The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
Gamescom 2012: The Walking Dead: Video Game First Look Preview - The Satisfying Squelch
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AMC's The Walking Dead TV series has become something of a phenomenon, attracting millions of viewers with each episode, while popularising the original long-running graphic novels. Of course, because we're so completely awesome, we were into The Walking Dead comic books long before the series came about, so naturally we've been utterly enthralled by Telltale's episodic game on XBLA. But it was only a matter of time before a game based upon the hit TV show came about, and Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Kinect Star Wars developer Terminal Reality is on development duties, using its proprietary Infernal Engine to bring the first-person shooter to life.

As game presentations go, The Walking Dead: Video Game's showing at Gamescom was certainly unusual. The developer had no gameplay footage to show, and nary even a trailer in sight to demonstrate the game in motion. Instead, we were presented with a few screenshots (two of which we've embedded in this preview) taken from what we assume is very early code, and some information on the ideas that the Texas-based developer is bringing to the table. It sounds like there are some neat mechanics lined up for The Walking Dead: Video Game, but until we actually see them in action, it's hard to tell exactly how well they'll be implemented.

Revolving around story and survival, The Walking Dead: Video Game is set during Rick Grimes' coma, directly after the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, so is a prequel of sorts to the TV show. You're cast as the Dixon brothers, Daryl and Merle (played by Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker in the show) before they hooked up with the group, so you'll find yourself out on your own (playing solo as Daryl), shooting your way through walkers and driving vehicles from point to point on a road trip across the USA. Consequently, you'll learn how Daryl came to acquire his trusty crossbow and how he managed to survive prior to his appearance in the TV series.

There'll be resource management involved as you make your journey in whatever vehicle you can commandeer and more than a little undead slaughter. Starting with a pick-up truck, you'll come across a variety of road events as you travel, like the traffic jam in season 2. The choices you make will determine the path that you take through the narrative, so should you encounter something like the aforementioned traffic jam, you can backtrack, push on through the zombie hordes or take the long way around. All the time, you're burning fuel, ploughing through your resources and expending ammunition, so there's a strategical element to surviving in The Walking Dead.

Do you choose to find a new car? And if you switch up your vehicle, do you opt for reliability, performance or speed at the expense of space for supplies, or do you go for something with plenty of room and better fuel consumption? Whatever the case, you'll run into fellow survivors along the way, who you'll be able to rescue and bring aboard as allies who'll run errands for you. Sending members of your group off on missions, you can run a risk assessment that'll show you the odds of them returning alive.

We're shown a few screenshots taken from the game, depicting a street scene where Daryl finds himself out of gas. There's a host of visual signifiers in the shot, including the bold gas station sign, some billowing black smoke in the background, a pharmacy, a general store and buzzards ominously circling overhead. You can go scavenging for food from the general store and grab medical supplies at the pharmacy, but you risk being cornered and corralled in the store by walkers.

Walkers are a hidden threat and can emerge from absolutely anywhere, so even if the street seems completely isolated, they could crawl out from under cars, shamble from out of alleyways, pop out from hidden nooks in buildings or from behind fences or trees. Guns, as ever in The Walking Dead, are a last resort, as they can attract more walkers making things almost completely insurmountable. Terminal Reality has been working hard to ensure that vast numbers of walkers can be on-screen at any one time too, with a diversity of parts being combined to make each and every walker almost completely unique.

The finished game will feature tall, short, fat, thin, male and female walkers, with a range of different appearances. Apparently, no two walkers will look or indeed walk alike, and the studio has been animating its zombies using motion-capture and creating “the satisfying squish” sound of putrid undead flesh to ensure that each and every kill is as visceral, violent and gory as you'd hope. This used over $100 worth of fruit and vegetable produce, which the team set to work smashing up with various blunt objects to create its old-skool foley art, achieving the sweet sound of squelch.

