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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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Teamwork is a must in Overkill's The Walking Dead

Hands-on the new co-op FPS from the makers of Payday

Things can quickly go to shit in Overkill’s The Walking Dead. I came into my E3 demo expecting as much, but I didn’t know what form the cooperative first-person shooter would take, structurally. I got to play two missions: one was offense oriented and had us gathering resources, while the other was a defensive mission to protect said resources back at base. I’m not sold yet, but I’m intrigued.

Sneaking around, bashing in zombie heads, and trying to get the jump on other survivors made for an entertaining-enough showcase. There was a point where we could’ve broken a lock and unleashed a couple dozen fenced-in undead on the well-armed but unsuspecting humans. Unfortunately, we didn’t notice the fence until after we cleared out the enemy faction. It’s important to scout ahead.

We scrambled our way through that first mission. The second didn’t go as smoothly for my group.

We had a short amount of time to lay down some nasty spiked traps and fortifications before the walkers poured into our camp, and when one person went down, the rest of us fell like dominoes. Had we made better use of our class-specific abilities and worked together (my will to communicate lessened with each passing day of E3), we might’ve stood a chance. Then again, this seems like the type of game where you just aren’t destined to win ’em all. It’s made by the studio behind Payday, after all.

My E3 demo didn’t give me much of a grasp on the story or how long-term progression will function — this is clearly meant to be something players can keep coming back to — but a co-op zombie game where melee matters and guns can jam at the most inopportune time is my kind of ruthless title.

While the E3 build had some rough edges that I can overlook to a certain extent, I’m simply not sure if this will have the hooks it needs to keep me invested in building up my survivor and their home base. Overkill’s The Walking Dead is set for November 6. I hope these next several months are put to good use.

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