The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct Reviews

  • FrustratedNerdFrustratedNerd283,231
    20 Mar 2013 20 Mar 2013
    39 17 7
    Another chapter of the Walking Dead story expands as we learn a little more about the very popular Daryl Dixon. The story of Survival Instinct starts off with the Dixon brothers meeting the apocalypse and leads up to how they met up with Rick's group (from the comics / TV series) in Atlanta. As a huge fan of the series; it was great to learn more about our beloved crossbow-towing character even if his sassy mouth brother, Merle, was breathing down your neck most of the time.

    Gameplay: Looking at this game for what it is, without the Walking Dead lore and attraction, makes it appear a little less educated and lot more aggravating. The mechanics are simple. Much like other post-apocalyptic first-person-shooters, there isn't much that separates it from the original Left 4 Dead, or the recently acclaimed Dead Island.

    There's a certain level of smooth that doesn't quite get to show-off until later in the game. From the beginning, you find yourself swinging a knife, which takes a good 4 swings to a "biter's" head before they go down. Trying to stay quite, while moving to each obstacle, proves to be quite irritating using only your knife. Luckily, there's about 7 or 8 other melee weapons, but guess what? They all still take 4 hits to kill zombies, at least until you reach the sledgehammer, which isn't until about 60% of the way through the story. So here you are with axes, baseball bats, and lead pipes, just taking up inventory space, which proves to be the scarcest thing about "surviving".

    The level of smooth I mentioned before doesn't get to shine until you receive the cross-bow at the beginning of Act 3. I didn't feel a need to obtain it throughout the game since I did have an assault of rifle-ry, but once I got to use it in it all it's glory I don't want to start the story over again without it. It's so fun to pop a walker in it's head silently, pull the bolt out before he falls, and cap the next one. It makes moving through a dozen walkers easy as pie, and you feel like a badass doing it. What more could you ask for?

    Surviving: The game is called "Survival Instinct", and if you've read anything about this game you know that "survival" was the base premise. The goal of the game is to find enough supplies to stay alive, and keep your car from running out of gas. You're constantly on the look out for med-packs, gas, new car keys, weapons, and that's just about it. There's thousands of containers, boxes, and cars, but none of them are searchable. Everything you need will be just sitting on the floor, glowing it's outline for you to find.

    The game is checkpoint based in the sense that each "level" is a new area. Each area is a pit-stop for you and your crew. During these pit-stops you can choose your path, and if you want to take the backroads or the highway. The backroads give you more opportunity to find supplies, but really they feel like a waste of time. I'm pretty sure I wasted more health looking for med-kits and energy drinks than I found at each optional site. The highways use less gas for car, but there's a higher chance of breaking down. You will break down.

    Luckily, when your vehicle runs out of gas, or blows a water hose you'll be in a new randomly generated area and all your needs can be found there. Personally I'm kicking myself for stopping as much as I did in the beginning. Once I decided to rush the story-line, I found myself much better off with gas, and health-packs. I'm the type of person who likes to stock up when I can so I don't have to worry so much about dying later on. If you're like me, throw your instincts out the window with this one.

    By the end of the game you'll be annoyed with all the pit stops you had to make. Especially once these "generated areas" start to look familiar, and the originality dies.

    Difficulty: The game has no difficulty setting. As someone who's played their fair share of zombie-horde games I didn't expect much of a challenge. I was wrong.

    Alerting a horde is obviously a bad idea. But like I said earlier, the melee weapon selection just doesn't cut it. You are given flares to distract the walkers, but it doesn't seem to be enough. A well placed flare will only occupy about 40% of a large group, leaving another 20% to see you and bring their friends. Being completely stealthy is almost impossible on every level. There will always be at lease on walker in your way and probably another 4 or 5 in the same alley that will see you killing their buddy.

    I found myself sprinting around large groups most of the time. It almost seemed easier to get a trail of 20 enemies and turn around opening fire on them. At least until the one behind you grapples you. Than you're forced to stab them in the head before you can get free. Thankfully there's a good chance of pushing the next grapple in line away and having another chance to escape.

    The large groups makes the game extremely difficult. If you run out of ammunition, and you're in a room with about 6 or more you can consider yourself dead. The game isn't terrible with checkpoint placement although you usually only get one or two per area, which is where I started sprinting checkpoint to checkpoint. Maybe that's what they intended you to do? But who doesn't love slaughtering the undead? Especially since the option to "execute" zombies is so cool, even after you've seen one of the two animations over 100 times.

    Saving Survivors: What I really hated about the game was how saving survivors does nothing for you. Each person you collect has to fit into your vehicle. If they don't, you just leave them? Or something. There's an option to "dismiss" when they don't fit, and they just disappear with no hard feelings. At each story area you can send your survivors to search for supplies, and equip them with whatever weapons you have. The game gives you a success chance for the group you create, but there's a good chance they just won't come back. There's nothing you can do to help them besides give up better weapons and more survivors. Then they're just on their own waiting to great you with a simple text box that says either "deceased" or "returned with X Fuel". Yay! All those optional errands you ran earlier are really paying off now!

