By Dave Gilmore
6:13 AM EDT, July 9, 2012
Activision announced a new first-person shooter based on AMC's hit show "The Walking Dead" to be released sometime next year.
Telltale Games has done a fantastic job spinning off the show and comic book's universe into an episodic adventure game, so it only seems natural that someone would try their hand at the action-packed moments of the series.
The game is based more on the show than the comic, and takes place before the events of the first season, focusing in on brothers Darryl and Merle Dixon.
The teaser trailer doesn't tell a whole lot about what the game will actually look like or how it will work, but here are five things we'd like to see in a good "Walking Dead" first-person shooter.
The 'Z word'
Even though the comics have been a staple of the zombie apocalypse genre for a decade, "The Walking Dead's" FPS will be a bit late to the party in terms of zombie shooters.
Once developers figured out that people love exploding zombie brains, there was a "zombie mode" in every game imaginable. To stand out, next year's shooter will have to be strong in atmosphere, story and gameplay mechanics, since shooting "walkers" will be nothing new to most gamers.
Tools of the trade
To stay true to the tone and universe show, the game will need to avoid the inclusion of highly powerful and explosive weapons. The universe of "The Walking Dead" is one of scavenging and scrimping for ammunition.
Even though the brothers Dixon seem a bit like gun nuts, conserving resources should be part of the challenge of any "The Walking Dead" game. Darryl's signature crossbow will certainly feature prominently, but some variety will need to be present beyond lacing zombies and outlaws with arrows, then making a witty remark when retrieving them from the bodies. That's classic Darryl.
One of the things that makes Darryl stand out in Rick's group of roving survivors is that he travels on a cool motorcycle on the show. Well, it's cool except for the fact that it has a Nazi S.S. decal on it, but other than that, it's a pretty sweet ride. The bike actually was "inherited" from Merle after, you know, Rick and company left Merle chained to a rooftop to either die or cut off his own hand. If there isn't at least one or two motorcycle-riding sequences, we'll be thoroughly disappointed.
"Boondock Saints" and "Mallrats"
Darryl emerged as a viewer favorite on season two of the show because Norman Reedus is a great actor and the character is such a classic anti-hero. Michael Rooker, who played his brother Merle in season one and during a hallucination in season two, is one of the most formidable "that guy" character actors of the '90s and '00s.
The two of them together were great in their limited scenes in the show, so it will be a shame if the characters are voiced by knockoffs. The only thing worse than bad voice acting is bad voice acting with a southern accent.
Proceed with caution
While we're excited for "The Walking Dead" to stake its claim in the zombie shoot-em-up world, we're also cautious. Making the television or movie version of a hit property into a game isn't exactly a plan with a stellar track record, and Terminal Reality are the folks responsible for that "I'm Han Solo" abomination.
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