The Escapists: The Walking Dead (Xbox One) Review

By Izzy Lichi 06.10.2015

Review for The Escapists: The Walking Dead on Xbox One

The Escapists: The Walking Dead is a top-view survival game created by Team17. As the title suggests, it is a complete fan made concept merging the original The Escapists indie title with the popular franchise The Walking Dead into one duet of gaming entertainment. Can such a duet perform well under the threat of a hope crushing zombie apocalypse? Unfortunately, The Escapists: The Walking Dead is the first to get bitten.

The Escapists: The Walking Dead is presented in typical indie pixel fashion. The characters and setting all do an exceptional job at being represented. The progression of the game itself perfectly follows through with The Walking Dead's graphic novel, as each stage is one of the main focal points of the many safe havens the main survivors take cover in, such as the prison, and the farm. Fans of the graphic novel will be pleased with all the wonderful familiar trappings; however, anyone unfamiliar with the original The Escapists title will be found scratching sustained walker bites of frustration, confusion, and otherwise lack of understanding, due to the dull, but cryptic, gameplay structure The Escapists: The Walking Dead provides.

The user takes control of Rick Grimes, survivor group leader and originally a sheriff before the zombie apocalypse. In each main stage, a safe haven of survivors must be managed, eating food, doing chores, and exploring the area while fulfilling the main objective. The process can get very cumbersome due to the issue that avoiding meeting deadlines will cause the walkers to get more angry and hostile, much like a mother upset at a child.

Walkers certainly have a very low tolerance for survivors not eating meals, and in addition to that, chores such as gathering supplies, head counts, tempering sheet metal, and moping blood matter a lot to the walkers. If none of the aforementioned example tasks are completed within the posted deadlines, a percentile gauge will increase 10% each time, which represents the hostility and threat of the walkers. The higher the gauge, the more likely the user will face defeat. Having to constantly accommodate the hostility gauge is extremely intrusive during exploration and main objectives. Chores and meal times will commence at fixed times of the day, causing the player to have to drop everything and rapidly return to the haven to check in and fulfil.

Screenshot for The Escapists: The Walking Dead on Xbox One

Combat against the walkers without a projectile is excruciating. The use of most melee weapons against many or even one enemy will simply overwhelm Rick. Zombies do tremendous damage and no strategy is involved in melee combat. When a weapon is used, the character cannot move until the animation concludes; however, the walkers may continue to inflict damage at a rapid rate. The Escapists: The Walking Dead could have taken a lesson from any top-view Zelda game, where the use of conventional attacks repel and give space between hits.

Although walkers seem to have an upper hand in toe-to-toe combat, the user has the viable option to recruit NPC survivors to increase success in combat, but they seem to get dispatched far faster than Rick, which gets outrageously inconvenient. When an NPC survivor is defeated, a countdown of 30 seconds begins, where if the survivor is not revived, the user must return to the last save. If the NPC is revived, however, the NPC will mention how fatigued his/her present state is, and return to camp.

There is also the option to craft equipment and tools to further assist in survival, but the interface is outrageously difficult to navigate and certainly suggests that The Escapists: The Walking Dead's interface was meant to be used primarily for PC. The last, and possibly the most reliable option to gain an edge over the walkers, is to increase character attributes at the gym or recreational articles inside the current stage haven. In order to gain more combat strength with melee weapons, the left and right triggers must be tapped for extended amounts of time. Attribute gains are earned after several complete reps, but the gains only make a true impact in combat if done in commitment. It isn't uncommon to find fingers strained from the constant rapid tapping of the triggers. Ultimately, projectiles, such as any firearm, is the way to victory, but firearms are in short supply, and more so the ammunition to support use.

Screenshot for The Escapists: The Walking Dead on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The Escapists: The Walking Dead is a game of patience, as well as trial and error. Walking Dead fans may want to look elsewhere for a game worthy of the title. The constant need of having to go back and forth due to time management pressure is needlessly intrusive to the gameplay. The combat serves well on the survival aspect, but will not entertain or motivate any. Walkers get cross with survivors that don't eat meals or complete chores, and fingers will be exhausted from tapping left and right triggers constantly. The zombie apocalypse isn't a world of fear, but a world of bores and chores.

Developer

Team17

Publisher

Team17

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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