Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comic series has certainly proven to be a pliant property over the last few years. On top of the hit TV series prominently featured in AMC's blockbuster lineup, Telltale has been delivering one of the best episodic video game experiences to date in its own Walking Dead game. That game is far more rooted in the comic series than the TV show, which means that any opportunistic video game publisher could theoretically make their own game based on the TV series' canon and feel totally well and good about having another game called The Walking Dead because it's kind of a different deal, sort of.
Enter Activision. Yes, the Call of Duty publisher has teamed up with developer Terminal Reality to turn The Walking Dead TV series into, what else, a first-person shooter. However, this isn't a fast-paced zombie target shoot, but rather a survival oriented game where the player will have to decide how to manage scarce resources and whether or not to engage the zombie hordes that stand between them and survival. So, Dead Island then, or thereabouts.
Or should I say Dead Island with massively over-the-top racist protagonists. The game will follow the prequel story of Daryl and Merle, who you may remember as the pair of survivalist brothers who also kinda sorta hate anyone who isn't white. Well, that's more Merle, I guess, and in the game you'll largely be playing as Daryl, who is handy with a crossbow (Year of the Bow!) and also less racist. Other characters will enter the mix and you'll have to decide whether to take up with them or go out on your own. Making important character decisions that will have grave impact on how your story plays out? Sounds familiar.
I don't want to be overly dismissive of this game, because hey, Terminal Reality has made some fine products over the years, and it's not like they've shown any actual gameplay yet. I just question the need for another Walking Dead game when we already have a perfectly good one courtesy of Telltale. Then again, I imagine the Venn diagram of people who want the slow-paced, character-heavy adventure of Telltale's game, and people who want a first-person zombie shooter where your best buddy is a guy who hates black people is probably pretty close to two circles standing entirely apart. I bet I know which one will have higher Xbox Live numbers!
IGN has the first full trailer up, if you want to check it out. Again, no gameplay, but there are some pretty graphics that remind you of things that happened on the TV show. Like that goddamn farm...