E3 2018 Hands-on: Overkill’s The Walking Dead

As both an avid gamer, and a big fan of The Walking Dead, I made several jokes to the rest of the Gamer Escape staff that attended E3 this year on our way to check out Overkill’s The Walking Dead. I joked about who was going to die, who I would have to help carry through missions etc. What I never anticipated however, is that I would end up being the one that brought the hordes of the undead down upon us.

Our mission was a simple one: find the hideout for The Family (an enemy group of survivors) and take their water purifier… which they stole from you. Yes, this is a game with zombies, but its core conflict is against the living, just as it is in the comics.

The first time you sit down with Overkill’s The Walking Dead, the game tricks you. It’s an FPS, you have a gun, melee weapon, things you can throw. Surely this must be an action packed game right? Just run around, dispatching walkers and hostile survivors! Piece of cake!

Wrong.

You will die in this game. You will learn from your mistakes, make another one, and then you’ll die again.

We started out on the street, a horde of walkers in front of us. Attempting to switch my weapons with the mouse wheel wasn’t working for whatever reason. I noticed the Q, E, and F keys at the bottom left of my screen and for a moment thought “oh, someone just changed the keybindings on this machine, no big deal, let’s just go ahead and hit Q here and…” 

A small object is flung in front of me. It sparks, crackles, and makes a large, bright, bang.

“That’s not what I wanted to do” I say aloud, as the entire horde of zombies down the street begins to make their approach. I turn to go down the side road and away from the incoming walkers only to find that more await us around the corner. We were swarmed soon after, resulting in a full wipe.

We load in for the second time. “I got this.” I think to myself. Immediately crouching down, going into full on stealth mode. “I won’t make a sound this time!”.

I move up the sidewalk along the side of a car and find my first target. I move in, swinging my weapon and hitting the walker in front of me… I also hit the car- which has a car alarm.

Again, a horde of undead appear as we frantically fend for our lives. I get swarmed quickly while the other members of the squad somehow get away with their lives. After spectating for a minute and a half, I was able to respawn and join the rest of the team.

As we explored more of the area, we ran into locked gates and containers, bear traps etc. This game lets each character start out with a specific tool- A mechanical kit can help dismantle certain items and convert them into resources, while a lock pick will help you unlock things you may not otherwise be able to access. We slowly make our way through a couple small streets and buildings, collecting resources as we go. At one point I have the option to loot the trunk of a car and… you guessed it- I set off another car alarm. “Ah! That trunk is a Mimic!” I cry, running away from it, hoping that I don’t get swarmed for a third time for making too much noise.

As we began to infiltrate The Family’s base of operations, there was at least one gate we stumbled upon that was holding back a group of walkers. We didn’t open it, but the very real possibility of opening it up and letting lose a horde of zombies onto the enemy compound is a thrilling idea that I can’t wait to attempt. Attacking another group of the living is quite tense in this game. Not only are you paying attention to the enemies shooting at you, but you also need to be mindful of your surroundings. Noise is such an important factor in this game, and if you make enough of it, will easily lead to your demise. I ran around the enemy base, taking out all of the armed enemies I come across. Two of them come up the stairs as I unload my magazine into them and… oh, my gun jammed. I’m knocked onto the ground, shooting at them with my pistol as I yell at my team to come help me. Things can go south very quickly in this game if you’re not careful.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to complete the mission, but our time with the game left us wanting more. We can’t wait for the game to come out so we can try to actually survive the zombie hordes instead of just finding more ways for us to die.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead launches on November 6th in North America and November 8th globally and will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.