A new video game based on the popular TV show The Walking Dead is out now on consoles and fans who have jumped in to check it out are reporting another clunky, broken, and ugly Game Mill-published mess, just like that awful King Kong game from earlier this year.
My job is to write about video games and to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry. So I was pretty surprised to see a new Walking Dead game—that I had no idea existed—land on consoles today with little fanfare. I don’t doubt there were marketing materials and even ads for The Walking Dead: Destinies before it launched, but somehow I completely missed all of that and only discovered the game existed about an hour before writing this paragraph. And let me tell you, it’s been a nice Friday afternoon treat.
Let’s just cut right to the first thing I saw of this game: A boss fight between Rick and Shane over who should lead the group. The big draw of this game is that players can change the events of the show, which is cool in concept! I like that idea. Sadly, the shootout between the ex-friends and former cops is one of the worst and silliest boss fights I’ve seen in 2023.
I think Rick takes about 20 or so point-blank shotgun blasts to the face before getting knocked down. Then the fight transitions to a second stage and at this point, the audio starts to cut out and character voiceovers play on top of each other as Shane smacks Rick repeatedly with a crowbar. Eventually, after all this silliness, Rick dies and Shane walks away the victor, changing the events of the show. But at what cost?
The rest of The Walking Dead: Destinies doesn’t look much better. Cutscenes aren’t animated, character models look ripped out of a PlayStation 3 game, and gameplay seems to boil down to “Run up to zombie, kick or punch zombie, and press the stab button.” Then just do that a few hundred times or so.
Without playing it I can’t say if it’s actually worse than Skull Island: Rise of Kong, another game published by low-budget publisher Game Mill. But even if The Walking Dead: Destinies is better, that’s a low bar to clear.
I don’t blame the developers behind this game for it being such a mess. As previously reported about Kong, Game Mill seems to provide little support and few resources to the studios working on its games.
So it’s entirely possible (and likely) that talented and passionate developers crunched hard on Destinies in a short amount of time to get something out, and this is what we got. And while that sucks and might be another sign of how the game industry treats its workers like garbage, it doesn’t change the fact that you probably shouldn’t buy this new Walking Dead game. But enjoy the videos of its wonky boss fights all you want.
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