The Walking Dead series

The Walking Dead series
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The Walking Dead series

Load your revolver and take a couple of handkerchiefs with you: in this article we decided to recall the games in the Walking Dead franchise.

We have divided The Walking Dead games into two parts. The first included highly rated episodic quests from the Telltale studio , which set a new direction in the genre and proved that the Walking Universe universe is not so much about zombies as it is about people and their relationships. These are the projects that first come to mind when it comes to game adaptations.

All other titles based on The Walking Dead were sent to the second part – action games , mobile games and a couple of interesting projects. There are not as many of them as we would like, and not all of them were liked by gamers, but this is a good opportunity to linger in the beloved world of the zombie apocalypse.

QUESTS FROM TELLTALE

Interestingly, the games in The Walking Dead series became a turning point not only for the history of games in a zombie setting, but also for the history of the studio that released them. If before the release of the first part of the franchise, Telltale Games was creating classic quests stuffed with puzzles , then starting with The Walking Dead, plot and dialogue became the most important components in the studio’s projects, while puzzles and other quest gameplay features began to play a noticeably less important role.

THE WALKING DEAD: THE GAME (2012)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, macOS , Nintendo Switch , PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita , Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Like many other Telltale games, all parts of the Walking Dead series were released in episodic format, access to which was opened simultaneously to all gamers who bought the game several months after the release of the previous episode. Moreover, all decisions made in previous episodes significantly affect the plot of the new one. This format makes games even more similar to TV series and comics and takes them even further beyond the quest genre, turning them into a kind of interactive comic book. The first game was divided into five main episodes, released from April to November 2012 , and one additional episode, released in July 2013.

The main character of all the main episodes was Lee Everett, a character created specifically for the game. Lee taught history at the university, but as fate would have it, he was convicted of murder. It is with the accident of the official car that transported him to prison that the events of the game begin. The accident occurs just on the day the zombie apocalypse begins, and over the course of five episodes, Lee has to learn to survive in a new terrible world, look for other survivors, fight against zombies, make difficult moral decisions, obtain and distribute scarce supplies – in short, survive in all available ways .

The drama is added by the fact that is revealed in the second episode that the local zombie virus has already spread throughout the world, and to turn into a walking corpse it is not necessary to be bitten, it is enough to die from causes not related to brain damage.

In his travels, Lee meets a nine-year-old girl, Clementine, whose care becomes his new goal in life. As the episodes were released, gamers became more and more attached to Everett and Clementine – so the dramatic ending of the fifth episode became for many something akin to the death of Ned Stark in Game of Thrones.

As for the gameplay, it is represented by numerous dialogues (with often limited time to respond), rare puzzles, a large number of Quick Time Events (even battles with zombies were a kind of QTE , where you had to quickly click on certain places on the screen) and typical quest mechanics collecting and using various items. In short, a kind of Fahrenheit about zombies.

The game sold a huge (especially for quests) 28 million episodes and was very warmly received by both critics and gamers. The average rating for all episodes was about 8.5/10, and the project as a whole was awarded many prestigious awards, including 4 Video Game Awards.

THE WALKING DEAD: 400 DAYS (2013)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One

DLC for the first season, a collection of six stories that helped brighten the anticipation before the second season. The add-on tells how six seemingly unrelated heroes survive various periods of the apocalypse, starting from day 1 and ending with day 400, as the title tells us.

The people are very different – for example, the prisoner Vince, who is struck by an epidemic while being transported to prison. The guy Shel and his sister Bonnie seemed to live in a very safe place and provided with supplies, but how long will this illusion last? Russell gets into a stranger’s car, although even in such conditions it is worth remembering the instructions of our parents.

It is noteworthy that the choices you make in the first season affect the events of the expansion, and the actions you take during its passage will affect what happens in the second season. The stories are still steeped in Robert Kirkman drama and explore real-life themes, but the downside is that they are treacherously short , which means you don’t have time to become attached to the characters.

THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON TWO (2013)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One

The second season of The Walking Dead was also divided into 5 episodes, airing from December 2013 to August 2014 . The main characters this time were Clementine and Kenny, one of the minor members of the group of survivors from the first part of the series. The basic gameplay has remained virtually unchanged (apart from minor interface changes).

The plot also retained the same intensity – beloved characters die one after another, zombies attack just as suddenly, there are still not enough supplies for everyone. At the same time, not even the braineaters, but showdowns with other groups of survivors, gradually begin to play an increasingly important role in the plot.

Ratings for individual episodes and the game as a whole among critics this time were about 8/10. But ordinary gamers greeted the game with a bang and it sold no worse than its predecessor.

