SPOILER WARNING for The Walking Dead Seasons 1-4.

At this point, AMC’s The Walking Dead has been a Juggernaut IP on the small screen for over a decade. Despite the Series’ end in November of 2022, the franchise is still going strong. There are several seasons of spin-offs under its belt, and many more on their way. Even though The Walking Dead inspired over a decade of Zombie Video Games, it has yet to make a major presence in the Console Gaming space.

The last Non-VR Console Game in the franchise was The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Activision published it to mediocre reviews in March 2013. In the decade that followed, The Walking Dead fans have been chomping at the bit for a new Video Game which ties into the show. Thus, fans were very excited when Tom Henderson reported on leaks that a new Walking Dead game was inbound. After its reveal, some fans are wondering if The Walking Dead: Destinies will live up to their hopes.

What is The Walking Dead: Destinies?

The Walking Dead: Destinies is an upcoming Third-Person Action-Adventure game set within the first 4 Seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead. It is being developed by Gamemill Games, who specializes in licensed games. Their catalog includes the Nickelodeon Kart Racers series, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl and other Tie-Ins. Historically, the IP they work with are usually more popular with young audiences. The game is firmly AA, a space which seems to be shrinking year-over-year.

The game follows the events of Seasons 1-4, but players have the ability to shape the story to their own liking. Players will be able to make Choices throughout the Story which can radically shift the fates of certain characters. They can still stay true to the original if they so choose.

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Gameplay

The Walking Dead, TWD, The Walking Dead Destinies, Glenn

Glenn stealth-kills a Walker

Within Gameplay, players will manage a party of iconic characters from the beginning of the show. There are some Survival and Strategy elements to the gameplay. Expect to “defend your camp, rescue survivors… manage limited resources, scavenge for weapons and ammo, and maximize your party’s abilities to stay alive”. That information comes from a GameStop Listing for The Walking Dead Destinies. In combat, players can look forward to shooting and slashing through packs of Walkers. The aforementioned GameStop page details that players can use iconic weapons from the show’s history. Confirmed weapons include baseball bats, katanas, revolvers, shotguns, and crossbows.

Iconic Characters and Locales

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Michonne arrives at The Prison

The Walking Dead: Destinies will include over a dozen iconic characters. The roster includes Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Carol, Carl, Glenn, Shane, The Governor and more. While they are not explicitly mentioned, I’m hoping that we’ll be able to roam around the Georgia Countryside after the destruction of The Prison with Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene.

There are plenty of nostalgic locales players can look forward to visiting too. The game is said to start with Rick waking up at The Hospital, and the journey will take players to Atlanta, The Greene Family Farm, The Prison, and Woodbury.

Change The Walking Dead History

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Rick Grimes Dead from Shane Walsh’s Knife

One of the main draws to the The Walking Dead: Destinies is the potential for fans to rewrite the story. The trailer and image above showcases the biggest departure fans can make in the story. What if Shane killed Rick? This will allow players to shift protagonists in the story. The ability to make such major changes to the beloved story is exciting, and will certainly add replay value. Most choice based games generally end up in the same place no matter what players pick. In this game, choices seem to be able to reform the entire story.

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Personally, I’m very excited to see more of Shane. Seeing him face off against The Governor, or further develop his relationship with Lori is a very exciting prospect. Time will tell how different fans can make their story from the source material. There are sure to be some unique outcomes as players change the fate of the show’s key characters.

Is The Walking Dead: Destinies Undead on Arrival?

The Walking Dead, TWD, The Walking Dead Destinies, Hospital, Hospital Door, Don't Open Dead Inside

Online, many have been skeptical in the wake of the announcement. Most of the negative reception has been in regard to the game appearing outdated and underdeveloped. On Kinda Funny Games Daily, Blessing Adeoye Jr. said that “this feels like a game that was supposed to come out ten years ago”. I can’t disagree. This style of Tie-In game feels well behind the times. Not to mention, Season 4 of the show – where the game will end – aired its finale in March of 2014.

The Trailer does come with a disclaimer that the game is still a work in progress. Still, I fear there is more polish required than developer GameMill Entertainment can do without Crunching before the game’s release date. Releasing this Fall also feels like a bad strategy when considering the massive titles surrounding it’s November 14th launch. The Walking Dead: Destinies launches only 4 days after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Launching anything so close to Call of Duty is always sure to hurt sales and miss headlines. Especially since MW3 comes with Modern Warfare Zombies.

Who Should Be Excited?

Stan Twitter is showing up for The Walking Dead: Destinies

The Walking Dead Fans seem excited about the potential of the game, even with its apparent flaws. With such limited ways to engage with the IP in Video Games, fans are ravenous. The Walking Dead Destinies will provide players with an exciting new way to relive or reinvent some of the best seasons of the show. Nostalgic fans should be excited to dip their toes back into this chapter of The Walking Dead History.

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Millions of viewers tuned in to watch AMC’s The Walking Dead every Sunday back in the day. The show is still finding a steady stream of binge watchers on Netflix, AMC+ and Disney+ internationally. As such, The Walking Dead: Destinies comes with a built-in audience, a $49.99 price tag, and availability across several platforms. With all this is mind, there is certainly room for the game to succeed and please fans.

My Take

As a die-hard Walking Dead fan, I’m always looking for ways to interact with the franchise and fandom. There is so much potential for community engagement due to the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style narrative. I look forward to seeing the choices players make to shift the story and their reactions to them. To me, the content-creation angle of The Walking Dead Destinies is just as exciting as the game itself. I would love to get a DLC or sequel which includes Alexandria, Negan’s Line-Up and All-Out War arcs. The “What If?” potential in those seasons is very exciting.

The Walking Dead: Destinies releases November 14th, 2023 on PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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