Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review: The Walking Dead Social Game (Open Beta)

AMC series The Walking Dead has newly introduced their open beta staged game to Facebook. I am a fan of the TV series so I just had to test out this game to see if it's any good. Fingers crossed.

My characters FACE looks worried... AS IT SHOULD BE!
It is a Zombie Apocalypse after all.
The game starts off by allowing you to customize the appearance of your character. Customization wasn't too detailed... but that's probably because the game simply, does not need it. Just enough to get you feeling some-what attached to the character. Perfect.

The game is set in chapters and the chapters as well as the in-game characters, are related to the actual show. To progress through the game, certain missions given by the NPC's at base camp had to be carried out, such as "get more water supplies" or "check if the premises is clear" to progress through the game; and by progressing through the game, more money was earned, experience grew resulting in new levels, character skills upgraded and more random unknown people would join your camp to  help you in future missions.

The mission objectives is what makes The Walking Dead Social Game have its title for being a game. It allows you to run around (turn-based, player versus walker) collecting the desperately needed supplies or stab the guts out of an unwanted walker; which sometimes was your Facebook friend, for the LOLZ. Being a turn-based game, strategizing the shortest route and using the smallest amount of stamina... oh, don't get me started on the stamina; is vital, as stamina is the factor that allows you to even play the game further on - or not.

The Walking Dead Social Game: Chilling in base camp

The stamina bar was like the fuel to a car. If you didn't have any stamina left, you literally couldn't play the game anymore; unless you fork out more stamina energy drinks - with real money - or wait with real life time, to venture further into the game. Neither of which, I was happy to do. Stamina energy drinks could be given out as a gift by your Facebook friends but would be near to useless as it would only give 1 stamina increase. Bleh.

Weapons were mediocre in this game. To hit a zombie with a weapon, simply just press 'x' at the precise moment it swivels and turns red on their rotting body. I also found that guns are a no-no as it attracts a lot of unwanted walkers... So I stuck to my handy-dandy axe; but my axe kept breaking so I'd have to wait with real life time before it was mended again. On top of that, unfortunately like the stamina, lot of the weapon upgrades can only be bought with real life money. What a bummer but I guess, understandable in a way. Developers need to make money too, right?

Character skills were upgradable from time to time but it didn't make much of a huge difference really... however I advice you to put your stat increase to stamina so you can actually play the game for more than 2 minutes at a time. GOOD ONE (insert rage face meme here).

The music was um, like one song that I can recall... Nothing memorable at all here.

On a more positive note, with every successful mission you do, people in-game start finding their way to your camp. These random people can be used in a strategic way within a mission to help save your health and stamina! And the graphics and artwork are appealing to my eyes. I like its grungy style.

On a mission with a complimentary character. The Walking Dead Social Game.

Overall I feel like there's a lot more work that still needs to be done to the game - to make it more like a game. At the moment I get about 1-2 minutes of actually playing time out of it... and I would love to play for even longer because I like the whole idea of the game as well as it having some sort of positive potential - but the stamina regenerating situation is just a bit off-putting for me. I don't like spending money on Social Facebook games, so you'll really need to grab a good one out of your bag of tricks for my 2 cents. Just my opinion.

Here are things I suggest for its improvements:
  • Instead of pressing 'x' to kill a zombie, maybe use a combination of keys to make it more challenging; even on expert mode it's still a little too dull.
  • Come up with another way of regenerating stamina! Spending money on a game like this will not tickle everyone's pickle. And waiting for stamina regeneration for ages to play only 2 minutes of The Walking Dead? It's simply painful. Maybe watch more 'advertisements' - like the get-more-ammo concept you already have in place?
  • You need more creepier sounds effects. I should be shaking in my seat ready to piss myself when the DANGER sign awakens.
  • Walking around base-camp shouldn't use up stamina at ALL.
  • K, I understand the real life money for better weapons deal, but I'm hoping there is armor included in the Inventory > Items section once that's released because losing the recruited people is very sad and makes me want to cry go punch my pillow.
RATING: 2/5

*Note: I am only reviewing the Open Beta version of The Walking Dead Social Game so the actual proper release of this game may change drastically, resulting in this review to be utterly useless.

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