Killing the brain is still the order of the day, and when guns or a crossbow bolt won't cut it during a close-quarters encounter, there's a grappling system that gives you a choice in an up-close situation. You can opt for brute force to go for a louder, longer kill that could leave you vulnerable afterwards, or you can try for a skill kill, which is more difficult and puts you in greater physical danger, but it's faster and quieter. Walkers are “the intelligent undead”, says Terminal Reality, so they'll be able to hear and smell you, using advanced situational and environmental AI to hunt you down. They'll be totally relentless too, meaning they'll crawl after you with no legs and attempt to take a chunk out of you by any means necessary.

Terminal Reality tells us that it has more emergent scares than planned scares in The Walking Dead: Video Game, which should ensure that you're constantly kept on your toes, with your crossbow – or whatever weapon of choice you have at the time – primed and ready. As far as its ideas and mechanics are concerned, Terminal Reality looks to be on the right track with The Walking Dead, but until we actually see some gameplay footage or get a bit of hands-on time, it's hard, nay impossible to tell how it'll pan out. Early indications are positive though, and it looks like more than just the usual quick buck tie-in. With fan favourite Daryl Dixon at the centre of the solo adventure too, you can expect crowd-pleasing crossbow fun aplenty too. Promising stuff for sure, but let's see some gameplay now, yeah?

The Walking Dead: Video Game is out in 2013.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 162
Comment #1 by IIIII Matt IIIII
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 08:50:10 AM
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can't wait to see what they do with this, hope it turns out successful

Forum Posts: 1749
Comment #2 by UberPirateNinja
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 08:51:30 AM
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i find your lack of gameplay disturbing.

Forum Posts: 847
Comment #3 by Hudson888
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 08:56:54 AM
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Seems a bit pointless for them to do a 'preview' when they have nothing to preview... hope it turns out good.

Forum Posts: 17
Comment #4 by Mr Chr15topher
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 09:00:47 AM
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I would quite like this to be an Xbox 720 launch title tbh, as that will allow both excellent graphics, lots more zombies on screen at the same time and a much larger world with more items.
But as long as they make it as awesome as the series, I can easily put up with it being on the 360.

Forum Posts: 169
Comment #5 by Arron114
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 09:04:35 AM
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I remember what they said kinect star was was going to be like. A Luis Spense DVD and some ballroom shoes later we got a completely different experience.

Hopefully once bitten (boom) twice shy. ]

Untill then ill stick with TT's fantastic effort.

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #6 by Tifa007
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 09:06:05 AM
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I'm worried too about this "preview." The screenshots don't even impress but the idea sounds good...

Forum Posts: 17
Comment #7 by Mr Chr15topher
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 09:13:03 AM
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Actually, referring to my last post, maybe that's why they didn't show any gameplay. If it is on the 720, they wouldn't be allowed to show any gameplay yet until the console is announced. Fingers crossed.

Forum Posts: 451
Comment #8 by deluxnugs
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 09:20:49 AM
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I hope they rely heavily on the survival and have a ton of creative ways to kill zombies.If they can nail down a few really great aspects of the game and keep a solid focus on the staroy,it could turn out well.I'd love it to be in the vein of Bioshock or Metro.
I've often wondered how awesome it would be to escape from the top floor of a hospital full of zombies and other humans trying to survive the horrors happening around them. Floor by floor just trying to survive, not L4D style with 20 zombies all around you buting the shit out of you.

I have a lot of hope for this game.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #9 by RancidSkank
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 09:25:19 AM
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That wasn't the satisfying squelch I had in mind when I clicked the link.

Dissappointed :(

Forum Posts: 856
Comment #10 by i got squeezed
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 10:26:25 AM
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"Walkers are a hidden threat and can emerge from absolutely anywhere" That sorta gave me chills. Sounds very awesome.

Forum Posts: 524
Comment #11 by artphobia
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 10:32:40 AM
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I have a sinking feeling we'll be dealing with in-game characters that (because of contracts) will not be modeled from their actor counterparts. For example... Godfather, Lost, PrisonBreak, etc

Forum Posts: 37
Comment #12 by thenewpeter
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 11:06:45 AM
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I am hopeful for this game, but not too much, everything else in this series so far has been good, be it comic, tv adaptation or the first game so far.
Though every series has a blotch on it's record, I just hope that we won't see this game just fail.

