Since The Walking Dead premiered on the AMC network in 2010, fans have gone crazy for all sorts of memorabilia and merchandise from the series. From replicas of set pieces to clothing apparel, there's something for everyone when it comes to The Walking Dead. Even before the television series came to be, fans of The Walking Dead comics had gone on to make their own one of a kind merchandise based on The Walking Dead. However, there's one type of merchandising which The Walking Dead seems to be lacking an abundance in: Video-gaming.
Walking Dead based video-games
The fact needs to be stated in acknowledging the multiple video games that have spawned from the basis of The Walking Dead comics. Telltale has released several video games outside of the main story-line of The Walking Dead, focusing on characters who live in the world of The Walking Dead but don't have any immediate interactions with familial characters from the television series. Along with Telltale's collection of video-games, there's also the not-so-appealing The Walking Dead: Survival Instincts game which does feature a staple of The Walking Dead series, Daryl. But the game centers around a prequel aspect of his story which has no connection to The Walking Dead television series. And of course, there are several mobile apps out there. The most recent one being The Walking Dead: No Man's Land which has seen little to no interest from fans.
No Man's Land does present a depiction of The Walking Dead television series, but it isn't nearly as expansive or immersive as a video game based on The Walking Dead should be. Video games based around The Walking Dead just aren't cutting it, we need something different.
The lack of appeal for video games based on The Walking Dead likely has to do with the context of the stories portrayed in the video games. If the stories depicted in the video games related closer to the television series of The Walking Dead, fans of the series would be a lot likelier to play the game.
I for one, as a huge fan of both The Walking Dead television series and comics would be ecstatic to find a third-person shooter based on The Walking Dead television series. Going through the events of Season One through Five as one of the pivotal characters of the series, altering the story at decisive points to either save survivors or create more casualties would make for some interesting gameplay. Some may argue that is the vision of Telltale's Walking Dead video game series but the story is constructed to where the deviation of choice is very limited in comparison to a more free flow type of gameplay. In the episodes of Telltale's The Walking Dead, there are only so many conclusions to the story and they usually wind up in similar directions.
What The Next Video Game Should Entail
In the scenario of another Walking Dead video game spawning around the focus of the television series, it would be ideal for fans of the series who didn't necessarily like the outcome of some major events on The Walking Dead. Having a sand-box type play for players to decide which members of the group will live and who will die would create for some unique story lines. And while some would argue that the story-line of The Walking Dead would never progress to the same point were the fates of the survivors switched around. For a video game, it would be very simple to substitute the survival of one character for the death of another. There would also be plenty of room to deviate from the main story-line, creating a world within The Walking Dead as your own. Changing the fate of your survivors' colony, using critical moments to decide who'll live and who will die; that would be amazing to see in a video game based on The Walking Dead television series.
For example, if a player were to progress through the events of Season 2 and Season 3 of The Walking Dead within the prospective video game idea in mind, the events could be altered to see (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) Shane kill Rick instead of vice-versa and he could be the one to lead the survivors' group into the following seasons. That in itself would be an interesting dynamic to consider. Having Shane lead the group in Rick's stead, in the scenario that Rick loses in his conflict with Shane. That event leading to Carl growing up with Shane by his side, he'd be just as ruthless but then Carl would probably end up in volatile situations that not even Shane could pull him out of. That's just one possibility.
"State Of Decay" is the most underrated zombie based video game ever
Aside from speculations and wishes for a Walking Dead video game that relates closer to The Walking Dead television series, there could already be an available video game that closely resembles the world of The Walking Dead. And said video-game could easily be revamped to include the story-lines depicted in the first 5 seasons of The Walking Dead. The game to which I'm referring to is that of "State Of Decay".
First premiering as a downloadable game on Xbox Live, "State Of Decay" is still fairly unknown as it sits in the Xbox archives. However, the concept behind the video-game may catch the attention of gamers everywhere with a bit of explanation on how to play the game.
"State of Decay" is a third-person shooter which focuses on a random backpacker stuck in an unknown valley town when zombies rise from the grave and the apocalypse begins. The player utilizes said character as a recruiter, supporter, and runner for various other groups of survivors then proceeds to create his own group once the character has completed the first arc of the video-game. As the specified character, a player has the ability to navigate the world at their own leisure. From collecting weapons, supplies, and vehicles to destroying hordes of zombies; anything is possible. Although there is a small storyline that is unavoidable when attempting to navigate around the world. One aspect of the game which isn't too appealing is all the necessary traveling and no fast travel method available; it's quite a time consumer, especially when in the midst of a mission that requires travel from the farthest point on the map and back to home base. Not much can be accomplished if a player is still progressing through a mission. Once the mission is complete, the player can then go on to do whatever he/she likes but none of that can be done until the mission is completed.
What "State Of Decay" brings to the table
The game in itself isn't very lengthy but the amount of replay time is substantial and enjoyable at that. There's so much that can be done in the small area available to the player and every play-through varies substantially from the last. After playing through several times, I can honestly say that each play-through brought with it new challenges and unexpected benefits for my specified character. Along with the ever-changing world of "State of Decay", there are also two DLC packs that can be purchased which take the player on two completely different journeys through the same video game.
There's so much potential in "State Of Decay" despite very few gamers reviewing the game in their posts. It's one of those video games that'll only be acknowledged by true gamers, seeking interesting video-games to delve their time into which aren't facilitated within the mainstream release of video-games. But aside from the fantastic nature of "State Of Decay", the video-game should be used as a model for a Walking Dead video-game based on the television series. By making a few small alterations to the characters in the game, and adding in a more intricate story-line which can vary by the player's decision, a Walking Dead video game could easily be reformatted using "State Of Decay" as a base model. And "State Of Decay" isn't the only game which could stand as the basis for a potential Walking Dead video game. There are tons of other video-games that hardcore gamers would see as plausible depictions of The Walking Dead television series, those games just haven't been made readily available to everyone.
Could a companion video-game be attached to The Walking Dead television series?
Apart from the potential basis for a Walking Dead video-game, one will likely make its way into production once fans of The Walking Dead television series begin to call for a video-game based on the series. Robert Kirkman and Greg Nicotero will have no other option than to produce said video-game. Both showrunnner and creator of The Walking Dead have nothing to lose from creating a video-game but have much to gain. In the scenario that a Walking Dead video-game is created around the basis of the television series, fans of the series will be lined up around the block of video-game stores everywhere just to pick it up. As a fan of both The Walking Dead television series and sand-box type play games, The Walking Dead would be the perfect basis for a new video-game. Would you play a video game based on The Walking Dead television series? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Walking Dead Season 7 premieres October 23, 2016. And Episode 3 of Telltale's Walking Dead video-game will be released sometime later this year. Fear The Walking Dead is set for its mid-season premiere sometime this month.
Lastly, check out the reveal of "State Of Decay 2" here; released at E3 convention earlier this year.