of the series embrace wholeheartedly, but everything else about the game is presented, well, rather blandly. It’s as if the designers themselves aren’t even as enthusiastic as their PR managers try to make them sound, yet another red flag. We’re told that it’s a stealth-based game, a genre that’s been buried in favor of more action based titles focused on the run and gun aspect of first person shooters. This could be the key saving grace that makes the AMC Walking Dead game stand out compared to other FPS games, or it could be its utter downfall. Activision, known especially for the Call of Duty franchise, may have painted themselves into a corner by releasing an FPS that isn’t based on killing everything that moves, thereby frustrating fans that have come to love (and expect) action.
To sneak, or not to sneak?
Using sneaking and stealth as major selling points has its merits, but the tidbits discussed in Survival Instinct haven’t seemed to inspire many new ideas. Gamers have been sneaking around avoiding danger since Metal Gear on the NES, and titles like No One Lives Forever have done well in combining stealth with first person. If Survival Instinct can’t muster up a fresh take on stealth mechanics, gamers are going to find themselves just going through the motions, relying on the dialogue and choices to carry the adventure. Having to live up to Telltale Games Walking Dead’s style of choices affecting the outcome is going to be a tough battle.
The bait and switch.
Most gamers learn early on not to trust screenshots and marketing, and can’t help but affect a certain level of disappointment every time they bring a title home from the store only to see that it was nothing like the cutscene screengrabs showcased on the box. As for a game having absolutely no pictures or footage available less than two months to launch…who wouldn’t be worried? Zombies have been big for years now, and games like Dead Island, The War Z, DayZ, the Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising series, and extras like Nazi Zombies in Call of Duty games may just be too overpowering for yet another zombie game coming out banking on nothing but a couple of voices and a licensed intellectual property. Terminal Reality, known for titles like BloodRayne, Kinect Star Wars, and Ghostbusters: The Video Game, may have bitten off more than they can chew in trying to fulfill a promised fan service of representing The Walking Dead’s moral choices and consequences.
Sorry, but fans placing blind faith in nothing but a name should be worried. Gamers can’t help but wonder if the AMC Walking Dead game is just another rushed, half-finished product created only to cash in on something popular; the same as any other ported game that comes out when a movie debuts. Being that Survival Instinct has no multiplayer or co-op to worry about, the only thing players passing it up at launch will miss out on are the water-cooler and lunch time stories traded the day after–stories that this gamer can’t help but expect to be anything short of lifeless and rotten. Just like a pack of ravenous zombies.
tags: activision , AMC , fps , Terminal Reality , the walking dead , zombies