The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a single-player post apocalyptic first-person shooter video game developed by Terminal Reality (who created the famous Ghostbusters: The Video Game and even Kinect Star Wars) and published by Activision.
It was the last game developed by Terminal Reality, who closed down on December 12, 2013.
Why It Sucks
- Completely broken gameplay mechanics with lots of glitches and is likely to crash on you.
- Gameplay itself is really tedious.
- The game doesn't save your configuration forcing you to reset your graphics settings every time you launch the game.
- Awful graphics with inconsistent levels of detail. Some textures are very low resolution making it difficult to tell what the object you're looking at is, while others are higher resolution and actually look decent.
- Unrealistic and jarring material reactions with glass flying through walls and non metallic objects sounding like metal.
- Lack of meaningful story-line.
- Despite being a part of The Walking Dead, there is hardly any writing.
- False advertising: Despite claiming to focus on the Dixon brothers, Merle is absent for a good amount of the game. You don't even get to play as him.
- Poor grasp of the source material.
- Terrible zombie AI.
- The shotgun does very little damage, taking many rounds to kill zombies.
- It is easy to shove zombies by repeatedly using your knife to knock them forward.
- Awful and abrupt ending.
- The stealth is really bad as zombies can't hear you when sprinting just like in Rogue Warrior and Resident Evil 6.
- While the idea of choosing your routes is good, the game sometimes makes the choices pointless.
- Little zombie variety.
- The game is really easy.
- It can be beaten in around 5 hours.
- The survivors are terrible as you got through all this trouble to get them, but when you do, you realize they're useless as when sent out for supplies they don't get that many things and come back with 75% of their health gone whether you give them a weapon or not.
- Most of the locations are recycled and have no variety.
- The way weapons effect zombies make no sense. For example, you can blow zombies' heads up with a gun, but not blow them away with a shotgun or cut their heads off with things like an axe. All you do is smack them in the face no matter the melee weapon and when shot with a shotgun or rifle they just stumble backwards.
- There is no level select feature meaning if you wanna play a certain level, you have to play the game all over again!
- You can only stab zombies in the head by playing an awful mini-game where you have to line up the cursor to their heads. It's worse on PC due to mouse sensitivity making it more annoying than on console.
- The characters you meet have nothing note worthy and are forgettable.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Voice acting is alright, at least from Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct was panned by critics, citing broken gameplay mechanics, poor graphics and "bland" environments, a lack of meaningful storyline, and for not meeting the high expectations associated with its source material. On Metacritic, the Xbox 360 version holds an aggregate score of 32 out of 100, based upon 30 critic reviews.
Although feeling that its "no thrills approach to zombie first-person shooter games and its emphasis on stealth and non-firearm weaponry (in comparison to other franchises such as Dead Rising and Left 4 Dead) "wasn't necessarily a bad thing", Computer & Video Games criticized Survival Instinct for being a "shoddy squandering of one of entertainment's hottest licenses", citing its "archaic" design, broken, slow-paced gameplay with inconsistent level behaviors, and its "atrocious" graphical quality.
Writing for Giant Bomb, Alex Navarro was even more harsh, believing that in comparison to Telltale's The Walking Dead game, "nothing about Survival Instinct feels properly executed, let alone coherent or thoughtful." Of particular criticism was its gameplay mechanics, the requirement to perform resource gathering and side missions at "the same handful of recycled environments" between story missions, and for providing "no meaningful information or commentary on the characters it revolves around." Giving the game one star, he concluded that Survival Instinct was "an abysmally rushed game of barely connected ideas that brings the player little more than frustration and disappointment." Considering it to be an example of licensed video games that are "lazy, cheap cash-grabs", Polygon compared playing Survival Instinct to "listening to a roomful of barely competent musicians, each of whom is playing a completely different song. And every once in a while one kicks you in the groin. Also, you have a sunburn."
During a Reddit AMA session, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman distanced himself from Survival Instinct due to its negative reception, citing his more direct involvement in the Telltale game, and remarking that "I'm pretty sure there's an AMC logo before the title of that game and not a picture of my face. If there was a picture of my face in front of the logo, then I'd be completely responsible for that." Kirkman, however, felt that the ability to play as Daryl was "at least cool".
This game was featured on DX's "Worst Games of the Decade" video criticizing the lack of a real story, forgettable side characters, implementation of survival and stealth mechanics, and overall laziness from Terminal Reality.