The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

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"The Walking Dead (2013 video game)" redirects here. For the graphic adventure by Telltale Games, see The Walking Dead: Season Two.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
Developer(s) Terminal Reality
Publisher(s) Activision
Director(s) Angel Gonzalez Jr.
Producer(s) Chris Harvey
Dino Verano
Matt Hohl
Designer(s) Glenn Gamble
Artist(s) Glenn Gamble
Writer(s) Drew Haworth
Morley Nelson
Composer(s) Gordy Haab[1]
Engine Infernal Engine[2]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360
Release date(s) NA March 19, 2013[3]

AU 20130321March 21, 2013
EU March 22, 2013[3]

Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Optical disc, download

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a single-player first-person shooter video game developed by Terminal Reality and published by Activision.[4] It is based on and canon to The Walking Dead television series, in contrast to the video game by Telltale Games, which is based on and canon to the comics.[5] The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct acts as a prequel to the TV series; it is set in the Georgia countryside and focuses on Daryl and Merle Dixon as they make their way to Atlanta during the early days of the zombie apocalypse. The critical reception for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct was extremely negative. Critics criticized almost every aspect of the game, including graphic, control and plot. Many gamer and critics considered it one of the worst video games ever made.


The player assumes the role of Daryl Dixon, who can either fight the walkers or stealthily sneak past them. As he travels, he meets other survivors, who can either help or leave. He will have to be cautious of how much fuel, ammo and food he has, and think very strategically of who and how many he chooses to take in to his group. When he travels, he can either choose to take the highway, and save fuel but break down a lot, or take the small roads, where he will be able to scavenge from small villages and chance of breaking down is low. He can also change the vehicle he is using, ranging from a small truck to an SUV. The vehicles use up fuel which you have to watch over. When you run out of fuel, you must stop at various roadsides to try and scavenge jerry cans of fuel.


In the midst of a zombie outbreak and shortly after the death of Daryl Dixon's father Will Dixon, Daryl and his half-uncle Jess Collins escape their mountain shelter in Cabot Ridge to gather supplies in the nearby town of Sedalia. During the scavenger hunt for fuel, Daryl meets Jimmy Blake, the last standing police officer of Sedalia, on the top of a roof, who requested Daryl to find radio batteries to call for help. In a nearby gas station, Daryl meets Warren Bedford, who gives fuel to Daryl under the condition that he joins the group. The quartet then escapes with the newly acquired fuel, this time heading to Pembertom.

Upon entering Pemberton, Jess continues to get weaker from a bite he suffered in the mountains. At the campgrounds, Daryl meets deputy Lee, who gives Daryl a shotgun and asks him to look for a park ranger in order to get car keys to another vehicle. When looking for the ranger, Daryl hears a girl being devoured over a radio. Daryl also finds out that the ranger has turned into a zombie already. In the aftermath, Jess succumbs to the bite and reanimates, leaving Daryl and Warren/Jimmy as the only survivors.[6]

Shortly after arriving at a town called Fontana to look for his brother Merle Dixon, Daryl hears gunshots from a building and assumes that it's an unknown lunatic. The unknown shooter was later revealed to be Merle, who was trying to protect himself from U.S. soldiers attempting to bring him to prison. Merle joins the group and demands to go to a bar called Jake's as their next destination.[6]

When Daryl questions Merle's reason to go to Jake's, Merle tells him he kept something of Daryl's at the bar. After arriving at the bar, Merle instructs Daryl to stay by the car but Daryl goes and looks for his brother anyway.. It is revealed that Merle really went back to get revenge on the his gang that sold him out and took Daryl's crossbow. Merle attacks some of them in the bar, until the rest of the gang comes back and knocks Daryl out, taking all of his equipment and supplies. However, an undead gang member has Daryl's crossbow. Daryl takes the crossbow and continues to look for Merle, the gang, and his missing equipment. Afterwards, Daryl finds out that Merle had gone missing while the entire gang died and was eaten by zombies.

Daryl meets fellow survivor Anna Turner and contacts her father John, a sheriff, and plans on meeting at the evacuation point at Palmetto Estates. After arriving at Danvers research lab for the serum (a supposed cure), Daryl fights his way through the lab and finds a lady named Sheila Schneider who was a member of the Archer Creek Dam group. Sheila tells Daryl that the serum is just a fairy tale and that the research result has found there is no cure for the disease. The lab is locked down by the auto security system and Daryl tells Anna to flip the alarm switch, which actually ends up accidentally triggering the alarm. After escaping the lab, Daryl and Anna go to Sherwood to gather information about the evacuation. Daryl later says goodbye to Anna when she and her father meet up and then drive off.[6]

While scavenging the area, Daryl finds two elderly survivors, Terry Harrison and his wife, who is in a bad condition on the bed. Harrison is taking care of his wife, though he is concerned for his daughters, Amy and Andrea. He tells Daryl to find Aiden, who was in charge of signaling an evacuation helicopter. He also asks Daryl to get antibiotics from the pharmacy to ease his wife's suffering. Daryl finds Aiden's wife, Jane, who tells Daryl to look for her husband in the pharmacy. Daryl finds Aiden who has apparently twisted his ankle and his stuck on the roof of pharmacy. Aiden tells Daryl that, to signal the evac chopper, he must retrieve his bag in a garage, as the bag has flares that can be used to signal it. Daryl brings retrieves and brings it to Aiden, who starts the evacuation. Daryl then returns to the neighborhood where Terry, his wife, and Jane are located. When he gets there, he is forced to choose between them as both of their houses are under attack by walkers. The survivor that Daryl chooses to save then tells him that the last evacuation site is Atlanta at the Firesign Stadium.[6]

Daryl and his remaining survivors continue on the trip to the stadium but find it full of zombies. Daryl tries to reach various helicopters, but they take off before he can get on, until there is only one left. Daryl holds off the horde with an M2 Browning mounted on a Humvee that is driven by Merle, who returns. After defending the helicopter, Daryl attempts to get on but is held back by Merle who says that the pilot was bitten. The survivors, who have already boarded the helicopter, are left to their fate.



In the game, Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker reprise their television roles as Daryl and Merle Dixon, respectively.[9][10]

During each of the first eight episodes of the TV series' third season, three code words per episode were shown during the commercial breaks which could be entered for a limited time at for the Dead Giveaway / The Survive And Drive Sweepstakes. Each week a winner won the opportunity to be featured in the game. Each weekly winner's headshot would be incorporated into a fictional character in the game and used in one of eight "death vignettes."[11]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (X360) 35.39%[12]
(PS3) 33.33%[13]
(PC) 32.62%[14]
(WIIU) 30.50%[15]
Metacritic (PC) 38/100[16]
(PS3) 34/100[17]
(X360) 32/100[18]
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 5/10[20]
GameSpot 4/10[21]
Giant Bomb 1/5 stars[19]
IGN 4.5/10[22]
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) 3/10[23]
Official Xbox Magazine 4.5/10[24]
Official Xbox Magazine UK 3/10[25]
Polygon 3/10[26]
Digital Spy 2/5 stars[27]
The Digital Fix 2/10 [28]

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct received extremely negative reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Xbox 360 version 35.39% and 32/100,[12][18] the PlayStation 3 version 33.33% and 34/100,[13][17] the PC version 32.62% and 38/100[14][16] and the Wii U version 30.50%.[15]

Polygon were disappointed in the game and gave it a 3 out of 10 rating, stating that: "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" and compared playing the game to "listening to a roomful of barely competent musicians, each of whom is playing a completely different song. And every once in a while one kicks you in the groin. Also, you have a sunburn."[26]

Yahtzee Croshaw of Zero Punctuation gave it a moderately good review.


  1. ^ "Gordy Haab". Official Website. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Walking Dead fact sheet and screens". Gamedot. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  3. ^ a b Tach, Dave. "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct release date moved up to March 19". Polygon. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Activision Reveals Walking Dead First Person Shooter'". IGN. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  5. ^ "Activision Announces 'The Walking Dead' First Person Shooter'". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Terminal Reality (2013-03-19). The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (in English). Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360 (v1.0). Activision. "Daryl Dixon: Yeah, I know. / Merle Dixon: You know I got your back." 
  7. ^ "The Walking Dead". AMC. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "AMC The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct". Activision, Terminal Reality. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Haworth, Drew. "Terminal Reality’s The Walking Dead: Norman Reedus is Derle Dixon". Playstation.Blog. SCEA, LLC. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ Caulfield, Luke. "Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker Voicing Activision's New Walking Dead Game". GameNGuide. G&G. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ "AMC » THE WALKING DEAD – Hyundai Survive to Drive Sweepstakes". Archived from the original on December 3, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  13. ^ a b "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  14. ^ a b "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  15. ^ a b "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct for Wii U". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  16. ^ a b "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  17. ^ a b "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct for PlayStation 3 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  18. ^ a b "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct for Xbox 360 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  19. ^ "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct Review". Giant Bomb. March 21, 2013. 
  20. ^ "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct". Game Informer. March 21, 2013. 
  21. ^ "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct Review". GameStop. March 25, 2013. 
  22. ^ Miller, Greg (March 21, 2013). "SHOOT IT IN THE HEAD.". IGN. 
  23. ^ "The Walking Dead Survival Instinct PS3 review – the other tie-in isn’t even an also-ran". Official UK PlayStation Magazine. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  24. ^ "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct review". Official Xbox Magazine. March 25, 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct Review". Official Xbox Magazine UK. March 25, 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Polygon Review". Polygon. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  27. ^ "'The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct' (360) review: A rotting corpse". Digital Spy. March 29, 2013. 
  28. ^ "'The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct Review'". The Digital Fix. April 4, 2013. 

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