Right now I am about 20 minutes into the game, and already this game has surpassed the very low standards I had for it. I thought it was just going to be a L4D like clone or a straight up terrible FPS game, but there's more to it than that.
The intro plays out exactly like an episode of Walking Dead would, complete with a small twist right before the music cues up and the title cards play.
The first area you actually play introduces some unique features that I really hope don't fall flat. There's a stealth mechanic where you can execute zombies from behind quietly with melee weapons and there's glass bottles you throw to distract some if there is too many to take out. Guns will ofcourse alert any surrounding zombies to your presence, though the only thing I've found so far have been sniper rifles.
If you have a melee weapon and a zombie is after you, you can either shove them away and run for it or beat them to death. Melee weapons aren't a one hit kill like in L4D either, it takes around 4 or 5 hits (I don't know if location damage matters, I've only ever aimed at heads).
Inbetween levels you pull out a map and choose where to go next. If you choose the highways, you use less fuel but your chance to find supplies is low and the chance to breakdown is high. If you take back roads it is the opposite, and you can also choose the regular streets which is a medium between the three. You are also building your group up which surprised me because the impression I got was it was just you and Merle, but thats not the case.
There is also this scavenging like system where you have to collect gasoline and it was hinted the game will end if you run out. You have a group of survivors you are building and you can send some out to go look for gas or do it yourself. The first tutorial level your friend joins your group and you 'find' a truck, so I'm guessing you'll find other vehicles that are faster and use less fuel but might breakdown easier.
Before you start a level, you choose what supplies you start with, what supplies your survivors get and what they should do and also if you want to heal them or not, and what supplies stay at your vehicle. Your survivors have a risk chance if you send them out and it depends on their personal traits, what weapons they get, and how many get sent out. You can send them to find gas, food, ammo, or stay at the vehicle. I'm guessing if they run out of health you lose them forever.
The game also goes into Daryl's backstory. I'm not going to spoil anything, but its cool they added in some insight for those who want to explore it. I don't know how far into it it goes later in the game, but it already started off with some interesting tidbits.
- This isn't just a straight up linear FPS
- Stealth mechanic with executions and distractions
- Choosing how to travel to the next area
- Building up a group of survivors instead of just you and Merle
- Goes into Daryl's backstory