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Hands-On: OVERKILL's The Walking Dead

Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of The Overpowered Noobs, LLC.

From the developers of PayDay 2 comes the zombie-smashing, bandit-blasting, loot-scavenging, 4-player co-op title, OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead (OTWD). While this title is set to release on November 6th, the beta weekends have begun and testing is well underway for the pre-order masses. Bugs are plentiful and “clunkiness” is fairly rampant, but that’s what betas are for, right?

WHAT DOES IT OFFER?

First off, the graphics are just okay. The zombies look eerie, and the environments are well lit with many small details. The “simpler” things within OTWD lack a deep texture value, such as bottles or fallen leaves on the street, which can look subpar in comparison to the walkers, for example. The effects details are unimpressive. Fire and smoke do little to affect their environments, causing no light change or terrain disruption, and have no physical signs on the walkers themselves. (Lighting zombies on fire doesn’t leave them charred.)

Same old, same old — just different.

From the beta access, there is nothing new to this title that offers much of anything to gawk at. Everything in this title has been seen and done before. While the developers definitely put some incredible work into the title, you can see the same patterns around every corner. Remember fixing your drill in PayDay? Get ready to fix generators in OTWD. Remember combating hordes of zombies with three other friends in a pre-generated map, trying to get from point A to point B in the Left 4 Dead series? That's here, too.

Granted, these formulas are fun. Yet, four years after the announcement of OTWD, I’m a little shocked that there isn’t much in the innovations department to keep me around. While I do admire the little details, such as weapon jamming and decay, sending survivors on missions (which unlock more missions), or even finding new melee weapons and gun modifications scattered around the game world, what you see is basically what you get, here. I am a huge fan of the Left 4 Dead series, as they came into the co-op FPS genre with guns blazing and really set up a new type of game. With OTWD, I don’t get that same feeling at all.

IT HAS ITS MOMENTS

To be fair, it is exciting when you and your squadmates get pushed into a house by the shambling hordes, knowing that if you fire your weapons more will come, so you hack and slash your way through, only to realize that your triggers must be pulled. Gunfire rings into the streets, attracting all walkers within the zone to begin their march upon you. These bits of the gameplay are truly intense and lend themselves to be a great title. Though the joy feels short-lived as the monotony sweeps in. Time after time I’ve beaten the two missions offered in the beta (there is a third, but it's just a repeat of the first mission.) I fully understand that this is a beta and really cannot represent the title in full, but boy did I get bored pretty quickly. I put a few hours into the beta and just can’t find a reason to return.

CO-OP

OTWD prides itself on teamwork, so it’s almost impossible to face the hordes alone — yet the lobby system is awful. A few friends of mine tried to join my game time and time again only to end up receiving a “connection error” or “cannot connect to servers” message. While attempting to play with random individuals, lobbies seemed to automatically disconnect for no clear reason. Entering a game with a random lobby seemed to work fine, but it would be nice to experience the game with friends. Not to mention there is no in-game voice chat (yet), even though there is a microphone icon under every name in-game. I attempted to locate the keybinding to see if there is a push-to-talk key, but to no avail.

VALUE

The price seems steep for a game that has no innovational qualities and truly does not represent a AAA title in most aspects. Given the developers track record, it's fair to assume there will be a DLC storm in the future. While OTWD does have some serious potential to be an enjoyable experience for some, their pricing is for initial entry is pretty unacceptable.

OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead is definitely a good take on the zombie FPS co-op genre but offers little in innovation or quality of life. This title can be a blast with friends and could spark up some stressful or hilarious moments, once the lobby system is fixed. Being a fan of the zombie genre as a whole, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on such a beloved lore-dense universe such as The Walking Dead, but I cannot see myself playing this title long term.

Bric Hudson
Written by
October 23, 2018
Published in Editorial

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Bric is a US Army veteran and a passionate gamer. While in military service, he found gaming to be a way to connect with his friends all over the world. This blossomed into a fascination with the gaming culture and the experiences had while launching up a whole new title. He is fond of a variety of genres, which is reflected on his Twitch streams and on his Youtube channel. Find Bric on YouTube. Find Bric on Twitch.

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