A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
AMC's The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct wasn't created with educational intent and we don't recommend it for learning.
On one hand, the game has you killing hundreds of zombies -- so there's plenty of violence, blood, and gore in this game -- but on the flipside you're trying to stay alive against the flesh-eating undead and you're helping survivors, too.
Positive Role Models
Like the hit AMC television show, you play as the mysterious Daryl Dixon -- a motorcycle-riding hunter adept with a crossbow -- who, alongside his annoying brother Merle, explores the Georgia countryside on a mission to stay alive. Not much is known about Daryl, an expert tracker, but in the show he's somewhat short-tempered.
Ease of Play
The game isn't too difficult to control, sticking with standard first-person shooter conventions -- such as the left analog stick to move, the right one to look around, and the right trigger to shoot.
Violence & Scariness
This "Mature"-rated first-person shooter lets you use a number of weapons to kill (re-kill) zombies, including a crossbow, shotguns, and melee weapons like a knife or hammer. You can shoot players in the head, slash someone's neck open, stab them in the eye, or decapitate them altogether. Blood and gore can be seen while fighting with the undead and from battle-torn corpses on the ground.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are some suggestive words and phrases in some of the dialog, including expressing interest in having sex with a female survivor.
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The game has strong profanity, including words like "f--k," "s--t," and "a--hole." Other words include "hell," "damn," and "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
The game is titled and based on AMC's popular The Walking Dead series of the same name. This includes the same characters, locations, and story premise. This game could be looked at as part of the show's marketing extensions.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a violent, gory, and profanity-laden survival horror game based on the television series upon which it's based. But as Daryl Dixon, you're the one shooting, slicing and dicing through undead zombies out to get you and your crew. The game has plenty of blood and gore, including dismemberment and beheading. There is also strong language in the game and some sexually suggestive references in the dialogue sequences.
Is It Any Good?
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct isn't a great game, which is too bad for fans of the Emmy-winning series. On paper, it seems like it's a winner: step into the shoes of one of the more popular heroes, Daryl Dixon -- who is played on the show by Norman Reedus (plus he lends his likeness and voice to the in-game character) -- and you get to test your skills to stay alive among all the zombies and panicky survivors. But the game has bland graphics, repetitive environments, technical glitches, less than stellar enemy A.I. (artificial intelligence) and no multiplayer options. Sure, there are some fun combat and scavenging moments (like looking for gas cans so you can drive away) and different ways to tackle each level, but overall it's a disappointing romp that pales in comparison to last year's imaginative The Walking Dead serial game series.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.