Reviews: The Walking Dead Survival Instinct

Not worth the current price of $50.

Gameplay is similar to Zombi U in terms of melee weapons except for the repetitive knife animations (regardless of the melee weapon you might be carrying that could finish the job just as fine.) Repetitive is a common word to use in relation to this game. Unmarked maps (places to run into on the road as you drive from plot-level + scavenge/breakdown and repair at) are limited to about 7 or so variations with somewhat random item spawns and zombie spawns. Spawns also limited and predictable after a while and it only took me three or so deaths/breakdowns to memorize.

Many interesting mechanics are, unfortunately, poorly implemented and do not make much sense. For instance, the inventory often is troublesome and illogical. Items as small as grenades take as much space as assault rifles. Vehicles can only contain as many seats as the survivor characters you can pick up yourself excluding the story characters (must be sitting on laps or something).

Your health regenerates by sports drinks and MRE's. A word of advice: you'll have a hard problem at a level where you encounter a gas station. You are required to fuel up and then run back to your vehicle with fuel in order to drive away. Sounds easy, right? Well, I had to redo this part seven times due to the random zombie spawns in the way of my escape route as, due to the Oblivion style following zombies. Before your death (usually... sometimes you are just smacked into death by a walker as if they just bitchslapped Darryl into death) you are forced into a grapple sequence where you can survive what would be a realistically easy death by all the zombies waiting for you to kill the zombie that's about to eat you. After you kill that zombie, a new one goes into its place with the other zombies just patiently waiting their turn. You usually won't survive as your health goes down at random and even if you do survive the sequence it is possible for any remaining zombies to simply multiple hit you into a one second death.

My suggestion is to pirate it (not to my support) or pay for it when it is given a deal or lowered to a price of perhaps $5.00. Many people claim it has a playtime of only 3 hours but it took me significantly longer to finish it due to the choices you make so any time is subjective. I was actually enjoying the game during the First Act but the continuous gameplay eventually made it go sour.

Better than they say it is.

I got this game on Gamestop store credit, and because it's an obvious cash-in, I wasn't expecting a great game. If not for the pre-order bonus I'd have waited, read the reviews, and probably never played it. I'm so glad I did. I'm not great at organizing my thoughts, so I'll just list the pros and cons in detail.


- The zombies are perfect. They behave precisely as they do in the show, and only occasionally have glitchy moments. Their animation and models look awesome. Especially when they get in your face.

- Fighting is fun. Headshots, particularly the ones where their heads remain mostly intact, are surprisingly satisfying. It also has Far Cry 3 style takedowns, always good. Once the crossbow is introduced, it becomes truly amazing.

- You're able to use stealth most of the time.

- Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker both voice their characters. Enough said.


- It is really short.

- Other survivors, and Merle especially, don't play a large enough role at all.

- Activision, being Activision, is charging for DLC I've heard is already on the disc.

Other comments:

- Everyone is complaining about the graphics, and to be totally honest, I don't get it. It looks pretty good to me. Daryl looks a little unfinished, but that's all I've really noticed.

- I wish the crossbow was introduced earlier. Luckily, completing the game once gives you the option of starting again with it equipped from the start.

So, in closing, it's exactly my title. If you like the show, you'll probably like the game. I, personally, loved it. If you want to be cautious, just give it a rental. While the reviewers have torn it to shreds, I feel like many of their complaints aren't quite justified. Probably not worth the $50 due to its short length, but if you can get it cheap, or as a rental, check it out.