    Graphics: This is where someone who isn't a fan of the series will be greatly disappointed. The graphics aren't terrible, but they aren't anything special either. The game did have an unfinished feeling, but it wasn't anything that broke my experience. I saw little to now rendering problems, or lazy graphics, but I didn't feel like it was fine-tooth-combed over to make me feel about my purchase. Comparing the game to it's equals, Dead Island & Left 4 Dead, the game offered nothing graphically. There was also these little squares of light found throughout the game, that bothered the hell out of me. If I'm in an all black room, with no electricity, which is this square glowing? I wish I could have someone explain it to me, but I couldn't capture them with my camera. It felt like laziness overlooked by the graphic department.

    100%: Since the game just came out yesterday I haven't had a chance to try a second playthrough to reach completion. I did beat the story line in 7 hours, which felt kind of short considering how much I stopped for supplies, and died. There's too paths to the story, and you need to go both ways to find all the collectibles. The collectibles are usually pretty easy to find, but you may want to pull up a guide before you finish an area. There's three types of collectibles. Stuffed squirrels, posters, and vehicles (I guess we can call the weapons a collectable too, but we won't). The great thing is if you get a squirrel or map and die you don't have to go find it again. With the vehicle keys on the other hand, you will have to go back for, even if you reached a check-point at the end of the level.

    The hardest about finishing this game for achievement hunters will be the "completing a level without getting hurt" or "only using ammunition". I feel like these go hand in hand but I tried for them on a couple areas with no easy way of seeing these done. Than again I haven't gone the other path yet so maybe it's easier there.

    Overall: Fans of the series, or even zombie shooters will appreciate the game but I say it can wait. Due to the rushed feeling of the game, even with it's smooth mechanics, there's no point in paying full price for this game. The story with Daryl isn't anything impressive, and there's nothing here that will like you Merle; so if you're dying for the background story, you can look it up online. As a gamer, I did enjoy my 7 hour session yesterday. The stopping for supplies, and lack of, well, everything did start to kick in around the 6th hour or so. Right about the time I realized I was on the final act, and didn't mind. Once I complete my second playthrough I doubt I'll play this game again in the near future. I personally preferred Dead Island, since there was more to the game (more weapons, more loot, more everything).

    The story isn't anything imaginative. Compared to the previously Walking Dead game by TellTale, the drama doesn't even light a match to it. At least with this game I didn't feel on rails, and had a little bit of freedom.

    Not comparing the game to anything else, it is a nice little experience. It's just missing an original aspect to make me tell you to buy this now.
    4.0
  • Papa El LoroPapa El Loro421,858
    17 Aug 2013 17 Aug 2013
    22 2 5
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    So, unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years you've probably heard of The Walking Dead. It started out as a graphic novel and has since had a television show based on it as well as 2 games. It is tremendously popular and in my opinion that is the reason why this game is getting pretty harsh reviews.

    Story - Wow. Without a doubt the games weakest point is the story; or more accurately the lack of one. Simply put you play as Daryl, one of the popular Dixon brothers who were introduced in the TV series. You move from town to town trying to escape the walkers. Pretty bog standard zombie apocalypse plot, right? That's the problem. There is virtually no depth what so ever. The story is rather dull an uninspired which is a big disappointment. There is very little character development and the troubles of other survivors you meet are very Cliché and leave you thinking, I really don't care about you or your problems.

    Graphics - The graphics are really nothing special at all. In an age where games continue to push the boundaries of what is and isn't possible, Survival Instinct doesn't really give you much in the way of eye candy. The levels are very small and there isn't a whole lot of detail to be found. The zombie designs are quite good but there aren't many original designs and you'll end up facing 5 zombies who all look exactly the same. This being said, the graphics aren't terrible either and I liked the addition of sweat coming down the screen when you sprint for too long and Daryl and Merle look like their TV show counter parts. The graphics are good enough to get the job done without ever trying anything too original.

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    Sound - It's nice to hear the theme music from the TV show when you get to the main menu and Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker voice the Dixon brothers which is nice as they also play them in the show. There isn't a whole lot of music in the game to comment on and the walker noises are fairly bog standard. Some of the dialogue is well done as it suits the Dixon brothers. Troy Baker also lends his voice to the game which is nice as he has appeared in several top games over the years.

    AI - There isn't much to say about the AI in the game as you're against hordes of the undead their only real tactic is to bum rush you. The are a formidable foe though as I soon found out. There is not difficulty selection on the game so there's no making it easier. If you get 1-3 walkers alone you'll do fine but if you get cornered by too many you will likely die. You can't take too much damage until you fall. If you do get surrounded you may get grabbed by the undead where you will then need to enter a quick time event where you must place the cross hair over the walkers head an hit RT to end them. If you get more then one walker around you these events will likely quick and fast and they can be a pain. To make life easier on yourself go slowly and try and pick them off in as small groups as possible.

