Many were quick to write off developer Terminal Reality's take on AMC's The Walking Dead due to the first-person perspective. We didn't have much to go on with the original announcement, and it was easy to assume the worst.
My meeting with Terminal Reality showed me that there's going to be some real depth to the game, however. No gameplay was shown off, but the presentation made it seem like its main focus is on the human survival element the franchise is so well known for. You're going to have to make some tough choices along the journey.
This Walking Dead game follows the Dixon brothers, with players in control of Darrel Dixon. The game takes place some weeks prior to the start of the TV show, and the brothers have to get from Georgia to Atlanta to the safe zone created by the military.
How you get to Atlanta is totally up to you. You'll be able to drive through a variety of highway routes, and there's going to be many factors that affect your journey. There will be Road Events that popup along the drive such as the highway being blocked up thanks to abandoned cars. You could circle back to find an alternative route, or you can push the cars out of the way. Trying to find an alternative route will affect how much gas you have left, but it will be safer. Moving the cars out of the way will save you gas, but then you're exposed to the Walkers.
You will also encounter NPCs along the way, who can join your party if you want. Having them join though means you'll need more food and supplies to cover everyone, but NPCs may come with some sort of effect that will help you in your adventure. Part of taking NPCs is tied to your vehicle, and you have to find vehicles with more space if you want to take others with you. You start off with a two seater truck, and can move up to a four door and even a bus that can take up to eight to ten NPCs at a time. It's really up to you, and what you think is worth it. NPCs won't be useless, but they do require more work out of you. You can kick an NPC out of your group whenever you want, and they can even just leave on their own if they're not happy with you.
Players will have to make stops in towns along the journey for supplies, and it's up to you how long you want to look for stuff. Walkers can see, hear, and even smell players so the longer you stay in an area the more trouble you will attract. While there are guns, using them should be used as little as possible as the gunshot noises will bring more Walkers around.
There will of course be a good amount of melee weapons, and the sound designers have done a lot to capture the feel of really smashing a skull in. We were told one story where a sound designer spent hundreds of dollars on fruits so he could smash them in with knifes and other objects in order to capture the right smacking sound.
The Walkers sole goal is to eat you, and we were told they're going to be relentless in their pursuit of tasty human flesh. The worst Walkers are the ones you can't see, like ones that are underneath cars or just laying in tall grass. You will never know for sure if you're safe. Each encounter will be unique, and you could be taking on Walkers one-on-one or even run into to large herds of Walkers.
I have to honestly admit I was surprised at how much depth The Walking Dead videogame is aiming for here. There appears to be way more going on than I could have ever imagined, and I'm now pumped to see Terminal Reality bring this to life.
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