THE WALKING DEAD: MICHONNE (2016)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, macOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One

A spin-off dedicated to one of the most memorable characters in the universe – Michonne. Unlike DLC, this is a standalone game, which, according to Telltale traditions, is divided into three episodes, released in early 2016 .

 

The plot touches on the events between issues 126 and 139 of the comic and tells why the heroine left the group of friends and then returned to them again. This spin-off will feature the same mechanics as the main series of quests, and don’t expect anything new – again painful choices, interesting characters and stories full of drama.

At the same time, the game turned out no worse than its predecessors – gamers especially appreciated the way one of the most popular characters in the saga is revealed. A great opportunity to linger in the world of the zombie apocalypse for another 5 hours if you love Telltale quests.

THE WALKING DEAD: A NEW FRONTIER (2016)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One

The release of the third season of The Walking Dead was delayed by 2 years due to the fact that the studio was busy with projects in the universes of Batman , Game of Thrones and Borderlands. In the new five episodes, Clementine, who has grown up to 13 years old and turned into a cynic, is left alone with a two-year-old child in her arms, since all her old friends have either died or are very far away.

The gameplay of the threequel has hardly changed compared to the first two parts of the series. But this time the plot became weaker from episode to episode, so the average critics’ rating dropped from 8/10 for episode 1 to 7/10 for the fifth.

THE WALKING DEAD: THE FINAL SEASON (2018)

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One

The basic gameplay of the final season was not much different from the previous ones, except that gamers were given a little more freedom during the action scenes. The plot of the game is dedicated to the adventures of a slightly older Clementine, who meets old acquaintances and teams up with a group of teenagers in an attempt to resist a bloodthirsty gang of raiders.

Thanks to refreshed visuals, updated gameplay and more detailed plot development, all 4 episodes of the final season received a rating of at least 8/10 from critics. Many gamers wrote in their reviews that the franchise had returned to its roots after a rather weak third season.

TELLTALE GAMES BANKRUPTCY

In April 2019 , it seemed that The Walking Dead was facing a very bleak future – at that time, the Telltale Games studio went bankrupt and was liquidated.

But on August 28 of the same year, a miracle happened – the investment holding LCG Entertainment, whose shareholders are the head of the GPC Games studio Jamie Ottil, the co-founders of the Rebellion Developments studio Chris Kingsley and many other well-known people in the world of game development, bought out all the assets and rights of Telltale Games and announced, that the studio will be reopened.

THE WALKING DEAD: THE TELLTALE DEFINITIVE SERIES (2019)

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One

After the bankruptcy and miraculous resurrection of the studio in September 2019, Skybond published The Telltale Definitive Series, which includes all four seasons and a spin-off about Michonne. At the same time, for the first three seasons, the rendering system that you could see in The Final Season was redesigned, so the games look fresher and generally more beautiful. Additional improvements have also been made to lip syncing and hero models.

Another innovation is about ten hours of developer comments . This is just a nice bonus that fans of the saga who are interested in the process of creating these projects will certainly appreciate.

From then to this day, the collection has been freely sold both on Steam and on the Epic Games Store, and that unpleasant situation when games disappeared from digital stores has not been repeated.

WHAT’S NEXT?

There is hope that the next part of the franchise will still see the light of day, although the rights to the comic book, the series and all future games in the The Walking Dead universe belong to the media giant Skybound. So, Telltale will most likely have to release a couple of games in a different setting to earn money for the license and prove to Skybound that no one will make a better Walking Dead game than Telltale. Moreover, the studio itself experienced a kind of resurrection from the dead, which means it now has an even stronger spiritual connection with zombies.

Although the games in The Walking Dead series are usually classified as quests, in fact they are closer to an interactive series or comic book. The main role in them is given to the relationships between the characters and the trials that they have to overcome in order to survive in a post-apocalyptic world full of dangers , while puzzles, battles and QTEs serve as action sequences in films and do not allow players to relax.

In terms of gloom, psychology and plot twist, almost all episodes and parts of the franchise are not inferior to the original comics and TV series, so they can be recommended to all fans of the Walking Dead universe. But ordinary gamers will also find a lot of new and interesting things for themselves here. Rating individual parts of the franchise and dividing them into best and worst is very difficult, because in fact we have several seasons of the same series telling a single story.

It is known that the studio is working on The Wolf Among Us 2, anticipated by many gamers , and is also the publisher of the game of the same name based on the TV series The Expanse. The Walking Dead is gathering dust on the shelf for now, although we’re sure Telltale will return to the franchise sooner or later.