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    Gameplay - The game forces you to think about how you'll get your objectives done. If you fire your gun you're going to attract a whole lot of unwanted attention to your location so you might want to avoid that. If you try and take on too many with a melee weapon you're not going to win. You're best bet is to trying and creep around and pick them off silently and use bottles or flares to distract large groups for you to advance. You will have a main focus in each area you visit as well as optional side missions to complete. When you enter an area you can send fellow survivors out for supplies and arm them should you choose to reduce the risk. There will be collectibles to keep and eye out for like posters, stuffed squirrels and new cars and weapons. As you travel between towns you will have to manage your inventory and team of survivors as you might not be able to fit everything in your car. Sadly the survivors are very bland so choosing who to keep and who to send packing is a very easy choice. As you travel you have 3 choices on which road to take which will affect how likely you are to find supplies or break down and how much fuel you use. You will likely come across areas where you have the option to stop and hunt for supplies or you might be forced to find a part for your ride in order to continue. You will also sometimes be given a choice as to which town you visit which will affect what collectibles and survivors you encounter. There are some unique aspects to the game. I also feel the game would have done better if it was a co-op game.

    Achievements - I was quite pleased with the achievement list. Some of them are your bog standard for grabbing collectibles and completing the game but a few provide a nice challenge such as finish a level without killing a walker and finish a level without taking damage. It's not the most exciting list and it does force you to replay the game a few times but at least you don't have to kill a stupid amount of walkers and the collectibles really aren't too bad.

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    Replay value - To be honest, there isn't really much replay value once you've visited all the locations. I doubt you'll be going back to this game once you've got all of the achievements.

    Summary - I think the main reason the game suffered in the reviews department is because of how big The Walking Dead is. People expected so much more but the game didn't deliver. Now, this game is far from perfect don't get me wrong; but it's also not as bad as some people would have you believe. It's quite challenging and there is a nice variety of weapons available to help with your body count. It has some original aspects but is ultimately let down by the lack of story and the small size of the levels and overall game. If a little more time was put in it could have been so much more. This is coming from someone who has played more zombie games then I can remember so I'd like to think I know a decent zombie game when one comes along, and this game is worth checking out.

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    Pros:
    -Some original ideas
    -Challenging AI
    -Nice selection of weapons
    -Zombie killing action

    Cons:
    -Lack of story & character development
    -Very small
    -No co-op
    -Feels rushed
    -Lack of level design
    3.0
  • 9 1 2
    Firstly I purchased this at GAME for £12.99 (new), after looking at other on-line reviews I didn't expect much from it. Without further ado I will look at the main aspects.

    Graphics
    - Released in 2013 the graphics are below par and look similar to 2007 games. The detail on characters, buildings and the walkers themselves lack detail.

    Sound
    - The game uses the voice actors from the TV series which is a nice touch.
    - All the walkers make the same sound, so there isn't much differentiation on that front.

    Gameplay
    - The missions are very simplistic: Go here collect that for someone etc.
    - The locations are varied, some areas include a creepy sawmill, deserted towns and a hospital.
    - There are a few gaming mechanics which I believe worked well. Firstly using un-silenced firearms attracts all walkers in the area, so sneaking through by "crouch walking" works well. This encourages you to "think" about the best way to get to the objective.
    - Another mechanic is travelling between locations, on these journeys you must collect fuel and supplies. These again require more careful playing as you must decide whether to take to longest route with a lower chance of breaking down or a shorter route with a higher risk of breaking down.
    - Next are the survivors. They never actually join you in gameplay but you can send them off to collect supplies during levels. On these outings they can perish so can give them weapons or send them in groups to lower the scavenge risk.

    Playability
    - The controls overall work well
    - Hit detection seems a bit off, in particular sometimes aiming for a leg dismemberment leads to a arm being chopped off instead.
    - The "y" button is used to change weapons, this is cumbersome especially when you are carrying many weapons and have to manually scroll through them. The addition of a weapon dial would reduce frustration when surrounded by walkers.
    - The weapons are quite fun/satisfying to use, I personally found the fire axe to be the most useful melee weapon.
    - In terms of A.I. all the walkers will quite humorously stand in front of you whilst you hit them a few times until they drop straight backwards to the ground. This is very entertaining to start with, but becomes annoying after a while.
    - The checkpoint saving system is not good. The only time the game saves properly is when starting or finishing a "main" level. If you shut the game off mid level you will be brought back to the beginning. Similarly shutting off before reaching a destination during the travel section brings you back to start of the car journey.

    Achievements
    - Full 50 achievements with a varied selection
    - They encourage multiple playthroughs to access all areas/survivors as some car journeys require you to travel to one place instead of the other.
    - I personally played through 4 times, the first playthrough taking 4-5 hours with the rest taking under 2. After playing through once you can navigate through levels much quicker.

