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iPhone  header logo

The Walking Dead: Assault

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

A complete shambles?

Product: The Walking Dead: Assault | Developer: Gamagio | Publisher: Skybound | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
The Walking Dead: Assault iPhone, thumbnail 1
If you're a fan of Robert Kirkman's epic zombie saga The Walking Dead, you'll know it's less about shambling, flesh-eating carcasses than it is the human drama surrounding the survivors at the end of the world.

That's held true across the comics, AMC's languid TV adaptation, and even Telltale Games's recent, wonderful adventure game series. So it's something of a disappointment to see this iOS offering ditch all that emotional turmoil in favour of simply shooting things in the head.

That's not to say that Kirkman's post-apocalyptic world has been completely ignored in The Walking Dead: Assault. Its real-time, top-down strategy action sports a stark, striking black and white aesthetic heavily inspired by the work of comic book collaborators Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.

And the game's episodic structure - of which this first release is but a small part - follows the series' sprawling narrative, albeit it in truncated, action-heavy form.

Story is far from the focus of Assault, though, and beyond a brief opening animatic introducing comic book protagonist sheriff Rick Grimes there's little to hold the game's shoot-and-loot stages together beyond a few familiar faces.

Aim for the head!

Levels are small, focused affairs that see you guide a party of survivors - each with his own unique firearm and melee weapon load-out - across zombie-infested locations in search of nondescript supplies.

Unsurprisingly, progress is hampered by a constant stream of undead assailants, and your job is simply to survive long enough to take them all out.

It's hardly revolutionary, but there's some smart design behind Assault's assured action. The whole thing has been carefully tailored to the touchscreen, for instance, with simple tap controls making movement a doddle. Characters, meanwhile, fire automatically once a zombie strays into the circle delineating their 360-degree line of sight.

Firearms have a greater range than melee weapons, of course, but ammo is scarce. Often, melee combat is most advisable while the odds are in your favour, saving gunfire to dispatch larger groups more quickly.

There are other reasons to keep your guns holstered - rely on firearms and the noise eventually attracts the undead in huge numbers, severely impacting your chances of survival.

Survival of the fittest

Thankfully, each character has its own unique special ability, and these prove invaluable in particularly sticky situations. Rick, for instance, is a dab hand with headshots, while angry Shane can pump out twice the number of bullets - and twice the damage - when enraged.

There are other strategic opportunities too, with certain environmental items - fire hydrants, rotting corpses, car alarms - able to distract large groups of zombies while you set about looting and shooting.

But beyond the fraught bouts of semi-strategic gunfire there isn't a whole lot to The Walking Dead: Assault. A handful of secondary objectives - rescuing a survivor, for instance - attempt to spice up the action, but it's not an experience with much in the way of hidden depths, even factoring in the RPG-style ability upgrade system tied to scavenged supplies.

Still, it's an atmospheric take on The Walking Dead series that delivers some surprisingly tense, often challenging entertainment. Fans of the Robert Kirkman series might bemoan - reasonably - the rather wasteful focus on gun-heavy slaughter, but there are still simple pleasures to be found in the game's gung-ho, skin-of-your-teeth action.

Slight it might be, but as zombie games go The Walking Dead: Assault isn't totally brainless.
 
The Walking Dead: Assault
Reviewer photo
Matt Wales | 7 December 2012
It might not do much with the famous franchise, but The Walking Dead: Assault still manages to offer some enjoyably tense, if simplistic, shoot-and-loot action
 
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Joined:
Dec 2012
Post count:
1
@XisTG | 11:11 - 26 December 2012
Hey guys, I got this game through one of your Twitter give away codes.
First of all, thanks for the code.
Second, I actually enjoyed the game more than I thought. This is, I think, the perfect complement to Telltale's game in The Walking Dead world.
The art style is cool and i love the fact that you can unlock all characters on your first walkthrough. The music is good enough that it doesn't get repetitive, and for the first time I find myself going back to ace the levels simply because most of the time you get to unlock some cool Trivia bits or art from the comics, which look lovely as a screenlock on the phone.

The three cons I found on the game:
There is no formation button. During the loading of a level, sometimes the game shows you some examples of how you can organize your party, like putting a healer in the back and Shane with a shotgun in the front. But I haven't been able to do none of that; you should be able to organize your party positions before that game starts.
The other con is that, for the price they ask for the game (and in this case I got it for free from you guys), there should be more levels. I know there are more chapters "coming soon", and I do hope they're free, but I still feel that those who support development and buy the game now should have a little more than 11 levels.
Finally, and maybe tied up to there being so few levels, this game is begging for an endless mode with online scoreboards.

Cheers,

XisTG
Joined:
Mar 2011
Post count:
106
funkyflychicken | 18:14 - 7 December 2012
Wonder if this is coming to Android? I tried a Google web search to find more info, but no luck. I'm such a huge Walking Dead fan, I'd buy it for sure.

BTW - The Telltale game is amazing. Even though I've finished it on the PS3, I'd buy it again most likely on the Google Play Store as well, just to support more games like it finding their way to Android. And the game was so great, I wouldn't mind playing through it again with the touch controls.
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