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #13 by FreiZeitGeipel
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 11:27:22 AM
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Sounds promising indeed, but let´s wait for some actual footage. Until then, I still have to watch season 2 of the show and play episode 3 of the Telltale game. And by the way, the name "TWD: Video Game" is not the most creative title out there. Hope that´s just a working title.

Forum Posts: 108
Comment #14 by Slayinfool
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 11:31:44 AM
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I can't wait for this!! love the books, love the show!!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #15 by D00MSMAN
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 11:59:07 AM
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Will be waiting for gameplay footage. until then, I'll have to try to keep excitement at a minimum. :(

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #16 by WEBHEAD 7
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 12:31:07 PM
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it would be very cool if they got reedus and rooker to lend their voice talent

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #17 by DarkEvolution90
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 12:34:03 PM
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This is going to be bad... real bad and that sucks because I love The Walking Dead, or atleast the comic book

Forum Posts: 451
Comment #18 by deluxnugs
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 12:37:25 PM
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@ 18 If they dont then I dont think it'll be very good.That'd be the first signs of a terrible game and a good projection of where the game is headed.

Forum Posts: 103
Comment #19 by HELLSPWAN 88
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 01:30:34 PM
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I love the show so I really hope they can do it some justice they could do something great with it at least I think so guess we'll have to play the waiting game till we get some more info

Forum Posts: 147
Comment #20 by NewProfileKid
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 02:10:22 PM
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i hope this turns out to a good game! Man you gotta love killing zombies! ;)

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #21 by Evo089
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 03:07:06 PM
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I hope it's for the next gen consoles. The Walking Dead Arcade series have, in my eyes set the standard for the gaming side of the franchise. As basic as the game may be it's still an excellent piece of kit.

Forum Posts: 1003
Comment #22 by Dr Popodopolus
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 05:32:50 PM
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I wonder if this will turn out to be any good.

With Terminal Reality at the helm, it's all about slim chances now.

Forum Posts: 4596
Comment #23 by WalterWhite
Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 10:20:32 PM
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The good news is if this game turns out to be good we'll get a fuck ton of sequels because Activision won't stop until there's nothing left.

Forum Posts: 3223
Comment #24 by DecadentBeaver
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 @ 04:51:53 AM
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I love the XBLA Walking Dead, and I'm curious as to how this pans out. Will be wanting to get hold of this. Knowing my luck, it will release when my g/f gives birth giving me no money or time to game.

Forum Posts: 298
Comment #25 by ViNyLek
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 @ 12:54:49 PM
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Will we have zombie dance off as well? One thing they didn't mention yet, is it will definitely be better with Kinect LOL. I will believe it when I see it until then I doubt this will turn up good...

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #26 by RandyRelentless
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 @ 10:03:03 PM
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You get to play as Daryl Dixon a character who is not in the comics. I for one am excited to see how it turns out because i love Daryl on the tv show. Hopefully it will give us a good backstory on him and we can learn more about these characters.

Forum Posts: 1397
Comment #27 by InsaneKane87
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 10:43:57 PM
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@6 If awesome screenshots like these don't "impress" you then this game isn't for you. Those are in fact very impressive.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #28 by SaphireCurve
Friday, September 07, 2012 @ 11:36:59 PM
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concept on this game looks great, hopefully they make something w/ it

Forum Posts: 494
Comment #29 by Timmsy
Sunday, September 09, 2012 @ 05:10:38 PM
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definately going to be a day one own!

Forum Posts: 634
Comment #30 by DxxxRules
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 05:49:24 PM
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Wooo excited

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #31 by THE GRASS FEVER
Friday, September 14, 2012 @ 03:04:38 PM
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Can't wait, this game is going to be awesome :)

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #32 by Dr Rocco
Monday, September 17, 2012 @ 12:01:55 PM
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This could be genuinely amazing...
If it doesnt work hopefully left for dead 3 could fill a void!

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #33 by bruinssebqc
Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 02:38:30 PM
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i just want a game like heavy rain :)

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Game Info
Terminal Reality


US March 19, 2013
Europe March 22, 2013

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