    Pros
    - Game requires you to plan/think
    - Some fun weapons
    - Voice actors from the TV series
    - Unlockable "relics" by completing the game offer bonuses
    - Travel sections

    Cons
    - Checkpoint/save system
    - Walker A.I.
    - No weapon dial
    - Graphics are very outdated
    - Can only equip one "relic" at a time

    Overall I enjoyed the game more than expected, I would recommend it to any zombie/TWD fans or FPS fans in general (if you pick it up cheap).

    This is my first game review, so please be fair with feedback ratings.
  • ShootZombiesShootZombies244,280
    12 Sep 2014
    5 1 0
    This is a game I actually really liked (stay with me here) and I've been wanting to write a review for it for a long while but...

    I've had difficulty bringing myself to do it, a) because of the huge backlash I am sure to suffer because of it since I really like the game. And...
    b) how do I justify doing a review for a game that already has 6 reviews on the site, with pretty much all of them saying the same thing, 'this is a turd of a game,' 'wow what a turd' and 'turdarama don't we all just love to hate this game.'

    Well let me invite you to look at the game a different way... There's a great guy who does very funny videos called 'Movie defence Force' where he takes Movies that are famous for being bad and explains to you all the reasons it's actually a good Movie.

    In particular he does one review for the Movie Showgirls,

    ***You can see it here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/movie-defense-fo... ***

    where he explains that if you pretend you're watching a canonical sequel to Saved by the Bell and Twin Peaks, where Jesse continued with her addiction to caffeine pills and winds up stripping in Vegas and that Kyle MacLachlan is FBI Agent Dale Cooper on a case simultaneously in Vegas and the whole thing is directed by David Lynch. Then the Movie becomes very entertaining in it's own right.

    ...Well...

    Let's pretend for a moment The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct was an under-rated launch game for the original Xbox. It was sadly overshadowed by Halo at the time. Everyone was doing split screen co-op in Halo and who wants to play a single player game where the enemies are zombies???
    Aliens, headcrabs and terrorists sure... but zombies? Yeah, like they'll ever take off in video games.

    So the game disappeared into obscurity only to emerge years later a top seller for cult fans on ebay, selling at $300 a pop.

    Cult fans of the game praised it for it's great use of winch inducing hand to hand combat and it's clever use of close encounter grappling, whereby success resulted in a well animated stabbing of a zombie in it's face, so violent and ahead of it's time.
    It's clever way of making the use of guns a dangerous pay off whereby momentary safety gave rise to more zombies to deal with as the gunshot attracted magical spawning zombies from all over the place.
    It's creepy hospital level that inspired the horror masterpiece Condemned four years later.
    It's fun nod to hilbillies obsessions with forest animals by having collectables where you had to keep an eye out for stuffed squirrels while avoiding zombies.

    Fans cried out for it to return on the Xbox 360 with an HD lick of paint, Achievements and a sequel that fixes all the little plot hole niggles that put some off at first for years and years until finally in 2013. They got their wish of a 360 HD port.

    So does it matter that the graphics don't hold up in 2014???
    Or that one of the lead characters is an extremely unlikeable, unstable brother that any rational person would have disowned from their family long before the zombie apocalypse ever happened???
    Or that the whole thing is one rambling country road journey to nowhere in particular with a bunch of useless hitch-hikers with dialogue about as well written and emotional as the lines written for the zombies themselves...

    Probably.

    But for some reason I still liked it. So there.
    2.5
  • Fatal x BladeFatal x Blade1,195,136
    07 Apr 2013 04 Aug 2019
    14 10 2
    The Walking Dead Survival Instinct Review

    Video Review



    Intro

    After the brilliance of The Walking Dead episodic series which made its debut first as an arcade game and later on a disk format. I couldn't help but start getting my hopes up when I heard that a First Person Shooter acting as a prequel to the TV show was announced. It took all of about 10 minutes after putting Survival Instinct in to realize any hope I had that this game would be good or possibly even decent, was destroyed. The game is nothing more than a cash-in on The Walking Dead name. This is shown by it being quickly thrown together and obviously supporting a low budget.

    Graphics/Story

    Survival Instinct for the most part doesn't look good. You can tell that the developers didn't put much work into the game's graphics. Aside from its HD quality nothing here couldn't have been accomplished on the previous generation of consoles. Objects in this game seem very basic in their architecture. Appearing as if the developers just threw a halfway decent texture on them and called it good. This lack of detail and effort hurt the game's overall look. Actually I think the best looking thing in this game is the black blood spatter that appears on walls after blowing off a Walkers head.

    You take control of everybody's favorite crossbow wielding Daryl Dixon from the ever popular TV show. His A-hole of a brother Merle also makes an appearance, and the dynamic between the brothers as expected is entertaining. Both Daryl and Merle are voiced by their respective actors from the show, which is pretty awesome. Now if only the rest of the game were. It's too bad that the acting is never properly showcased due to the lack of cut-scenes. Majority of the story is told during loading screens when transitioning between new areas. Even during the rare cut-scenes the acting was never able to come to life, seeing as the characters appear so utterly lifeless. As I mentioned the events of this game act as a prequel to the show. An origin story for Daryl and Merle was a brilliant idea, it's really a shame that instead of being interesting it came across as cheesy. Certain characters, events, and locations from the show are mentioned during the game which is nice fan service along with allowing the game and show to feel further connected. It's just too bad that even the most die-hard fans of the show will have a hard time convincing themselves that this extra backstory is essential content. Especially because of the frustrations accompanied with gaining this extra bit of story.

