The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Key events

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct review

When I first read The Walking Dead, it hit me like a freight train. The comic was then around 50 issues in (it's recently topped 100 and counting). Its unblinking black-and-white style was one thing, but its take on the zombie apocalypse was an original take on a genre that then, as now, feels like a setting deadened through repetition. Even today, its gritty melodrama feels fresh, one of those few creations that transcends an often trashy genre - the reason it ended up as primetime TV.

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is what comes, with sad inevitability, alongside such an achievement. It's a low-budget tie-in, just like the bad old days. Developer Terminal Reality's previous work includes 2009's decent-ish Ghostbusters, which despite leaden moments showed a real affinity for the material, and last year's Kinect Star Wars, which we'll pass over without comment. Such a catalogue suggests we might expect Survival Instinct to handle the license with some sensitivity, but this is a forlorn hope. The biggest determining factor in Survival Instinct's final form is one word and a whole lot of change: budget. This is a shoestring production, and it feels like one carried out at double-time then stitched together at the last minute. The best you can say is that it has big ideas but never realises them.

The game is a prequel to the TV show and casts you as the charmless hillbilly Daryl Dixon, whose most distinctive trait is calling female zombies "d***head" as he stabs them. Your mission is to stealth-and-shoot through levels that are basically large corridors - which could of course describe many first-person shooters. But while the better examples of this design do a good job of hiding it, in Survival Instinct, you're constantly running into invisible walls and knee-high obstacles. The cut-off points for levels are also invisible, and will simply fade the screen to black then respawn your character facing the other way. This isn't just bargain-basement design, it's uncaring.

Read more

UK chart: Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War: Judgment storms top

UK chart: Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War: Judgment storms top

Activision's The Walking Dead game manages third.

Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War: Judgment has Roadie Run to the top of the UK video games chart, but sold four times less in its launch week than Gears of War 3.

Two other new entries this week also made the top 10: Activision's mouldy-looking The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct in third; and Wii U and 3DS role-player Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in seventh.

Encouragingly, Wii U-exclusive Nintendo Land reappeared at the bottom of the UK top 40 (in 39th). It's the first sighting of the game in months, and suggests Monster Hunter 3 has slightly reinvigorated the Wii U.

Read more

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct debuts its first official trailer

After some really rough early footage of The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct was revealed, Activision went dark on releasing any video of the zombie shooter until today when it unleashed its first official trailer a scant month and a half before its release on 29th March (or 26th March, if you live in North America).

As for the footage, it looks... better, albeit not terribly impressive. Still, it's newer, so it should give players a better idea as to how Terminal Reality's take on AMC's take on Robert Kirkman's franchise is shaping up.

Elsewhere, Activision announced that those who pre-order The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct on Xbox 360 or PS3 at GAME or GameStop Ireland will receive the Walker Herd Survival Pack, which contains the pun-tastic Herd Mode where you stave off endless waves of the undead. The add-on will also grant new weapons in the story mode including a survival knife, sawtoothed machete, kukri, reinforced hatchet and advanced machete.

Read more

Release date for Activision's The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Release date for Activision's The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Wii U version announced, has ZombiU-style backpack for GamePad.

Activision has gouged out a release date for its The Walking Dead-themed shooter, Survival Instinct. The game will also launch on Wii U, the publisher confirmed.

The tie-in will hit shop shelves on 29th March for PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360, and be available to download for PC at the same time, too.

Survival Instinct developer Terminal Reality told Eurogamer that the Wii U version will include a backpack-style interface on the GamePad screen, similar to Ubisoft's own undead shooter ZombiU.

Read more

The Walking Dead sells by the morgue-load

The Walking Dead sells by the morgue-load

Plenty coffin up cash for Telltale's hit series.

The Walking Dead episodes have done the business for Telltale, totalling more than 8.5 million sales.

There being five episodes inflates the number of actual people playing somewhat, and there being varying platforms and prices means calculating a sum of money earned is hard.

On Steam the entire season costs 21, although it's half-price at 10.49 today - quick!

Read more