The Walking Dead as a model has already unfold from comics to a complete load of different mediums. Fans beforehand pummelled walkers aplenty in Telltale’s collection of video games, so why is that this well-known zombie-stuffed franchise returning to the realm of interactive leisure now? When Den of Geek attended a preview occasion for The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, an upcoming VR game set in a flooded New Orleans, that is the very first thing we requested.- Advertisement -
Guy Costantini, who’s VP of Global Interactive Marketing for the builders at Skydance Interactive, was readily available to furnish us with a solution: “We did not actually really feel that anybody had made a Walking Dead game the place you would step by the display screen, and really, like, reside The Walking Dead. And in order that was the first motivator after we first approached [Robert Kirkman’s company] Skybound and mentioned this concept. We additionally thought that we had been actually captivated with New Orleans: we felt that an city surroundings may very well be actually thrilling, and that it hadn’t been explored earlier than. And, as avid gamers, we needed a very deep choice-based journey.”
There’s no scarcity of massive concepts right here, then, and you may actually really feel that ambition while you placed on a VR headset and soar into Saints & Sinners for the primary time. Far from a short-sighted or on-rails expertise, this seems like a considerably sizable world the place the participant can go off in a range of instructions at any given level.
“We felt VR was at a point where it needed to leapfrog forward, if it was to demonstrate that a proper game can exist in it,” Costantini says of the game’s dimension. “This was about two years ago, when we started, and so we feel that we finally have something that’s really special.”
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The game has a comic-book-ish “not trying to be photorealistic” artwork fashion, which is not one million miles away from the aesthetic of the Telltale video games, however even from this transient demo, it feels just like the world of Saints & Sinners is bigger and affords extra potentialities than the Telltale interpretation of the model. The “sunken city” of New Orleans seems nice, and there appears to be a good quantity of freedom on provide to gamers. You can wander away, get on a ship to a special half of city, decide up facet quests, and sort out most duties in a quantity of methods. There are additionally significant dialogue selections to be made at varied factors. And, because the game’s title suggests, you’ll be able to select whether or not to play as a saint or a sinner.
The general story appears fascinating sufficient, with the participant taking management of a person or lady that has simply arrived in New Orleans. Costantini guarantees that “it’s at least 15 hours, the campaign. And on top of it, it’s a pretty programmatic world. So every time you go out, things change, people are fighting people, people are fighting walkers, resources are dwindling. There’s different opportunities that present themselves when you visit a different part of the world. And we felt that having something like a proper, pretty large, experience was paramount to our objectives.”
There are some tutorials at first that specify all of the necessities, and the primary individual you work together with is a wise-seeming man by a campfire. He provides you an goal that sends you right into a cemetery that has a big zombie inhabitants, and there may be definitely enjoyable available in making an attempt to battle your means by them.
As is usually the case in The Walking Dead, there appears to be a give attention to serving to folks, discovering security and making an attempt to determine communications. There was one mission we performed the place we had been on the lookout for a microphone for a radio, so we needed to enterprise into an enormous home and battle our means by zombies to get the mic.
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It’s not simply the lifeless you must fear about, although. The residing phase of town is break up into two factions: there’s an authoritarian group referred to as The Tower and a freedom-obsessed gang referred to as The Reclaimed. Both groups sound like they’ve upsides and disadvantages, and it will be as much as the participant to determine which path they wish to observe. We did not actually get to work together with both faction throughout our demo time, however we did see some violent acts being carried out by folks on different folks. From what we have seen, this seems like a lived-in world with tons of harmful inhabitants.
Interestingly, as Costantini explains to us, there are some things you’ll be able to and might’t do while you step into The Walking Dead universe: “There’s a pair of thematic limitations. I feel that they are truly fairly… they power you to make actually vital and clever selections with what you are doing. Obviously, The Walking Dead began in 2003, that is when the precise timeline begins. So you do not have cell telephones. So much of the brand new expertise would not exist. I feel that there is a lot of themes round walkers and round the way in which the walkers behave. They’re extra of variety of just like the climate – they are not the primary risk. I imply, clearly the fight is tremendous visceral, and [when there is] multiple or two walkers, it looks like they are not threatening, however you’ll be able to simply get so overwhelmed. And the folks, and the dynamics between folks, are the place the actual magic of the story is at. But we really feel that these selections that Kirkman made, when he began the universe, actually create an ample playground for us to inform tales in.”
So how did Kirkman’s imaginative and prescient encourage the workforce at Skydance whereas creating Saints & Sinners? For one factor, the emphasis on folks could be very prevalent: for instance, we did one facet quest for a younger lady who requested us to trace down her zombified husband, put him out of his distress, and convey again his wedding ceremony ring as a memento. There’s a way of depth, character, and human emotion working by this transient plotline, and we’re hoping these grown-up themes and storylines are peppered liberally all through the entire game.
That sense of simply getting overwhelmed is unquestionably current in Saints & Sinners, too. When a zombie grabs onto your arm, you must shake your limb in real-life to try to get them off. Doing this takes just a few seconds, throughout which period one other zombie might have approached you from behind. It could be fairly demanding, not least as a result of the penalty for dying is being despatched all the way in which again to the place you began the mission at hand. You additionally lose all of your objects while you die, so you must retrace your steps with a purpose to decide up your backpack once more and regain all of the goodies inside. But when that bag is in a room filled with hungry zombies that simply killed you, you may simply select to depart it there and begin your stock once more from scratch.
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Resource administration appears to be a large half of this game, and the builders have provide you with a very cool means of stashing varied objects round your character’s physique. Your backpack is over your left shoulder, your notepad with all of your quests is in your breast pocket, your torch is in your left hip (and requires a shake to cost it up), and you may select a small weapon in your proper hip (like a handgun or a shiv) and an enormous weapon to place over your proper shoulder (like an ax or a shotgun). Managing this stuff throughout gameplay takes a bit of getting used to, however you may really feel like a complete badass as soon as you’ve got got the hold of it. Zombie approaching? Grab your ax and whack it. Taken some injury your self? Whip open your bag and pull out a bandage. Once you are in that stream, you’re feeling like you’ll be able to take the entire world on. We can see what they meant about s”tepping into The Walking Dead.”
The fight can even take a bit of getting used to, with completely different weapons requiring you to do various things together with your arms. You want to carry your ax with two arms, for instance, or its swings shall be very unwieldy. And every gun has its personal movement for reloading. You’ll wish to be choosing up ammo at any time when you’ll be able to, too, and slotting it into the related pouch in your belt. It’s quite a bit to be taught, however mastering these programs feels rewarding.
Speaking of weapons, to offer us a way of what it is like making an attempt to outlive at a later stage within the game, the devs chucked us right into a wide-open space and loaded up a horde of zombies to try to kill us. They additionally spawned a bunch of completely different weapons for us to select from, together with a really Negan-like baseball bat with metallic upgrades. We did not final all that lengthy towards this problem, however it’s good to know that there shall be an uptick in problem to push gamers to get higher as zombie-killers. You’ll have the ability to customise your weapons, too.
Having felt emboldened by recognizing the bat that appeared like a Negan nod, simply as our time with Saints & Sinners was coming to an finish, we requested Costantini if there are numerous references within the game pertaining to the broader Walking Dead world. His reply, very like our general very optimistic expertise with the demo, hit all the appropriate notes: “One thing that we wanted to make sure there was in this game was some pretty neat easter eggs hidden away that you can discover that complete a thread that sort of connects the world together. It’s all one world and one universe. So, you know, go out there, explore, and find what’s hidden.”
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners launches on January 23 for PSVR and PC VR platforms.
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