If you’ve been looking to take a magical trip into a comic book and kill legions of zombies, then you’re in luck – The Walking Dead: Assault is just the app that you’ve been waiting for.
Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead is a series that examines the frailty of the human condition through the familiar lens of zombies. It’s spawned a wildly successful TV show and a series of enjoyable iOS adventure games as well.
The Walking Dead: Assault is the “official” app for the comic books, and takes you on a thrilling adventure through the pages of the story pausing only to let you catch your breath when every zombie is dead. Well, y’know, dead again.
This doesn’t look like the safest of neighborhoods…
The Walking Dead: Assault is at its core a top-down strategy game, although the first couple of chapters may not show that as you’re in control of a squad of one. This can be harrowing enough when you have hordes of the restless dead charging after you, but simple and intuitive controls make the characters easy to negotiate.
Later chapters allow you to bring multiple survivors on missions, which introduces an enjoyable action/strategy component to the gameplay.
Despite their personality differences in the story, each character is distilled down to three attributes for the game: a ranged attack, a melee attack, and a special ability. For example: Rick, the dour protagonist of the series, packs a revolver, a fireman’s axe, and the ability to conjure his “Police Training” to score guaranteed headshots on zombies.
As the game progresses, you’ll play through the plot of the comic series – but you can easily ignore the story as you enjoy negotiating the richly detailed map environments searching for walkers to kill and goods to forage.
Unfortunately, The Walking Dead: Assault sticks a bit too close to forcing you through the story and it never really lets you play in the levels it presents. This becomes extremely disappointing when you realize every mission’s goal is more or less the same (“Kill all the walkers, don’t let X die”).
Adding a new objective like holding a barricade against a zombie onslaught for five minutes or so would have been a fun challenge, but the lack of variety doesn’t really hurt the game all that much. If you’re a fan of the comics, TV show, or zombie stomping in general, be sure to pick this one up.
Intuitive and easy controls, beautiful artwork, solid gameplay.
Repetitious missions, and an overall lack of player influence on the story.