Telltale’s The Walking Dead is winning Game of the Year awards left and right, and for good reason – the adventure game is phenomenal in almost every way. It was the kind of adaptation that we rarely see in gaming as most publishers are content with just pushing out a hastily put together mess that rides on the success of the property it’s based on instead of its own merit. Unfortunately, the newest game based on the super popular franchise isn’t inspiring much confidence with its latest trailer.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a first-person shooter coming courtesy of Terminal Reality, developers of the enjoyable Ghostbusters video game. Unlike the Ghostbusters game, however, the trailer for their latest adaptation doesn’t look to capture the feel of the property in question. Check it out for yourself below:
The real tragedy here is that the developers and creative consultants from AMC don’t seem to get the point behind The Walking Dead. The graphic novel, television series and adventure game don’t rely on zombies to instill fear or further the narrative. The real fear comes from the other surviving humans that the cast has to contend with. A generic first-person shooter could capture that kind of narrative, as the wonderful Spec Ops: The Line did in 2012, but the trailer for Survival Instinct doesn’t inspire any such confidence.
In its defense, this is only a gameplay trailer and it’s job is to show the gameplay. As far as the narrative is concerned, all we know is that the game puts players in the role of Daryl Dixon from the television series. Terminal Reality succeeded with Ghostbusters, but The Walking Dead is an entirely different beast altogether. Here’s hoping the brand isn’t diminished by AMC’s desire to create a cheap tie-in that may potentially put off any serious fan of the franchise.
UPDATE: Giant Bomb spoke to an Activision representative who said the above trailer is a fan edit pulled from footage shown on an IGN interview last week. The footage represents an early build that’s not indicative of the final game’s quality. There’s still hope that the first official gameplay trailer will feature something a bit more polished.