I don’t have long. I’m being attacked by a zombie, but I’m using one hand to type out this preview and the other to protect my neck. I’ll try to share everything I loved about the demo before this zombie bites me. (Sorry for the typos, I’m fighting for my life.)
Overkill’s The Walking Dead is based on Robert Kirkman’s comic, but who really cares, I came for some zombie action, and I got it. I’m tempted to make a Left 4 Dead comparison, which is fair since this is a four-player co-op shooter with hordes of zombies, but The Walking Dead allows for more tactical stealth, similar to Overkills’ Payday series. (Man, the zombie attacking me is really putting up a fight. He’s a squirmier.)
Throughout The Walking Dead, you and up to three co-op buddies head out on a series of missions to scavenge gear and help build up your home base. This means that you’ll face off against both the undead and hostile, well-armed survivors. You don’t want to be a hero and venture off on your own, because you’re safer closer to the pack. The world is very hostile and a few hits can send you to your knees. The environment is also littered with dangers like bear traps that pin you to the ground and make you a sitting duck.
The Walking Dead’s shooting feels good, and I got off several headshots on our first group of zombies before they got too close and I switched over to a machete, which rips through their limbs. (I wish I still had it, so I could deal with the guy who is currently nipping my ear.) During your journey, you can scavenge for extra supplies. If you have a lock pick, you can find extra goodies in lockboxes. If you have a blade, you can cut open chainlink fences and find shortcuts.
Obviously, human enemies put up more of a coordinated fight, and I found it useful to remain hidden as long as possible. You can mark targets for your co-op buddies and try to co-ordinate a well-timed attack, but if you make too much noise during combat, you’ll attract roaming hordes, who will attack indiscriminately. This addeded chaos is fun, but it’s far from safe (kind of like me right now). I found this out the hard way when I accidentally set off a car alarm while hacking through a group of zombies.
When we reached the end of the level, we found the supplies we needed, so we set a flair into the sky had to wait a few minutes for our ride to show up. Of course, this attracts a big group of zombies and we soon found ourselves staring down a wave of rotting limbs. The suppressor on my pistol breaks, which would normally attract more zombies, but what’s a few more at this point. The zombies in The Walking Dead are a bit slower than those in Left 4 Dead, but they hit harder and can take a few hits before collapsing. Big bloated zombies will explode if you get too close and take you out immediately.
(Ack, dammit, I think I just got bit. Yeah, that’s a lot of blood. Not sure how much time I have left now. I’m sorry mom.)
Overall, Overkill’s The Walking Dead was a fun time. It scratches that Left 4 Dead itch, but feels a bit more tactical and deliberate like Payday. I just wish I was going to live to play it again. Starbreeze, Skybound Entertainment, and 505 Games are bringing the game to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the PC on November 6.
Blech, I have a bad taste in my mouth now. I’m starting to feel itchy and I want to eat dog food. Itchy. Tasty.