When you have a show as iconic as AMCs The Walking Dead, there are some things that you expect. You expect the walkers, you expect the episodes to bring the stories, and you expect the characters to help bring the emotion and action to bring everything together. So does Developer Survios open the doors and allow you to become part of The Walking Dead? Let’s find out with The Walking Dead Onslaught for the PlayStation VR.
Before you begin and being thrown into walkers, you will want to do a couple of things first. Go through the tutorial so you can learn how to survive out there in the world. You will want to make sure that your Move controllers are fully charged as you will be using them to defend against and attack walkers, and just go in with just having a good time. I also am not going to show footage for the latter part of the game as I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone. With all that said, let’s continue…
The Walking Dead Onslaught is based on the AMC’s The Walking Dead T.V. show and takes place between season 8 and 9 as it helps feel in the gaps of what happened during that time. If you have not seen any of The Walking Dead, you can stream it right now on Netflix, and season 1 is only 6 episodes. So it does help if you at least know the characters and where it takes place, otherwise, when you see notes from Maggie, there will be more questions than answers. But for those that have seen the show will recognize the names of Daryl Dixon, Rick Grimes, Carol Peletier, and Michone.
There are two parts to The Walking Dead Onslaught, the campaign, and the scavenging for supplies missions. The main campaign has you starting out playing as Rick in the search for Daryl. But as you start to get in deeper, you are hearing Daryl tell his side of things and you are playing out his encounters. What you also might notice if you are a fan of Daryl Dixon and The Walking Dead is that Norman Reedus voices his character Daryl, Josh McDermitt voices Eugene, and Melissa McBride voices Carol. I do wish all the characters would have leaned their voices, but for what it is, it comes close to having the other actors actually speaking to the best of the abilities of the voice actors.
During the scavenging missions, you will need to head out and play as either as Rick, Michonne, Daryl, or Carrol as you try and collect as many supplies as you can so you can try and build up Alexandria and hopefully make it a place where there is still hope. Along with these runs, you will also collect ammo and parts so not only can you build the buildings such as the Town Hall, but be able to upgrade those buildings and your weapons. But not only are you trying to get as many supplies as possible, depending on how well you did, but you will also hopefully be able to have reduced enough survivors that will allow you to unlock new chapters for the main campaign as well as new areas to scavenge. The thing is, if you do not have enough of everything that is needed either for upgrades or survivors to move on, you will need to go back to and try your luck again. But of course, this is The Walking Dead and with that, you have the walkers. So if you didn’t make it throught the first supply run or if you have to go back out because you need additional supplies or items, you might want to go to the armory so you can upgrade your weapons as well as prepare your loadout for the fight you signed up for and hopefully it’s a fight that you will win.
With the walkers, you have to be able to defend and attack them. One thing I like when it comes to the walkers is the way you can interact with them. If you have two of them coming at you, you can grab one by the throat while pushing off or attacking the other and when its clear, you can then deal with the one that is in your grasp. And by dealing with them, I mean you can stab them in the head, cut and shoot off limbs, watch the blood flow, and see the bodies hit the ground. But just like the show, you don’t want to stand in a place too long, because noise and time are against you. Stay too long and you will notice this red wave which behind it are the walkers looking to feast on you, so you need to keep moving and hopefully if you are listening, you will know what needs to be collected so that you can be rescued.
One thing that I thought was interesting with the main campaign is how the narration plays out. Yes, you get to hear Rick trying to question Daryl on why he is doing the things that he is doing and then Daryl arguing at times with Rick for his reasons. But it’s when Daryl is explaining that you actually are playing and it’s the small things like early on when you are coming up to a knife and Daryl will say “then I found this knife” or when you come up to a gate without power and Daryl will make the comment of he found this gate with no power. I just wanted to keep playing to see how the story would unfold.
Let’s talk about some of the things that I noticed and hopefully will get addressed. There were was a little bit of some tracking issues at times when I would move my arm because I was attacking the walkers, and my hands would then show the PlayStation Move controllers which for some, might break the immersion a little. I do like how the detail that went into the walkers almost trying to give as much detail as possible just like they do on the show.
I want to talk about weapons for a moment. Some may find some issues with the guns and how the game really wants you to use both hands. But with you are surrounded by walkers and then having to reload, it does at times give you that intense moment of what to do as your ammo is limited and you need to make every shot count. But when you do a headshot and the walker won’t go down and sometimes it can take multiple shots to the head to get them to go down, that can be frustrating for some. The melee weapons on the other hand were my weapons of choice. They don’t break down and you can go through the entire game using them which, for me, less noise the better. Plus being able to slice off limbs in VR is pretty awesome.
I do wish there were different control options. You have to use both Move controllers which it works as you are swinging a weapon in one hand while holding or defending walkers with the other. I would love to see the Aim controller be used in some fashion such as by electing to use the Aim controller, you could not use a knife, but being able to shoot your way through it all could have its benefits and would make using Daryl’s crossbow or a sniper rifle that much more interesting. I get it would take away from the melee aspect, but it’s nice to have options.
I do love how much detail and the scale of getting Alexandria presented. It really is amazing to see the amount of time and detail that is here, I just wish we could visit it. I get that other characters are there in the background and managing it, but being able to walk around and interact with the characters would be a nice little bonus.
Lastly, I would love to see the anticipated co-op be added. When The Walking Dead Onslaught was being developed, there was talk of co-op being added, but then dropped for a better single-player experience. I get and appreciate the single-player experience and totally get what the direction was going for, but being able to go out with a friend to take on and help build this world would be an awesome experience.
The Walking Dead Onslaught welcomes us to be part of the show and doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It may not please everyone, but for the fans of the show, there is a connection to the characters and the story, and hopefully, you get some of your questions answered of what happened between seasons 8 and 9 all while trying to get out some of that frustration and unleash it on the walkers with everything that is going on in the world. And isn’t that safer than a lot of options out there?
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to see how much more blood can be splattered.