The Walking Dead Empires is an isometric survival MMORPG that perfectly caters to fans of the original Fallout 1 & 2. Set in a vast, player-selected region with varying degrees of difficulty and loot, the game features stunning landscapes with trees, bushes, abandoned cars, and dilapidated signs, all essential elements of a post-apocalyptic setting. Fans of the show will be thrilled to know that many of the characters from the series are playable. Although this option was unavailable in the playtest, it should be included in the full release.
The game masterfully immerses players in a world where survival is the sole objective, and nothing else matters. Gala Games has once again delivered an exceptional experience with one of my recent favorite releases in this genre.
Gala Games consistently offers delightful gaming experiences, as seen in titles like Superior, GRIT, and Spider Tanks, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Walking Dead Empires is no exception to Gala's high-quality work and, in my opinion, ranks among their best creations. The isometric survival aspect evokes the excitement I felt playing Fallout 1 & 2 for the first time years ago. The additional features this game provides, such as base building, leveling up, and securing the area from walkers, significantly enhance the experience.
However, as with any groundbreaking game, there are some glitches. The building process can be slightly glitchy when placing fences or walls, which isn't a significant issue when you have time to build leisurely. However, it becomes a significant problem when walkers approach, as players are left vulnerable and susceptible to attacks in build mode. Fortunately, walkers don't spawn constantly near the base, but it can still be annoying at times. Another building-related frustration is ensuring the player model isn't obstructing the construction area; otherwise, pieces cannot be placed. This issue was particularly vexing, as there was no notification explaining the problem. A simple notice or pop-up would have been helpful and would have reduced the stress already associated with building.
Fortunately, the game has only one other minor issue, which still merits discussion in the hope that it can be resolved. The spawning mechanism for walkers seems inconsistent. At times, my clanmates and I encountered just a few walkers (1-5) while searching for sheet metal, while other times we faced a massive horde, including larger "boss" types. This variation isn't a significant problem since the combat is highly enjoyable. Defeating walkers with a bat or a well-aimed gunshot is incredibly satisfying. The issue appears more prominent when there are more lootable items nearby, so if that's the case, it may not be a genuine concern. Aside from these two issues, the game is a fantastic creation, and its appeal goes beyond being a Gala Games product.
Prior knowledge of The Walking Dead isn't necessary, as being a fan of the show simply enhances the experience by recognizing characters and potential easter eggs that may be added later. Players start in a random area, and the immediate question becomes, "What do I need to do to survive?" Like other isometric games such as Diablo, The Walking Dead Empires has an active quest section. This feature is crucial for RPGs, as players like myself appreciate clear guidance on what to do next. Completing quests quickly keeps players engaged and eager to discover what else awaits them in the game.
The quest feature alone isn't the sole reason the game excels, but it certainly contributes to a better overall experience. The Walking Dead Empires does almost everything right, which is why the positive aspects far outweigh the negative ones. From the moment you load into the game, your primary concern is survival. As you focus on completing quests and gathering resources, the constant fear of encountering walkers keeps you on edge. Unlike many survival games that start with an easy tutorial, The Walking Dead Empires keeps players in a perpetual state of worry, even when building a base. This tension is fitting for a post-apocalyptic zombie game.
Another crucial aspect of a survival game is the weapons' feel, functionality, and balance. The Walking Dead Empires offers a wide variety of weapons, including bats, long staffs, handguns, Molotov cocktails, and heavy weapons like assault rifles. The bat, one of the most frequently used weapons, has smooth, fluid animations and a skill progression system. As you continue to use the bat, your melee combat skills increase, eventually enabling one-hit kills against walkers. However, this alone could become dull, as players might feel overpowered and the game could devolve into a mere clicking simulator.
To counter this issue, The Walking Dead Empires features multiple attack types for weapons. For instance, handguns offer a range of skills, such as single shots, piercing shots, and a rapid-fire skill reminiscent of Cassidy from Overwatch. This last skill allows you to shoot targets in front of you at a fast pace, with the potential to achieve one-shot kills the longer you hold. While it could be seen as a copy of Cassidy's Overwatch skill, it adds variety and excitement to the game's combat system.
The Walking Dead Empires also deviates from traditional base-building mechanics found in games like Clash of Clans. Instead of simply waiting for resources to upgrade your base, you'll face waves of walkers, requiring more powerful weapons like assault rifles to defend your home. Character customization extends to clothing, and players can also scrap items for parts to build more useful equipment.
The game keeps players engaged without becoming boring. A key feature discovered late in the playtest involves areas with varying rarity levels. These areas have different levels of loot and walker difficulty, creating a dynamic and challenging experience. In these locations, players can find more valuable resources, like sheet metal, in much greater quantities.
While some features or aspects may not have been covered in this review or during the first playtest, the upcoming two-week playtest will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the game. The Walking Dead Empires is an outstanding gaming experience that recaptures the joy of playing games as a teenager. Excelling in creating an addictive, fear-driven survival experience, it has the potential to be one of the best games in its genre.
Despite its minor issues, The Walking Dead Empires offers a fantastic survival RPG experience in the world of web 3 gaming. The beta build's lack of glitches is impressive, and it will be exciting to see the game's development and the final product. We look forward to updating this review after participating in the next playtest.
Although this review and the initial playtest may not have covered all the features and aspects of the game, the upcoming two-week playtest will allow for a more in-depth understanding. The Walking Dead Empires delivers a remarkable gaming experience that brings back the excitement of playing games during one's teenage years. By masterfully creating an addictive and fear-driven survival adventure, it holds the potential to become one of the best games in its category.
Amazing leveling up system and skill point system
Weapons feel amazing and rewarding to use
Lots of customization ranging from clothing to items that can be looted
Really good at making you feel like you are constantly at the need to survive, not a want
Clan system and ability to play with friends adds to the fun of the survival and looting aspect
The current building aspect of the game appears somewhat underwhelming, considering the importance of a secure base.
Zombie spawn rates seem inconsistent, with instances of either a large number or just a few appearing.
About The Walking Dead: Empires