Overkill’s The Walking Dead never tries to do anything too outside of the obvious, but that actually works to its credit – it does what it sets out to do well, with shifts in situation from level-to-level keeping it decently interesting.
Overkill Software is best known for their work on the Payday series, a thrilling experience that saw a group of players try to tackle increasingly difficult heists in a co-op multiplayer setting. That concept – computer-controlled AI versus a group of players scrambling to complete objectives and make it out alive – naturally lends itself pretty well to the zombie genre.
We’ve seen this sort of thing before, of course – in Left 4 Dead, in some of the objective-based multiplayer of Dying Light and other similar titles. Plus there’s the comparison to Payday – and all of those comparisons are fair. If you loved Payday or its sequel and are after some similar action in a very big setting, Overkill’s The Walking Dead should satisfy well enough, as explained by Simon Miller in our embedded video review above.
As Miller explains, Overkill’s The Walking Dead is a game thats myriad systems flow together well enough once you master them – though it’s a better experience if you’ve got other players to experience it with. It’s better with strangers than with bots, and better still with friends, where deadly mistakes such as making so much noise that it attracts the zombie hordes can of course lead to you screaming at a mate in that way that’s annoying but (let’s admit it) satisfying.
There are criticisms too, of course. As said earlier, this is a game that plays it really safe – and while that is in a sense to its credit, that might not be to everybody’s tastes. Definitely not in good aste is the tutorial, which takes the form of a non-interactive, surprisingly uninformative video. The Walking Dead property is used well, at least, though given that this is a multiplayer game it’s less focused on story than some fans might be accustomed to from other tie-ins.
Overkill’s The Walking Dead is set to be a seasonal game with plenty more content on the way once it’s fully launched – something Overkill has had success with over on the Payday series. It’s not likely to win any game of the year awards, but this is an accomplished if predictable online The Walking Dead experience all the same.