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 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct preview 

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PostSubject: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct preview   Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:23 pm


For folks who’ve played Telltale’s gorgeously stylized Walking Dead adventure — or have gamed on any current-gen console, really — Survival Instinct
makes a scary first impression. And not in a good way. Terminal
Reality’s new zombie game boasts humble graphics that’d look more at
home on an original Xbox, with character animations and movement that
emit a distinctly low-budget vibe. Truth be told, we’re still eager to
play it, though — and not just because it’s set in the same
post-apocalyptic, ghoul-riddled world as AMC’s hit TV show.
After
our recent demo of the game, what’s got us enthusiastic? For one thing,
there’s the premise: as Daryl Dixon, the series’ crossbow-toting,
redneck antihero, you’re crossing Georgia en route to Atlanta, just
before the character met up with Rick Grimes and company in the show’s
first episode. By your side is your brother, Merle, another aggressive
ass-kicker (who, unfortunately, won’t be playable cooperatively). It’s a
story we haven’t seen, and guiding these hardened siblings through a
newly zombified land should be interesting.
Some cars, you’ll be able to drive off in, says Gamble — if you can find the keys.

Much
of their trek will involve something Telltale’s saga didn’t emphasize:
the shooting, stabbing, and general slaying of walkers. As Glenn Gamble,
Terminal Reality’s principal effects artist/system designer, describes
it: “[Our game is] a survival FPS. We want to convey that there are no
safe places in this world.” Toward that end, the undead are as lethal as
they are on the show, and fighting more than one or two at a time will
probably prove fatal. Downing them one-on-one will be no problem,
however: in our demo, Gamble shotgunned one zombie in the head (which
exploded in a crimson splash), stabbed another in the face with a knife,
and decapitated others with an axe.
Whatever weapon you use,
blood and gore abound, and whether you’re in a campground, hospital, or
urban environment, there’s no shortage of undead targets. (Thankfully,
your weapons don’t degrade the way they did in zombie shooter Dead Island.)
Nevertheless, as we saw in our demo, stealth is often the best course
of action. Faced with a herd of 10 to 20 zombies, Gamble picked up a
bottle and, from a safe spot where the monsters couldn’t detect him,
threw it over their heads to the other side of the plaza, luring them
away with the sound of shattering glass.
Viewers of the Walking Dead
show have seen Daryl evolve from an angry racist — which presumably is
how he’ll be in the game — to a more team-oriented, loyal companion.
Whether his brother, Merle (shown above), shares the same potential for
goodness is less certain, though. Early in the series, he (SPOILER
ALERT!) had to be handcuffed to a pipe after beating up a fellow
survivor. Two seasons later, he’s back — minus his handcuffed hand,
which he’d had to cut off to escape walkers — as a lieutenant of the
ruthless Governor. Gamble hinted at Merle “causing problems” in the
game; we’re eager to see his amoral nature at work.

136


Hopefully, compelling gameplay will offset the meager visuals.

The
mission we observed involved an even bigger distraction: finding
several batches of fireworks around town, then setting them all off to
draw the zombies to a local church. Finding the goods took Daryl from
rooftops (where you’re fairly, but not definitely, safe) to a crowded
alley where a seemingly inanimate corpse suddenly “woke up,” while
another walker grabbed us suddenly from behind. A wider-open graveyard
area afforded the opportunity to simply run around the zombies instead
of fighting them — an approach our pistol-toting demo guide happily
took. While this mission was set during the day, others will occur at
night, Gamble noted.
The mix of in-your-face combat and sneaking
around unnoticed seems reasonably fun, if not particularly novel.
Admittedly, we’re more intrigued by some elements Gamble described but didn’t
show in our demo. One is your interactions with other survivors, who
we’re told can join your group and will even go on missions for you. Not
all of the living will be friendly, but of those you do want to help,
you’ll only be able to do so much; as Gamble describes, “We’ve got this
big cast of survivors, and you’ll never have enough seats in your car to
fit everybody.” That means making choices about who to keep and who to
leave behind, he explains — the kind of moral dilemma lovers of Robert
Kirkman’s Walking Dead comics (and Telltale’s episodic adventure) have learned to crave.
Gamble
also enticed us with details of other features designed to add
replayability. One is randomly occurring road events — for example,
you’re driving down the highway and it’s blocked; do you try to push the
cars out of the way, or spend extra gas going around the obstacle?
Elsewhere, says Gamble, “you can go down Highway A or Highway B and
you’ll encounter different levels as you go. So you can play the game
multiple times and not have the same level flow at all.” Just how much
those different routes will affect the game, we don’t know; but
branching paths is a concept we can certainly get behind.
So for now, some aspects of Survival Instinct
are unknown and uncertain — much like newly devastated Georgia would be
for the Dixon brothers. For diehard fans of AMC’s blockbuster show,
though, the mystery will be hard to resist.
In this game, the dead are best fought one-on-one.

PUBLISHER:
Activision • DEVELOPER: Terminal Reality • MULTIPLAYER: None •
RELEASES: March 26, 2013 • FOR FANS OF: Shooters, stealth, zombies,
gore


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PostSubject: Re: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct preview   Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:24 am

Graphics look alright, hope it doesn't turn out like another Dead Island. I think its going to be fun enough, but definantely not going for any GoTY awards.
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