While I was at E3 2018, I got to check out Overkill Software’s The Walking Dead. Published by 505 Games on consoles (Starbreeze Studios is publishing the PC version), this game offers a different take on the world of The Walking Dead. Set in Washington D.C., the story follows four characters as they try to survive in a radically changed world. Their struggles lead them to scavenge throughout different areas and lead them into conflict with the walkers (zombies) as well as other groups of humans. I played alongside my colleague Lord Cognito and two other members of the press as we tried to make our way through one of the levels. Before diving in, it’s very important to note that the build we played was pre-alpha, so some issues and a general lack of polish were to be expected. Now, here’s my Overkill’s The Walking Dead impressions.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead Impressions 

Overkill’s The Walking Dead features four playable characters: Maya, Grant, Aiden and Heather. Each has unique gear options, so it’s a great idea to have each player choose a different character for a balanced experience. While each of the characters also has a different personality, with thoughts and opinions on what’s happening in society around them, we didn’t get enough time to have a good idea of how things play out over the course of the story. Instead, we got a slice of our survivors making their way through an infested part of the city, scavenging what they could.

Combat functions in a simple but effective fashion, with an assortment of ranged and melee weapons available. Ammo is limited and gunfire makes lots of noise, so it’s best to eliminate the walkers (zombies) with melee kills wherever possible. You’ll need to accomplish different objectives. There’s multiple ways to solve these objectives as well: at one point, our group was stopped by a gate. If any of us had a lockpick, we could have made our way through with that. As we didn’t, we had to search for gas to power a generator.

Now as I mentioned above, the build we got to play was pre-alpha and it definitely showed. The framerate was inconsistent, prone to drops with some mild screen tearing. There were also a handful of unfinished textures that need more work, as well as some incomplete animations when engaging in melee combat.

This is a co-op game through and through, so if one of your companions falls in a big fight, it will very quickly drag the team down unless you get them back on their feet. You can revive them a seemingly unlimited number of times, which is not a bad thing at all given how easy it is to take damage. One effective strategy that we realized (too late) was to lure the walkers against enemy humans. If you can take them by surprise, the two sides will thin each other out while you make a quick getaway or linger around to finish off whoever wins. Unfortunately, we accidentally directed the walkers to attack us. One of us fell and then like dominoes all the rest died and the demo ended. We had a good laugh about it.

If Overkill is careful, this could be a fantastic spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead franchise. With that in mind, it’s definitely somewhat concerning to me that the game is being released in just a few months, yet the build we played was nowhere near close to ready. So moving forward, I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this game and I hope it pans out to become something great. Overkill’s The Walking Dead is releasing on November 6th, 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

 

If you’re interested in checking out any of my other E3 2018 impressions, here’s the list of coverage so far: