Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 30
  2. Negative: 28 out of 30
Buy On
  1. Mar 22, 2013
    A very poor shooter-adventure game based on the famous TV series. Pick up the exceptional graphical adventure from Telltale Games instead.
  2. May 28, 2013
    With the success of Telltale Games’s arcade game, there were high hopes for this full-fledged retail title. As it happens you would be best off saving your pennies for the already announced sequel to the arcade title as Survival Instinct will leave you with bitter feelings towards The Walking Dead series. Unless you are an absolute nutter for anything to do with The Walking Dead, your money will be best spent elsewhere.
  3. Mar 22, 2013
    Survival Instinct clearly isn't finished, and has no business expecting money from any paying customer. It's the kind of hurried, jury-rigged game that risks dealing damage to a property -- an especially sour note considering all the excellent work achieved by Telltale's The Walking Dead.
  4. Mar 29, 2013
    The premise of the game is not terrible, but there needed to be more intelligence and purpose in the application to elevate it above the mundanity of clubbing endless zombies to death. If only someone could make a really good Walking Dead game. Oh, wait...
  5. Mar 22, 2013
    Though a functional game at the most basic level, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is an absolute disaster from start to finish. It feels like Terminal Reality duct-taped several different half-finished projects together and assumed the brand tie-in would move units. It’s an absolute disgrace—both to the TV show it’s based on and videogames as a whole.
  6. Apr 4, 2013
    The idea behind Survival Instinct seems temping enough, but the final product is a disappointment in every possible way. This is simply put a licensed game at its worst. If you're faced between being eaten by a zombie and playing this game, choose the first option.
  7. Apr 8, 2013
    The Walking Dead Survival Instinct is a disappointment. There are many interesting ideas in the background but they all look terrible at the practical act.
  8. Mar 21, 2013
    Outside of these interesting narrative nuggets, Survival Instinct sinks its infected teeth into monotony and carelessly chews away at it to deliver a repetitious experience that lets a few cool ideas go to waste. This is an apocalypse you don’t want to survive.
  9. Mar 28, 2013
    It's hard to accept that such a title can exist in 2013. It's probably the best candidate for worst game of the year.
  10. Apr 4, 2013
    An abomination of a game that does justice to neither the TV series nor the comic. AMC and Activision should be really careful next time.
  11. Mar 26, 2013
    The fundamentals for a good game are here, but it doesn’t take long for it to become clear that The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a rushed cash grab, made to leech of the popularity of the show. It’s graphically dated, a story is practically nonexistent and not a single game mechanic works like it should. It’s outrageous, because the license deserves so much better.
  12. Apr 23, 2013
    Survival Instinct is a major disappointment with its brainless story and buggy, repetitive and lazy gameplay. This game provides neither chills, thrills or challenges for the player. Do yourself a favor and stay as far away from this cash grab as possible. What a terrible waste of a license.
  13. 20
    Survival Instinct is an outright slap to the face of the entertaining comics and TV series based on The Walking Dead. This is so far the worst game of 2013 and no one should ever consider playing this.
  14. Games Master UK
    May 9, 2013
    Archaic design spoils good ideas in this shoddy squandering of one of the hottest licenses going. [June 2013, p.74]
  15. games(TM)
    May 20, 2013
    It's as if the developer simply ceased to care, or ran out of time, or both. Who knows? What we do know is that Terminal Velocity has crafted something truly loathsome and undeserving of its heritage. [Issue#135, p.108]
  16. Apr 21, 2013
    An interesting concept that's been realised into a totally horrible and dull shooter/stealth action crossover that I cannot recommend to fans of the series, not even to fans of the Walking Dead comics. The only noticeable positive about it is its voice acting.
  17. Mar 25, 2013
    The whole thing is just so dull and tedious that it captures all the worst qualities of a road trip, but none of the exciting ones.
  18. Apr 10, 2013
    Squandered potential. This is what we thought of after having played The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. The lame story, unfinished gameplay, lots of bugs and errors and the stale graphics form a game we unfortunately cannot recommend at all. In contrary to Telltale Games's title based on the graphic novel, this is a waste of a formerly promising license.
  19. Mar 21, 2013
    It’s a half-baked attempt at a game that can be fun in the occasional spooky part, but ends up under-delivering in every way.
  20. Apr 8, 2013
    You'd better follow your instinct when it comes to this Walking Dead-game. Survival Instinct a rushed and unpolished game. That this shambling corpse actually contains a few good ideas is not a good enough reason to endure the brain-rotting gameplay. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct shouldn't have risen from the dead to begin with.
  21. Mar 28, 2013
    There are videogames, great licensed products and then there is The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Coming out with the end of the third season of the series, Activision's game is just a tasteless merchandising product, quickly developed in an attempt to increase the financial income of the license. Everything is to be thrown away in this pitiful FPS that clearly shows the misunderstanding of the series by the development team. What's left is a very ugly game which is quite appalling for HD consoles nearing the end of their lives. Very repetitive, with no interest whatsoever, the game offers one of the worst AI's in the industry. Needless to say that after Telltales's brilliant games the quality drop is epic, and when a game's quality falls of the table, so does our grade.
  22. Mar 25, 2013
    A TV tie-in of such depressingly low quality you’d think it was the ‘90s once again, especially when you see the terrible graphics and artificial intelligence.
  23. Apr 7, 2013
    The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is based on a good idea - we'd love a good TWD survival game -, but with a very poor execution.
  24. Mar 27, 2013
    Awful graphics, cumbersome controls, frustrating combats, repetitive gameplay: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is definitely a bad game.
  25. 45
    It’s a generic zombie story to a Z, and not helped by horrible visuals that awkwardly recycle character models and stages. Together, these elements make the game feel like a reanimated corpse.
  26. 30
    Once you've stabbed one, run past one, and been killed by one, you've played enough. And that two minute process is not worth any amount of money.
  27. Mar 19, 2013
    The tide has begun to turn for licensed games thanks to great efforts like those from Telltale, Rocksteady's Batman franchise and others. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is the exact sort of lazy, cheap cash-grab that gave licensed games a bad name in the first place. To put a slightly less nostalgic twist on an old cliche: They don't make 'em like this anymore.
  28. Apr 4, 2013
    The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is an abomination on every level: a dull, cynical and irreparably flawed mess which is as mindless and soulless as its antagonists.
  29. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Apr 23, 2013
    Basically, it's broken. [Issue#97, p.73]
  30. Apr 21, 2013
    The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is terrible. It’s a waste of a licence and should be the poster child for a rushed, shameless cash grab. That is all you need to know.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 411 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 411
  1. Mar 19, 2013
    I remember when a Dragon Age 2 developer hopped on here to shower praise on their half assed game. Seems alot like what's going on here.I remember when a Dragon Age 2 developer hopped on here to shower praise on their half assed game. Seems alot like what's going on here. reviews that read like a promo cash in. So, show of many that scored it 10 are employed by Activision, AMC or Terminal Reality? Ya I figured. Full Review »
  2. Mar 20, 2013
    A mediocre game at best. Mundane and boring combat, awful textures and terrible jump-scares. This is a classic example of a rushed game tryingA mediocre game at best. Mundane and boring combat, awful textures and terrible jump-scares. This is a classic example of a rushed game trying to make as much money off a successful franchise as possible.
    The voice acting is rather bad and unrealistic and it's also rather bad.

    However, that's not to say there isn't SOME good parts to this game, for example the whole survivor system where you can send them out to look for supplies is a rather good idea.

    But in the end, this game only warrants a 5/10 from me, I honestly think there was some good ideas in this, and perhaps the developers didn't get enough time or resources to fully fulfil them.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 19, 2013
    At a release price of $49.99, you know right away you're not holding a blockbuster in your hands, but The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, forAt a release price of $49.99, you know right away you're not holding a blockbuster in your hands, but The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, for what it's worth, offers some really great ideas and new directions for gameplay, even if those great ideas are balanced with an equal helping of slipshod development, hackneyed gameplay, and lazy storytelling.

    On the plus side, much like the popular show, you're thrown directly into the action, no waiting through any sort of cutscenes or setup, and since this is the exact opposite of every other game in existence, the result is jarring, in a good way. You feel like you would if this were the real zombie apocalypse. In this prequel to the television series, you play as Daryl Dixon, searching once again for Merle, on your way toward the supposedly safe city of Atlanta. Your job is to gather supplies and make careful decisions as to how to continue through the infested and overrun state of Georgia.

    Most of the time you'll find yourself sneaking around in environments peeking from behind things and doing your best not to be seen or heard by any walkers. This is where the gameplay really shines too, because the feeling you get is actually intense and scary, a feeling most popular zombie games fail to capture these days. This is true survival horror at its best: slow-paced action with extremely limited weapons, and long stretches where you may not see enemies followed by large unexpected hordes. Parts of this game will remind you of what was great about the early installments of Resident Evil The game has its own pervasive mood, that is undeniably creepy.

    Survival Instinct brings a bit of fresh thinking to the genre, which varies up the gameplay a bit. You'll find yourself given different ways to distract zombies and pull hordes to one side of the map while you attempt to sneak past. You'll also find things in the environment that can be strategically traded for other things. The survivors you encounter play as much a part in the game as the walkers.

    The Walking Dead environment is well sold, thanks to voiceover work from Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker, which will add a bit of enjoyment for Walking Dead fans. That said, the writing isn't as strong as it is in the TV show, and it seems to exaggerate Daryl's quiet character. He's a bit of a jerk to everybody he meets, often answering questions with one or two words when people really need his help.

    Ever since Gears of War and Call of Duty, game controls have sort of found themselves to be standardized, and this game (thankfully) doesn't deviate from tried-and-true formulas. It's relatively easy to wield weapons and move about, and doesn't seem to suffer from any collision-detection issues. The HUD is simple and intuitive. NPCs behave as you would expect, and supplies are hidden without too much difficulty, depending on the paths you choose.

    Unfortunately, This game won't be wowing you with graphics. Coming from Terminal Reality, the same team that gave us Ghostbusters, you would expect a better job in this department. Sadly, the drab, simple environments and terrible texture rendering make this graphically more akin to Duke Nukem, which is just plain inexcusable considering how great Ghostbusters looked when it was released 4 years ago. There are about 5 character skins. You'll kill the same zombie a lot.

    In addition, the environments overall feel limited, and it was disappointing how linear the game ends up being. You would always hope that a game that pits you against hordes of the undead would give you some room in the sandbox. This game, however, is a far cry from its predecessors, like Dead Island or Deadrising. Plan on moving forward a lot, because that's the only direction you'll be going.

    In the world of storytelling, there isn't much to offer either. Don't expect a lot of cutscenes or much original dialogue. It happens, but when it does, much of it is a retread of things we've done in zombie games a hundred times before. Go get batteries for this, restore the power to that, get the key to this, etc. The NPCs feel cold, flat, and uninteresting. They're exactly the same people we've met in every zombie apocalypse ever. I would almost trade them for the much more interesting, if completely retarded ones from the first Deadrising. Lastly, and this is where the game design is an utter failure, this is one of those better-keep-the-console-running-because-there's-nowhere-to-f@$#ing-save kind of games. Extremely frustrating, you can play for an hour or more without finishing an objective, and should you be faced with shutting down, you're not getting that hour back, and for some of this game's worse faults, you might want it. Of course, the price point is a saving grace. It isn't worth $60, and Activision knew it. Good on them for dropping the price. Bad on them for rushing it to market. Overall the game is worth checking out, but maybe only once the price comes down enough to justify the flaws.
    Full Review »