I don’t get it. Why does Activision think that The Walking Dead needs a first-person shooter (FPS) adaptation?
We have zombie modes in Treyarch's Call of Duty games. They’re fun. They’re addictive. Yet, they’re the same every year.
Sure, this is the gaming universe. Anything can happen. But ponder this, in a real-life zombie apocalypse, would we all kick open our doors and start pumping the undead full of lead? Of course not. It’s waste of ammo, and it’s illogical.
I know what you’re going to say. Blasting zombies’ brains out is fun.
But I happen to enjoy Telltale Games’ take on the franchise a tad more.
Because the Telltale Walking Dead games focus on working as a group, making decisions, and putting your thinking cap on for survival. The digital episodes are character driven. Individuals have problems; they don’t trust each other but will do anything to avoid being eaten by the zombie-like walkers.
Additionally, the Telltale releases reflect the Walking Dead series more accurately. Characters develop and have a purpose behind them. They have feelings, names, and personalities. You hate some, and you like others. You’re interested in why they exist and what they’re capable of doing. You want to see some die and witness others succeed. The games draw their audience in with well-built personalities.
I believe the third-person view fits well for the franchise. Seeing the frightened emotions on Lee's face makes the experience more real. I even started to feel sorry for him.
And these are not the only reasons that make the current Walking Dead downloadable episodes enjoyable. The titles seem more suspenseful simply because you’re trying to avoid confrontation instead of chasing it. Your character feels more vulnerable, and it takes more effort to single-handily kill a walking corpse.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Call of Duty: Black Ops is by far one of my favorite multiplayer shooters, especially the zombie mode. And judging by the details of the new Walking Dead FPS, it seems like the developers are on the right track. Heck, it's based on the TV series.
Telltale’s releases don’t hand you a gun as you start out, nor do they present you with superhuman perks that allow you to withstand damage from flesh-eating creatures. They begin with a character that’s injured and clueless of what’s going on. He uses his intelligence to overcome the odds. The environment and surroundings are crucial to survival.
Is it a good business decision for Activision to get involved in The Walking Dead? It might very well be. Many have this theory that some games could’ve (or would’ve) been better if they were first-person shooters. But look, if a developer was to create a different take on an undead title, it would probably focus more on story, atmosphere, and characters instead of being a Rambo-style action game.
I hope Activision’s 2013 release proves me wrong. I’m just here to state that Telltale already has a unique approach to the ever-so-popular zombie-game genre, placing reason in front of action. It’s too early to negatively reflect any feelings on the upcoming shooter, but I don’t think, by any means, that it will be the “real” Walking Dead game.
I believe it’s already available.
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