Overkill's The Walking Dead

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Overkill's The Walking Dead Game Poster Image
Violent action game has hefty dose of waiting, repetition.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Idea is to create, defend a base for human survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Doing so involves a lot of violence. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are brave and skilled but morally neutral, with little character development.

Ease of Play

Success depends on reflexes and tactics against large numbers of enemies; poor matchmaking with players of uneven skill level can hinder teamwork.


Extreme blood and gore as zombies and people are shot, stabbed, beaten, dismembered. Players will use knives, clubs, guns, crossbows to eliminate people and the undead.


Words like "s--t" and "f--k" appear on occasion. Swearing is common during in-game chat. 


Based on popular The Walking Dead franchise, which has spawned games, TV shows, comics, toys, other merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Overkill's The Walking Dead is a downloadable first-person action game based (loosely) on AMC's hit television series The Walking Dead. The game revolves around players killing zombies and humans with all manner of knives and clubs, as well as ranged weapons like guns and crossbows, with lots of blood and gore shown. Dialogue contains swearing (words like "s--t" and "f--k" pop up during in-game comments), and the game's multiplayer co-op has open in-game chat where inappropriate commentary, profanity, and online bullying can take place. 

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What's it about?

OVERKILL'S THE WALKING DEAD is a cooperative online action game set in post-apocalyptic Washington D.C.  Though based on the hit TV series, it features new characters not seen in the show. In the game, players team up to gather resources, fight rival human gangs, and defend bases from marauding zombie hordes. Individually, they build up, maintain, and defend their home bases by performing missions. Missions provide scavenging opportunities and reward players with weapons and weapon mods. There are four character classes -- tactician, tank, scout, and medic -- and each character has a signature weapon (for instance, the tactician has a sniper rifle, and the tank has a shotgun). Each character also has unique skills designed to help the team succeed. Players are put into four-person teams via online matchmaking, and an in-game chat function aids communication during missions.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Overkill's The Walking Dead affected by the fact that you're primarily killing zombies instead of humans? Does the undead focus intensify the violence because you can kill more of them because they're unrealistic?

  • What does a game like Overkill's The Walking Dead teach you about perseverance against seemingly impossible odds?

Game details

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For kids who love action

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