    Gameplay/Design/Structure

    The moment you take control of your character you will realize that this is not a very good game. Movements are clunky and animations are annoyingly slow. Leaving you to feel quite helpless against the hordes of Walkers; to make matters worse this game has a thing for continually spawning more enemies to replace the horde you just killed. Now I understand that this virus has probably overtaken four fifths (if not more) of the world's population, so infinitely spawning enemies is reasonable. Simply because it shows the sheer magnitude of a zombie apocalypse. At the same time it can cause the gameplay in these instances to feel slightly pointless. Pointless because ammunitions are so scarce that I questioned whether I would be better off just running away from every enemy opposed to killing them; knowing that if I did take the time to kill them more would just take their place. Unsurprisingly more often than not I did find myself running. A game that involves running from combat more than engaging in it; loses vast amounts of fun. I mean come on it's fun to kill zombies not to feel pressured into running from them to conserve what little ammo you have. I just think that the game lacks a certain balance to it. A balance between fleeing and fighting when relating it to scavenging. If you think about it the amount of supplies you possess greatly affects your decision to flee or fight This balance flaw could have been corrected if scavenging was more rewarding, and if more areas could have been cleared out instead of being continuously overrun by these infinitely spawning enemies. When I say scavenging lacks reward I mean that the work put into scavenging for supplies greatly outweighs your findings. When you waste more than you gain; you begin to realize how the gameplay can feel pointless. Although I suppose this design choice will be loved by anyone who wants to spend a lot of time exploring every nook and cranny for little to nothing. Constantly running from enemies, while debating on whether they can spare a bullet to blow off that zombies head; knowing that more than likely another will just take his place.

    One thing the developers did do right that partially corrects the extreme scarcity of supplies is the addition of survivors. Survivors are as their name suggests people who have thus far "survived" the zombie infection. These survivors are NPC's found in different areas. Who join you on your journey; generally only after helping them out. Obtaining most of these survivors is completely optional, with a few exceptions of certain people relating to the story who have to accompany you. Anyways the reason I said they help correct the scavenging flaw is because prior to entering an area; these survivors can be assigned to scavenge for a specific category, ammunitions, food, or gas. I found myself almost always making them find ammunitions for me, because I for one enjoy actually shooting zombies. To clear things up I'll get into the purpose behind food and gas even though they're basically self explanatory. Food is used to heal yourself and your fellow survivors; who have a nasty habit of taking damage during their scavenging expeditions. I usually didn't bother healing my survivors. Instead I'd let them die off and then find a new one to replace the old. Normally I'm not so cold-hearted when it comes to companions, but these ones are just so boring. They really have no redeeming qualities when it comes to personality. I failed to like them, so I let them die no biggie.

    Gas as I'm sure you've pieced together is consumed when traveling. Which is perhaps the stupidest feature this game has. To explain why I first must delve into the structure of the game.

    Going into this game for some reason I sort of assumed or maybe hoped that it was open-world. Oh how wrong I was. The game is overwhelmingly linear, and not in a good way. The game is level based, although I prefer to refer to them as areas instead. Each area is very small. Which is odd seeing as one would think a game that insists on exploration to offer a larger area for the player to run around in. This is further worsened by some of the worst level boundaries I have seen in recent years. If you don't understand what I mean by level boundaries I'm referring to how the developers block the level off from the rest of the world. Linear games must give the illusion that the area the player is currently restricted to is actually part of a larger world. Surely by now you understand what I'm getting at but if not picture drawing a rectangle on a piece of paper. Now pretend that you are in the rectangle. You're trapped because the edges of the rectangle prevent you from leaving. These edges would be the level boundary. Ideally the player should never or rarely notice that these boundaries exist. This is accomplished by distracting the player with objectives, so they don't wander too far. And, making the boundaries appear reasonably impassable while still making them not look out of place. This game does an awful job on both accounts. Often I had a hard time distinguishing places I wasn't allowed to go from places I was allowed to. For example the game used a line of cars as a level boundary, even though there are tons of cars within the area that I can jump on and over. Yet, the ones acting as a level boundary I magically am incapable of jumping over. Causing me to idiotically attempt to jump over to no avail.

    After completing an area the player is taken to a map where they have the option of choosing to take either back roads streets, or highways to get to their next destination. Each choice has its own advantages/disadvantages. Highways waste the least amount of gas but scavenge opportunities are rare, backroads are the opposite, and streets act as the middle ground. So, the choice really depends on how much gas you have.

