Overkill’s The Walking Dead is an earnest attempt to deliver a cooperative adventure set in the iconic Walking Dead universe, but that effort feels a bit like it’s all too little too late. While the creators of Payday 2 manage to deliver something better than Terminal Reality’s sorry attempt at a shooter in Robert Kirkman’s universe, it still fails to live up to the lofty expectations set by its lore.
As a brand, The Walking Dead is enormous. The TV show and comic series that it’s based on tell stories of desperation and fighting for survival both against and along other humans after the end of the world. They’re stories about human lives and human struggles against a backdrop of the zombie apocalypse. Overkill’s The Walking Dead, on the other hand, is a game about seemingly mindless slaughter with very few plot threads connecting the dots. There is no drama, there are no personalities developed across missions, and there is no nuance to why you’re murdering people as readily as you do the walkers. It’s got very little to do with what makes The Walking Dead so great, which leads to a bit of an identity crisis.