Walking Dead Survival Instinct is a good game. Despite mediocre reviews, I rented it and loved it. Why? Because it's the perfect zombie game. Walk with me I'll explain on the way...
There are plenty of zombies games out there. Resident Evil really kicked it off with the zombie scene, and for a 12-year old it was the scariest thing on Playstation. The game brought fear and created a creepy, slow atmosphere. A horde of shuffling, groaning zombies is absolutely chilling. That was topped off by Resident Evil 2, which brought the game to the streets and introduced a claustrophobic atmosphere in open spaces. I felt trapped in a huge city.
Fast forward a few years down the line. Dawn of the Dead was released in 2004, and brought to my attention, and many others, the notion of zombies running. Now THATS scary. Running, flesh-eating monsters. But since then, games have tried to follow suit. Left 4 Dead brought multiplayer zombie survival, with running zombies. Don't get me wrong, the game is fantastic, but with the running zombies came more firepower. It just didn't feel right.
Walking Dead (the original download version) was fantastic, but I never felt in control. Then came along Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, which blew my mind. Zombies were the enemy, but they could easily overpower you. They were shuffling monsters, and they kept appearing. You only have a hunting knife, and you need to scavenge food, fuel and weapons. THAT'S SURVIVAL.
Running zombies. Not cool.
For many the game may appear to be slow and repetitive, but so is life. This game is meant to be an experience. Nothing says scary like sneaking past zombies, only for you to set off an alarm and to alert the horde of zombies. The story follows before the main television series, and for fans it is a must. There are a few clunky mechanisms, the most notorious is when a horde of zombies grab you, you fight them one-on-one like Bruce Lee rather then getting grabbed and torn apart. Despite this, you learn to be sneaky, throwing flares, silent kills, and to avoid using guns. Yes, avoid using guns. A world apart from Left 4 Dead. The greatest moment must be where you use Daryl's crossbow. A silent, long-ranged weapon, and you can pluck the arrows back out of the undead corpses.
So all in all, this game is a perfect match for me. I know there are a lot of people out there who don't like zombies, or believe the world will be overtaken by zombies (I've got my box of beans and noodles ready for that date), but as far as I'm concerned, this game is brilliant.
Bring on the zombie apocalypse.