Quietly. It’s not just the ideal way to approach a zombie if your only armament is a 5-inch meat skinning knife, as a moment in the footage above so helpfully demonstrates — it’s also the way Activision‘s and developer Terminal Reality‘s The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct has been carrying itself since its decidedly vague announcement in July of last(!) year.
We know the basics — the game is a licensed first-person-shooter adaptation of The Walking Dead TV series on AMC; players embody roughspun biker Daryl Dixon as he, along with brother Merle, battle their way to the perceived safety of Atlanta; action and stealth both are core elements of gameplay — but only a few screenshots and concept art pieces have floated to the surface over the last few months.
Now we can add gameplay footage to the list; Terminal Reality released the aforementioned trailer recently, and it’s our first glimpse at how The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is shaping up for its foretasted 2013 release. Softly scored and devoid of sound effects, it seems to focus more on the stealth/action dichotomy of the game as opposed to plotlines or characters or visual prowess. Our protagonist — ostensibly the Norman Reedus-played Daryl — is shown cutting through craniums and escaping hungry zombie hordes; and yet there’s a significant amount of time spent on climbing down ladders, throwing empty glass bottles (perhaps to create a sound diversion), creeping around abandoned vehicles, and skulking through a darkened convenience store guided only by a flashlight.
Themes and strategies aside, though, it’s also evident that Survival Instinct is still a work in progress. Maybe it’s the sparingly detailed scenery, maybe it’s the shiny-plastic zombie hairpieces, but in more than a few instances it’s not the game’s decomposing adversaries providing the scares. Sure, Activision isn’t budgeting Call of Duty money for Terminal Reality’s efforts — and they don’t have worry about meeting TWD creator Robert Kirkman’s approval — but hopefully its green-light-for-release standards are higher nonetheless. TellTale proved in 2012 how much gaming potential exits under the The Walking Dead name; it would be nice if that name wasn’t the sole impetus for Survival Instinct being made.
What do think about The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct after finally seeing it in action?
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is slated for a 2013 release on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
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