GAMES BASED ON THE WALKING DEAD UNIVERSE

THE WALKING DEAD: SURVIVAL INSTINCT (2013)

  • Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, WiiU

The shooter Survival Instinct takes the events of the television series as a basis, and offers to play as the audience’s favorite Daryl Dixon.

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Here he will not feel like the immortal Rambo – the gameplay is focused on secretly completing levels with open locations, where your goal is to use resources wisely and, if possible, avoid encounters with the dead, since one enemy can defeat the protagonist. Various details force you to be extremely careful – for example, enemies can smell the player, and a shot will attract a crowd of goons.

However, neither the realism of the post-apocalypse nor the iconic heroes were able to attract attention to Survival Instinct – it was all due to the monotonous gameplay and disgusting graphics with “plastic” zombies. It’s fine for a one-time playthrough, and only if you’re a fan of the universe.

The game is not available on digital services

THE ESCAPIST: THE WALKING DEAD (2015)

  • Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, OS X, Linux , Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch

An unexpected collaboration between The Escapist prison simulator and The Walking Dead universe. The game got pixel graphics and gameplay, and the universe got its favorite characters and a plot that corresponds to a comic book.

And this is one of the few games that offers you to play as Rick and his team. With familiar heroes, you will have to complete a number of dangerous tasks in locations, starting from the very hospital and ending with the prison. As in the strategy The Escapist, action alternates with management – get ready to organize order in the shelter, assign people to routine work and create weapons and supplies.

THE WALKING DEAD NO MAN’S LAND (2015)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows

The official mobile game in the universe, presented as a mixture of RPG and strategy. Here you have to develop your base and recruit heroes represented by familiar characters into your team, and then upgrade them and select equipment for them. Both individuals and items are divided into rarity colors, with the collecting mechanic being the core one. With a formed squad, you have to go through missions (analogous to dungeons ) and sort things out with other gamers.

WALKING DEAD: ROAD TO SURVIVAL (2015)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS

A strategic RPG released exclusively for mobile platforms. This game will delight you with pleasant comic-style graphics and, of course, familiar faces.

According to the classics of the genre, you will develop your base and rescue survivors, and from the latter you will form a team with which you will engage in turn-based battles against zombies, bandits and other players. The characters are upgraded, and the developers went beyond the reasonable and presented futuristic versions of the heroes, whose limbs are replaced with implants, and the weapons sparkle like Jedi swords.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: DEAD RUN (2016)

  • Platforms: iOS

At some point, the Walking Dead cinematic universe expanded beyond the boundaries of one series: for example, in 2015 , the premiere of the show Fear the Walking Dead took place, which was a spin-off and prequel of the original. A year later, this series received its own game – a runner for mobile devices, in which players had to survive an endless run through familiar Los Angeles locations , shooting walkers.

The game is not available on digital services

OVERKILL’S THE WALKING DEAD (2018)

  • Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Another shooter. The creators of PayDay took on its development, so players had higher expectations than for “another game based on the television series.”

The legacy of PayDay directly influenced the new creation – it has only two multiplayer modes, four heroes with abilities and not a word about the plot. The first mode is the classic “tower defense”, where you need to hold back the onslaught of hordes of zombies and constantly repair shelters. The second is much more interesting raids, which involve forays of a team of players into dangerous territories, where, in addition to “biters,” numerous traps will cause trouble.

The game received mixed reactions – on the one hand, it has an interesting raid mode, the atmosphere is appropriate, and the shooting is a pleasant feeling. On the other hand, there is only one such mode, the combat is generally weak, and the mass of bugs is unlikely to delight anyone. As a result, if you play, it’s better with friends .

The game is not available on digital services

THE WALKING DEAD: OUR WORLD (2018)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS

An original mobile shooter, borrowing an idea from Pokemon Go. Arm yourself with a smartphone and go outside the stuffy room to look for survivors – like Pokemon, this game reads the user’s geodata and invites him to look for survivors in his area. Once there, the game turns into a simple first-person shooter in which you need to shoot all the zombies, and for winning you will receive cards that you need to collect.

The game is not available on digital services

THE WALKING DEAD: SAINTS & SINNERS (2020)

  • Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4

Saints & Sinners offers you to experience all the drama and cruelty that TV series and comics show us. It is a highly acclaimed VR first-person shooter game set in New Orleans. On behalf of one of the survivors, you will have to fight for your life every minute, fighting with the dead, then with the living, finding valuable resources and making difficult decisions.