    My personal opinion these scavenge opportunities are a complete waste of time. Basically when traveling if you come across an unmarked location (meaning one that isn't where you need to be) you have the option of stopping, and searching for possible supplies. Perhaps if handled better this feature could have been cool. Instead it comes across as a fill-in. The area you can scavenge for supplies in, is ridiculously small. The most pathetic thing about them is that they are recycled areas. I'll give you an example, so I start traveling come across an abandoned truck stop. I say what the hell; I look around and find very little. I then leave only to have my tire blow on me, so the game makes me enter a new area. What do you know this "new" area is the same damn truck stop I was just at despite having driven a good 20 miles. Of course the layout of the items has switched ever so slightly, but come on. In reality there are maybe 5 different scavenge locations, that are just re-used throughout the entirety of the game. What's the point of even including this feature if you're not gonna take the time to make completely original locations? It's sad, lazy, and just further proves that this game is nothing more than a cash-in.

    Alright so earlier I said that gas was the stupidest thing included in this game. The reason I said that is because having to constantly try and find more gas in order to be able to make it to the next area is annoying. I don't want to do it and I don't like doing it. But, I will do it in order to minimize the amount of times I wind up at an unmarked location.

    I really wish the developers would have scrapped the entire travelling between locations concept, and instead just made the game purely level-based. Where upon beating one area you click a button, and are instantly transitioned into the next area. I feel that the game would've really benefitted from it, along with making it even shorter which when it comes to this game isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    I haven't talked much about how the game actually plays, so I'll get into that. The player is given long-range weapons, short-range weapons, and flares/glass bottles to dispatch or distract the walkers. By long-range weapons I mean gun's, and surprisingly this game has a decent amount of them. Ranging from Pistols, Rifles, Machine Guns, to Daryls classic crossbow. The crossbow is probably the most rewarding and useful weapon because your bolts can be retrieved after being shot. Plus, it's entertaining to see your bolts sticking out of a Walker. For your short-range weapons or melee weapons, you've got a Fire Axe, Machete, Lead Pipe, and Hammer to name a few. I never found myself using the flares or glass bottles much, but their only purpose is to distract a group of walkers who haven't already spotted you. All of these weapons and items are found scattered about the different areas you explore.

    At any given time you are able to carry 10 items. Upon finishing a level excess items can be stored in your vehicle to make room for more. This is perhaps one of the few things this game got right. Too many First Person Shooters these days limit how many weapons can be carried to an obscenely small amount, typically two. At least with this game I can pretty much always have 5 weapons to switch between.

    As I mentioned briefly before the game doesn't play well. To be blunt it plays like a bad First Person Shooter. The shooting mechanics fail to be as crisp or responsive as the higher budget shooting games. They work well enough though, and I've played with worse so I'm not gonna complain much on that front. What I am gonna complain about though is the terrible melee mechanics. Now melee combat from a first person perspective has been proven to work take for example either Condemned game, or Skyrim. In this game though it is handled terribly. It's almost as if the developers didn't want you to use melee weapons. One would think that if you've got an axe or even a hammer it wouldn't be hard to quickly bash in a zombie's skull. I mean on the TV show they're rather quick about it. But, no with this game every swing takes way too much time to perform, but even longer to initiate any subsequent swing. Which, one would think a second swing wouldn't be necessary, but for some reason Daryl isn't very good about killing a zombie with his first swing. The meleeing works well enough when only facing one walker at a time,but try and face a group and you might as well be slitting your own throat.

    The annoyances don't stop there zombies if given the opportunity to get in close to you will take any opportunity to grab on to you. Which if they succeed activates a god-awful little mini game where the player uses the Right Stick to direct a reticle over a zombies head, whilst this reticle is sporadically moving about.
    Once the player lines up the reticle a simple tap of the Trigger and Daryl will shove a knife through its head. The different knife animations are cool in the beginning particularly the one where he shoves it up the jaw, allowing the blade to be seen through the walkers open-mouth. These animations quickly become tiresome simply because of how often this grabbing happens. After one zombie grabs you and you kill him another zombie will instantly take his place. Before you know it you're performing the grapple mini game on 10 zombies before finally breaking free assuming they don't kill you first. Towards the end of the game I found myself just letting them kill me so I didn't have to do the mini game any longer.

    Another noticeable issue is the absolutely terrible AI behind the Walkers. Now I know they're zombies so it's possible to argue that them being dumb is actually realistic. Which is fine, except that these Zombies are also constantly getting stuck on bits in the environment. Strangely they seem best at getting stuck on each other when each zombie is attempting to go a different direction.

    One more slight issue, possibly more of a complaint happens when throwing a grenade. When say standing on a car and wanting to throw a grenade in the middle of 20 or so zombies surrounding you; the grenade will always bounce off their head and continue past them, instead of falling between them like it should.

    Possibly the most unique thing about this game that I don't believe has ever been done is having the main character's sweat appear on the screen after sprinting for too long. I found this rather amusing mainly because it took me so long to figure out what it was. Originally I thought it was supposed to be some sort of rain effect on my screen, except that it never rained.

