Parents' Guide to

Overkill's The Walking Dead

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violent action game has hefty dose of waiting, repetition.

Overkill's The Walking Dead Poster Image

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This is an ambitious co-op shooter that gets many things right about killing the undead, but just as many things wrong with its play. Rather than relying on deathmatch/capture-the-flag mechanics, Overkill's The Walking Dead tasks you with doing things that make sense in a global apocalypse -- things like shoring up your defenses and looking for food and medicine. Missions are predictably frenetic, whether you're bashing in zombie heads or exchanging fire with other humans. There are definite tactics involved as far as your approach and weapon use go; if you always choose the guns-blazing approach, you'll attract and be overrun by zombie hordes. Slowing down also helps your scavenging efforts, since it allows you to explore areas more thoroughly. The characters are an interesting mix, and all have useful abilities. Unfortunately, due to poor matchmaking and clunky lobby functionality, balanced teams are a rarity.

Ideally, teams would consist of one character from each class. As it is now, though, multiple players can choose the same character, so you can get stuck with a team that's seriously skill-challenged. Don't think you can help by changing characters; if you do, you get booted from the lobby and matched up with a different team that's likely as imbalanced as the one you left. In addition to gameplay frustrations that result from poor matchmaking, you also have to deal with lag (where things don't update in real time), long load times, and pointless mission interludes that drag down the pace even more. Add to that the insults and profanity from rude, bossy players, and you've got gameplay sessions that are as stressful as a midnight zombie attack. While more laid-back survivors might not mind the technical issues and bad conduct, they could be put off by the repetition needed to level up skills and weaponry. If you're not a fan of the franchise, or not willing to put up with brutal content, immature abuse from others, and tech issues, you may want to stay away.

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