This game is not only one of the best in the universe, but also “a fantastic example of what VR should be.” It has earned such praise for its rich interactivity, physics and non-linearity, making the immersion simply fantastic. For example, you can kill everyone you meet on your way, set up a base anywhere, and watching in VR a crowd of realistic zombies rush towards you is quite creepy.

BRIDGE CONSTRUCTOR: THE WALKING DEAD (2020)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 , PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Windows Phone, Xbox One, Xbox Series

Another unusual collab, this time the heroes of “The Walking Dead” went to build bridges in the puzzle simulator Bridge Constructor. Daryl, Michonne and Eugene will try to build strong bridges to overcome various obstacles, and at the same time they will try to survive and lure the zombies into a trap. In your adventures you will meet other heroes, as well as familiar vehicles.

The game is not easy – to complete the levels you will have to use your brain and understand how bridges work. Zombies will also cause problems, but for them you have explosives, bait, Daryl’s trusty crossbow and Michonne’s sharp katana.

THE WALKING DEAD ONSLAUGHT (2020)

  • Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4

The Walking Dead Onslaught is another VR shooter in which gamers have to shoot the walking dead from a first-person view. Moreover, you can play here not as a nameless survivor, but as one of the key characters: the action takes place after the war with the Saviors, and the heroes will begin to restore order in Alexandria. Separately, it is worth noting the presence of a story campaign dedicated to the adventures of Daryl and his meeting with a mysterious stranger.

THE WALKING DEAD: SURVIVORS (2021)

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows

The Walking Dead: Survivors is a strategy for mobile platforms based on the cult universe. In it, iconic characters for the franchise appear, including Rick, Michonne, Negan and others, and gamers must build a reliable settlement in which survivors can hide, protect themselves from a horde of walkers and create their own army. The game also contains multiplayer elements , including clan creation and PvP .

PLAY

THE WALKING DEAD: SAINTS & SINNERS – CHAPTER 2: RETRIBUTION (2022)

  • Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

Released for VR devices in 2022, the shooter The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution became a continuation of the previously released Saints & Sinners. The plot told about the new adventures of the main character, and the gameplay invited players to deal with walkers in a wide variety of ways, from using firearms to tools they assembled themselves on a workbench.

Like the first game, the sequel was tense and inventive, but players criticized it for its bugs and lack of content.

THE WALKING DEAD: ALL-STARS (2022)

  • Platforms:  Android, iOS

The Walking Dead: All-Stars is a clicker game for mobile devices based on the Walking Dead universe, developed by Com2uS Holdings. Gamers are invited to take control of the survivors of the apocalypse and try to survive in harsh conditions, fighting hordes of zombies.

The main advantages of the title are the presence of a role-playing component and unique characters with individual abilities, high-quality graphics, as well as several modes, including joint battles with community members.

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THE WALKING DEAD: DESTINIES (2023)

  • Platforms:  PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

The Walking Dead: Destinies is an action game developed by Flux Games, which is based on the first four seasons of The Walking Dead. Gamers are invited to take control of Rick Grimes and try to survive in a rapidly changing world. The hero will have to gather a group of like-minded people, explore familiar locations, and make important decisions for the group and other characters. It is worth noting that the choices made by players can completely change the storyline. Therefore, users have the right to create their own history and decide with whom to be friends and with whom to be hostile.

The authors of The Walking Dead: Destinies offered gamers a variety of weapons, the opportunity to fight side by side with thirteen characters from the series, as well as a resource management system. Unfortunately, numerous bugs, quality of gameplay and mechanics did not please critics. The latter agreed that the release of The Walking Dead: Destinies turned out to be a real failure.

THE WALKING DEAD: BETRAYAL (2023)

  • Platforms:  PC

The Walking Dead: Betrayal is a multiplayer action game designed for the interaction of five to eight users. The project from Other Ocean Interactive borrowed the gameplay from another popular project from the studio, Project Winter. Thus, the gameplay of the title combines elements of survival, social deduction (with betrayal and cooperation inherent in the genre) and action.

The main tasks of users in Betrayal are to search and collect limited resources, craft items, maintain communication with team members, fight hordes of zombies, and closely study the behavior of partners. If a gamer plays a traitor, then he can commit a variety of sabotage. If circumstances go well, the players will quarrel, which will significantly weaken the group. By the way, in the event of death, the user has the right to decide to be reborn into any walker and, controlling it, take revenge on the offenders.

As with The Walking Dead: Destinies, the title received negative reviews from users and experts. The reason for this was similar problems regarding bugs, crashes and poor gameplay development.

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