Picture the scene… it’s a boring Tuesday at work. You’re taking a short break and think to yourself “you know what would really shake off the monotony, a nice zombie apocalypse.” Just think, that old hag that gives you hassle every day, you could take great pleasure in watching her getting devoured… Okay, maybe it’s just me that has these fantasies – which always leaves me disappointed when I return to reality and see her going about her business with no rotting flesh upon her person. But now, you can turn your PC on and absorb yourself in a zombie-infested apocalyptic infestation in the comfort of your own home thanks to OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead!
**Please bear in mind, this is a review based on the build up until the 20th November, so there have been quite a few patches so far with more on the way**
OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead is a co-op survival game in which you can play with friends or through matchmaking cause, let’s face it, not all your friends are going to make it… A sad fact I know, but you must accept that not everyone is going to make it when the time comes. So, as in the Walking Dead TV show or comics, you have to form new groups and friends in order to survive. However, these people may have your back when you need them or only care about their own survival. Such is true here as some players will revive you when you’re in trouble and others will just insult you and complain about ‘n00bs’. I mean really, the game has only just come out so we’re all noobs; assholes! There’s no in-game audio chat, at times I’m glad of this, but trying to communicate how to solve puzzles can be a pain. You can type messages which come up on the screen but chances are you’ll get attacked while trying to do this.
Now just like in TV zombie apocalypses, you have to learn new skills and adapt in order to survive. OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead doesn’t really provide you with much instruction, you have to figure things out for yourself and that means it will take a little perseverance before you get to grips with what you have to do. You start off with a simple enough mission involving defending your camp from walkers who have been set on you by a group called ‘the family’. This involves laying defences, repairing gates and killing off waves of walkers with your team. After this, you unlock missions that have a story and are longer as you work your way through the level trying to complete the main objective. Usually, this is along the lines of stealing supplies and getting them to the extract location while fending off walkers and the family, among other enemy factions. These missions are broken up with more ‘defend the camp’ missions which get harder as you unlock them.
As you level up, you get skill points which you can use to upgrade your characters skill trees in areas such as health and stamina improvements and weapon proficiency. You may also find survivors along the way within the missions which you can assign tasks to which helps build up your camp. The progress they make can unlock more skills for both you and your camp.
You get the choice of four characters to start with as well as another two to unlock and more which are being added over time. Each has its own roles. You have Heather the scout, Aiden the tank, Grant the tactician and Maya who is the support role and who I chose to start playing with.
What’s nice is there appear to be multiple routes which you can take in order to complete each level, as I found out by playing with different groups. Sometimes I did find myself all alone as I had gone the way I was familiar with and everyone had gone a different way. Not to worry though, if you get overwhelmed and die then when you respawn you’ll be with your team again. There are also times where it will teleport you to your allies if they progress to a new area. However, I found this to be a bit buggy as one time I was stuck in a room with a ladder which you’re meant to climb down – every time I went down, I ended up back in the room at the top?! Another time I got returned to the map screen for no apparent reason.
There are bugs that need to be fixed for sure, and they can be frustrating, but I am enjoying the game. The game has seasons and right now only season one is available – this gives you 10 main story missions plus all the side bits I mentioned earlier.
OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead is a fun, chaotic take on the team-based horde and exploration genre made popular by Left 4 Dead. Sure, the lack of voice chat in-game is crippling within this genre, with the only substitute being to use Steam Chat or a third-party method – making this as cumbersome as the Nintendo Switch voice-chat options! However, there is nothing more satisfying than mindlessly slaughtering waves of zombies with a bunch of friends!
I’m not much of a multiplayer gamer but if I have to play one, I much prefer cooperative ones to PVP. If you enjoy this type of game it’s worth picking up, if only to let some frustration out at the end of the day by beheading walkers with your machete.
OVERKILL's The Walking Dead£46.49
- You get to kill lots of zombies/walkers
- Good variety of weapons
- Fun to play in a group if you like team work
- Bugs need to be fixed
- Difficulty scaling can sometimes mean you are not ready for the next mission
- No real tutorial in-game to get you started
- No checkpoints, if everyone dies then it's back to the beginning of the mission