    The one thing that saves this game from being absolutely terrible happens during any extra playthroughs of the campaign. After beating it once the player unlocks bonuses which can be activated, and make the game much more enjoyable. The better of these bonuses allow for the player to have the crossbow and assault rifle as starting weapons from the games beginning and the absolute best bonus grants the player with infinite ammo. These bonuses turn the game into more of a shooter, and take away some of it's flaws which is good. It's too bad that most people will never bother playing the game past its first playthrough.

    Conclusion

    Before playing this game I believed that Aliens Colonial Marines would go down as 2013's most disappointing game. I now think that Survival Instinct is a definite contender for that title. Going into this game I had heard rumors that it was a bad game. Those rumors still did not prepare me for what I experienced. The game has countless flaws that hold it back. I'll be honest I can see what the developers were trying to do with this game and in a way I suppose it's a decent idea. They wanted to create an authentic zombie apocalypse experience for the player. One where the player is constantly worrying about their supplies. Making them face off against a seemingly endless flood of zombies. All the while forcing the player to make tough decisions. When you say it like that it sounds kind of cool. Too bad in reality it's laughable, frustrating, piece of garbage.

    Pro's

    + 10 inventory slots is nice
    + TV Show Voice Actors
    + Nice bonuses after completing the game (adds replayability)
    + Crossbow grants a bit of fun

    Con's

    - Infinitely Spawning Walkers
    - Scavenging lacks reward
    - Shooting mechanics and movements feel low-budget
    - Melee combat is far too slow
    - Lots of recycled areas
    - Poor Walker AI and collision issues
    - Outdated graphics
    - Poorly told story
    - Levels are too small, not expansive
    - Walkers grab far too much
    - Traveling feature hinders the game


    Rating

    3.5 / 10


    Youtube
    https://www.youtube.com/fatalxblade
    1.5
  • Danny Dubs 86Danny Dubs 861,128,393
    11 Jan 2014
    8 5 1
    Originally posted on my blog at http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/

    Disclaimer: I don't follow The Walking Dead franchise, so this review comes from the perspective of someone who has never read any of the comics and has only seen the first episode of the show. I'll note ways I think the experience will differ for fans of the series, but this review will primarily judge the game on its own merits.

    Drawing from the massive success of the tv series, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct gives players a chance to experience the first stage of the zombie apocalypse from a first-person perspective. While it has some exciting ideas, it's mostly a bland action game with hints of untapped potential. Here's what you can expect:

    Survival Instinct puts you in the shoes of Daryl Dixon, who is on a hunting trip at the beginning of the zombie outbreak. Following the death of his father in the opening scenes of the game, Daryl sets out to find his brother Merle and reach safety. Fans of the show might think this is an interesting backstory for those characters, but from where I was sitting, the main plot was dull and Daryl and Merle were uninteresting and very poorly developed.

    In fact, the secondary characters you meet along the way seem to have much more interesting concerns during the zombie apocalypse, but they get so little of the spotlight that they serve only as a hint of missed storytelling potential. Basically, for people who aren't already fans of the Walking Dead series, the storyline is really just an excuse to explore zombie-infested Georgia, and it's a pretty bad excuse.

    To be fair, though, you don't really need much of an excuse for some good old fashioned zombie slaying, and the underlying mechanics are solid. You'll take on the zombie hordes using a variety of melee and ranged weaponry to clear paths to supply caches or survivors. You can also sneak quietly around, but although the zombies are generally only sensitive to direct line-of-sight or loud sounds, there tend to be so many of them that sneaking isn't terribly effective. The main components of the gameplay aren't stunning, but they certainly get the job done, and it's reasonably fun to kill tons of zombies, even if it is a little mindless at times.

    One gameplay mechanic that really hits the mark, however, is what happens when a zombie grabs you. If a zombie manages to get ahold of you, your only escape is to stab it in the head; doing so requires what amounts to a frantic quick time event - you must center your view on a smallish circle on the zombie's head (which is far from trivial, as the zombie's grip causes the camera to shake wildly) and quickly pull the right trigger. If successful, you'll be treated with a gruesome close-up of the zombie's lobotomy, followed by the next-nearest zombie grappling you itself if you don't quickly push it away. While constant grappling can get a little tedious, it does an awesome job of capturing the hectic terror you might expect from a zombie attack.

    Another nifty feature is that you can send your companions out to search for fuel, food, or ammo while you're off exploring a town. They'll get hurt or possibly die on their missions, but when they get back, they'll bolster your resource reserves. If these bonus goodies had been necessary for completing the game (or at least really helpful), it could have been a fun challenge in resource management, but as it stands, they merely supplement the ample collection of items you can find in the field yourself.

    There's also a pretty neat transition between stages. Instead of lengthy cutscenes, you have brief voice-overs while the characters' car progresses to the next town. During each of those trips, you can choose whether to try to take highways or backroads, which will consume different amounts of fuel and have different opportunities for scavenging supplies. The differences between those choices is mostly cosmetic, as there are similar numbers of stops either way (and they're functionally identical but officially have different purposes), but they're still kind of cool.

