The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (Xbox 360)

Game Info

GAME NAME: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

DEVELOPER(S): Terminal Reality

PUBLISHER(S): Activision

PLATFORM(S): Xbox 360


RELEASE DATE(S): 22 March 2013

Zombies might be pretty scary but perhaps not as scary as The Walking Dead Survival Instinct. The main difference is that zombies are scary in.. well…  a good way. Survival Instinct takes you back in time as the game acts as a prequel to the highly acclaimed TV Series. The focus is set around brothers Daryl and Merle Dixon and their travels across  the countryside when the zombie epidemic was still in its infant stages.

The storyline is probably one of the game’s stronger points. The voice acting roles for Daryl and Merle are done by both Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker who, for those who aren’t fans of the series, are the original voice actors for the characters in the TV series. Now that we’ve praised Survival Instinct  for its limited positive points let’s move onto its shortfalls…

Avoid the undead, fetch supplies (in one way or another), move on… repeat. This is the basis for the short-lived campaign mode. During your travels you will meet survivors who can or can’t assist you on your journey. Your vehicle will inevitably break down and you are tasked to find either a spare part or fuel in order to progress. These mini-levels are tediously generic and nearly every town is suspiciously familiar, if not identical. The actual benchmark levels vary a little more but the overall monotony levels remain at an all time high.

The troops of zombies you face share the stage design’s repetitive tendencies. AI was clearly not a huge focal point and if it was these zombies are a bit more than brain-dead. In fact they’d barely be contributing more if they remained in their graves. Everything from the AI’s capabilities to the enemy character’s copy/paste appearances are seriously lacking. But that’s not all that’s repetitive. But that’s not all that’s repetitive. When a mass of contaminated flesh-eaters manages to surround you a quick time event triggers which tasks you to try stab them in the head in order to break free. The more surrounded you are, the more you’ll need to stab individual zombies. Once again, a rinse and repeat scenario.

During the first half of the game you will find yourself using mostly melee attacks due to limited ammunition. The zombies will also attack in masses if they hear a gunshot or if you get too close without doing a silent take-down attack. These skull crushing melee attacks are good watered-down fun for the first hour of gameplay but you will soon find yourself racing through the level and avoid any weak stealth strategy all together.  With time your arsenal increases, allowing you to productively use a wider variety of weapons including the signature crossbow that Darryl deems as his weapon of choice. These silent attacks and reusable arrows are an effective asset but by no means is it an essential as the melee attacks will suffice in nearly any situation.

It quickly becomes evident that there are a handful of really good ideas which must unfortunately be written off as missed opportunities.  Your inventory is managed by the car you choose to take you to your next location. This forces you to choose your inventory carefully if you intend to strategize your way through a level. You can choose to take the highway or back roads, which ultimately determine the number   stops  you’ll make on the way to your destination, or the amount of energy drinks and ammo that will be available to you. Had there been more time spent on ideas like these Survival Instinct might not have been as dull as the end product proves to be.

Developers Terminal Reality have really missed out on an outstanding licensed title opportunity. When looking back at what Telltale Games did with the The Walking Dead: The Game one can help but feel dismally disappointed even for die-hard fans of the overall series. The distantly satisfying melee attacks are quickly overshadowed by the abundance of tedious elements that the game is comprised of. Even if you are a fan of the series and the previous franchise installments you’ll probably be doing the series a service by giving this title a skip.

4 Overall Score
Look and Feel:: 4/10
Extras:: 2/10
Value For Money:: 3/10

Melee attacks are fun

Terrible AI | Dated graphics | No replay value


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Author: Admin View all posts by
  • Yes at last something bad from this horrible series. I really hate this show

  • Lyle

    I dislike the show because it’s a mockery of the excellent comics, but I’ll admit the production value is fantastic.

    But I really wasn’t expecting much with this. Oh well, another victim on the licensed games list.

  • Jarred

    So, considering your whereabouts recently Garth, and this game, we can say… best 2 weeks ever? :-p

    • Garth

      I hate Jarred. **Clears the tears from my eyes**

  • Zhameer

    I expected this game to fail so i will not even consider this even if it costs R1 so thanks for the review and condolences that you had to play it lol.

    • llama

      I’d buy this game for R1.

  • Never actually saw the TV series hope its not boring but why not relieve some stress, shoot &kill every Zombie, 😉

  • Ryan

    Great series, but a terrible game :(

  • Thor

    And it was such an awesome concept. In the right hands and enough production time this game could’ve been great instead of crap *sigh*

  • Steffen

    Something about this game and article makes me think of how bad the Terminator Salvation game was.

    • dawid22

      Funny you say that. Brett and I was just chatting about that game earlier this week and how it launched alongside that turd that was Damnation.

  • marc

    …at least it offers good value in that i wont be spending a cent on this crap

  • Carla

    lol: ” But that’s not all that’s repetitive. But that’s not all that’s repetitive.” nice touch hahaha. Don’t know how they could let such a popular series fail as a game.

  • marius

    Amazing…yet another bad cross over game. Strange that this one would mess it up considering all the good zombie games it could have borrowed from.

  • Albertus

    It is a shame that a series of such high quality gets such a bad game. Very much like Aliens: Colonial Marines. Why do they do that?!

  • Gary

    The price on Takealot is insane now that I’ve read this review.

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