One thing I’ve learned from reading RSS feeds of pretty much every mainstream gaming website is that as soon as a game’s release date is upon us a review post goes live. For some reason that didn’t happen with Activisions latest game The Walking Dead: Survival Instincts. It’s not that review copies weren’t sent out because I received word from Activision that there was high demand for the game – so what happened?
The Walking Dead: Survival Instincts (Not to be confused with the episodic The Walking Dead game by TellTale) is a brand new game based on the AMC Series of the same name. This particular game focused on brothers Daryl Dixon and his brother Mearle fighting through various hoards of zombies in order to survive.
Developed by Terminal Reality who are known best for Kinect: Star Wars, The Walking Dead: Survival Instincts didn’t really get off on the right foot. First we had a really poor, lacklustre gameplay video that turned out to be fake, or not so, because it is in game footage, but just not official??? Okay, let me try to explain it in more detail. The “fake” gameplay video was real footage spliced together from IGN’s Up At Noon video where they previewed the game, because it didn’t show the game in the best light ever Activision and everyone involved in spreading the footage said that it was an unofficial fan edit and that it doesn’t represent the game’s true colours – but it was game play footage nonetheless.
The release date was then announced which was only a few months after the unofficial footage was released causing concern from some gamers wondering how they’re going to improve what we saw in the video to something a little more exciting. From here the release date was pushed back a few weeks and another trailer was released.
All was a little quiet until finally the US launch date was upon us (19th March) and there was little to no reviews. Which is strange because usually a review copy is sent out a week or so before the first release date and any reviews or footage from the game is embargoed until then. At first I thought that was strange but on the 18th when the launch trailer was released Destructoid also mentioned that their review copy hadn’t been sent out yet. – Even weirder right?
Here’s my theory to why little to no reviews have been posted; The game sucks.
I don’t even have to play it to come to this conclusion. The gameplay showed in the unofficial footage could have no way improved before the release and if the current Metacritic score is anything to go by (36 out of 100) I’m pretty much spot on.
The Metacritic score also has more reviews from users than actual ‘Critics’ and the Critic’s score goes no higher than 50 with most reviews stating that this game is just one big let-down.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is the exact sort of lazy, cheap cash-grab that gave licensed games a bad name in the first place. – Polygon
It’s a half-baked attempt at a game that can be fun in the occasional spooky part, but ends up under-delivering in every way. – IGN
Outside of these interesting narrative nuggets, Survival Instinct sinks its infected teeth into monotony and carelessly chews away at it to deliver a repetitious experience that lets a few cool ideas go to waste. This is an apocalypse you don’t want to survive. – Game Informer
Survival Instinct clearly isn’t finished, and has no business expecting money from any paying customer. It’s the kind of hurried, jury-rigged game that risks dealing damage to a property — an especially sour note considering all the excellent work achieved by Telltale’s The Walking Dead. – Destructoid