    While these mechanics are interesting ideas, the fact that grappling can get very tedious and the fact that your choices regarding companions and travel options have minimal effects on the gameplay suggest that it could have been a compelling zombie survival game. Instead, they're just a few novel gimmicks in an otherwise mechanically underwhelming game.

    To make things a bit worse, along with choosing the way you travel, you occasionally get to choose between two different destinations. These options result in different stages, so it probably sounds like a plus, but those branching paths recombine almost immediately, so there's actually little variation between path choices. Furthermore, there are only 12 missions (most of which only take about 30 minutes to complete) over the course of the plot, and only 4 of those come from the branching choices, so the majority of the game is identical regardless your choices. The stages themselves are also pretty linear, usually having only minor side areas to explore. The result? A relatively short game with very low replay value; you're probably not going to get more than 6-8 hours of fun out of it.

    On the more superficial side of things, Survival Instinct is decent, though nothing is really special. Zombie models are noticeably repeated and not terribly detailed, the environments are rather bland most of the time, and the graphics generally don't compare well to the best contemporary games. While the voice acting is likely very exciting for long-time Walking Dead fans (Daryl and Merle are apparently voiced by their actors in the show), it didn't do much for me. The main voice actors did an acceptable job, though their spoken lines failed to make their characters any more compelling; again, secondary characters seemed to have a bit more emotional depth than the main guys, but they didn't get much coverage. The music, on the other hand, is pretty well-designed, appropriately setting the tone for the end of days, which is a bright spot in the game's audiovisual design.

    And finally, achievement hunters won't have a terrible time with this one. Two playthroughs are needed to get a couple mutually exclusive achievements that depend on choices you make along the way, and you might need to spend some time grinding out random survivor encounters, but nothing is too difficult. The only problem is tediously running through the same linear stages repeatedly, but it's certainly doable within 15 hours or so.

    The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct doesn't deserve any awards, and there are certainly better zombie alternatives for sating your zombie game needs, but the first playthrough is entertaining enough. For the reputation that pop culture tie-in games get, Survival Instinct is surprisingly good and probably a good choice for fans of the show; as an independent game, however, I'd say it's merely average.

    My Rating: 5/10 - ok.

    (For more info on my rating system, including overall stats, see http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/p/reviews.html)
    2.5
  • thj11thj1144,899
    31 Mar 2013
    10 9 6
    Something's never change you will always argue with your brothers and sisters the biscuit you like best will already have been taken by someone else and video game company's will rush out rubbish to cash in on a popular franchise. This is what The Walking Dead is nothing more than a rushed cash in and it could have been so much more. I will admit I was a fool I thought company's don't do thing's like this any more so I eagerly came home from work release day and put it on and was instantly disapointed. The graphics look bad for a PS2 game the mission's are repetitive we need a new car WHY? What's wrong with the one I have now? It has more seats for survivors you are forcing me to get rid of survivors leaving them to die at the hands of the undead. And the survivors are useless they don't accompany you on missions no at the start of a mission you can send them out for food ammo or fuel. Send them for fuel and they may come back with 2 fuel a waste of time when you can easily get 30 on one of the many pointless breakdown spots that happen far to often. Send them for food and they will not even bring enough back to heal the damage they took on the mission and ammo well 6 bullets thank you so much it is utterly pointless, the survivors have no back story and I did not care if they came back it lacked the feeling you had for the survivors in Tell Tales game. Numerous glitches will have you scratching your head Walker's will bang on walls and door's when you are clearly standing right behind them even if you are not in sneak mode. Walker's will occasionally look straight at you and ignore you walk into walls all the while you are thinking what the hell have I spent my money on? The game is made up of a bunch of fetch quests one involving fireworks it is repetitive and the best option for the whole game is to run through the whole thing. Enemy re-spawning is ridiculous you will clear an area move away for 30 seconds and it will be swarming with the dead again. The grab mechanic when a walker get's to close to you is just a simple match up the target with the head and pull the RT but if you have been grabbed and are mobbed by 8 more just put the controller down and let them kill you. No Co-op because they wanted to focus on story? There was no story half the time you stop in random places for seemingly no reason other than to risk getting your butt bitten. But the worst thing this game does the biggest sin this game commits is the biggest sin any game can commit it is BORING! You will run through levels just to finish the game you will not enjoy it you will not stop to get the collectibles unless you are a completionist (Nothing wrong with that good for you) but I only wish to finish every game I play and even that was a chore on this game. What did I like? The thing I liked about this bad game was at least it had the decency to be a short bad game so as not to prolong your suffering surviving a real zombie Apocalypse would be a lot less distressing. In conclusion this a cash in by Activision to try and take Advantage of Tell Tale games excellent arcade game which is better longer and cheaper and on sale right now I think so put this rubbish down and go get that instead. To give you one last idea of how bad this game is I tried to trade it in 2 day's after release they would not take it as apparently everyone else had beaten me to it make of that what you will. If you must play it rent it save your money people I love the walking dead to but I feel ripped off.
    Tom
    (My 1st review feedback pos and neg welcome)
    1.0