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The Walking Dead Assault Review for Android
If you were sick of seeing zombies and me together recently I would have some sympathy because this will be my 5th game review featuring the undead creatures in 6 days! Happily though things will get a tad bit lighter here compared to yesterday's Killing Floor 2 Review as we retrace our steps back to mobile devices for yet another Walking Dead game. Top down zombie fighting and amazing graphics are rolled into one as the undead hordes take over your device. You get to control Rick, Shane, Glenn, Carl and the rest of the iconic Walking Dead characters - you will unlock each one as you play so it is likely that you will get to try them all out. The stages are simple: maps filled with zombies to be killed and supply items that must be scavenged. In between, you must utilise melee and ranged weapons, activate distractions, and manage the noise level of your actions in order to get through with everyone alive. Plenty of Back Story For those of you who have not heard of the Walking Dead - I highly suggest you start reading the comics or watching the TV show (depending on your preference). But if you would rather jump straight to the game, then here is a quick recap of what is going on. The main protagonist of the story is Sheriff Rick Grimes, who, after being in a coma for quite a long time, has finally awakened. But instead of waking up and finding his wife and child waiting for him, he discovers that he has woken up to a world where the dead are rising up to feast on the living. It is one of the worst zombie apocalypse start-off points we could possibly think of, as being in a coma prevents you from taking any action that would help you gain any kind of advantage against near impossible odds. But Rick manages to survive somehow, and even gathers enough of his things to start dressing up like a sheriff again. And miraculously, Rick finds his way to a small survivor camp where his wife and son are located. And that is where the real story of The Walking Dead begins - about how a small group of survivors manage to persevere despite the danger that looms around every corner. Of course, you start out in the hospital room with rick all by his lonesome. But you will get other party members in the game soon enough. Loyal to the Comics If you have not seen any of the comics, but have been following the TV show, then you may be a little bit surprised about the visual style of this game. It makes use of cel shaded graphics for all the characters and backgrounds in a similar way to Telltale's Walking Dead Game. At the same time, there are also some images taken straight out of the comics (like the character portraits and the cut-in frames for zombie warnings). This visual approach is very similar to the that of the comics - mostly black and white, with splashes of color in the cover artwork. It is dark, solid, and very creepy, which works really well for a game with a zombie theme. From an artistic standpoint, it is a brave choice for the developers to go in this direction (whereas basing the game on the more popular TV series would have asked for a typical realistic color treatment). Cel shaded graphics are a definite fit with the mood and feel of the comics. Unlike the 5 Walking Dead episodes from Telltale Games, Assault's lack of close ups and character dialogue means that having black and white characters do not detract from the delivery of the game (it would not have worked for the other game, which is why it is cel-shaded with full colors). The backgrounds and user interface converge well to deliver a game that feels like it was lifted straight from the pages of the comics. The panels and windows for the upgrade screen, the icons used, the fonts, and overall visual layout of the screen matches well with the published material. In fact, if you open up the game and leave it on any screen, then put down your tablet right beside one of the comics, they would truly seem like part of the same set (unless your tablet is using a giant pink protective case, which would totally ruin the effect). It Sounds Right The music is subtle, rarely in focus, and mostly just hardly heard through the background -and it works. It makes the reality of the game seem a lot less distant and the presence of zombies more noticeable. What you will hear plenty of are the long slow groans that the zombies give when they shuffle around aimlessly. Regardless of how far you are from the nearest walker, the sounds of feet shuffling (and other signs of imminent danger) never appear to be truly absent. You also get interactive audio cues from the game as well. The user interface toggles switch and click depending on your actions; and of course, issuing commands to your units sets them off performing the tasks you sent them out to do. They will walk, run, reload, and shoot their way through zombies as long as you give them instructions on where to go. Taking Charge of the Team For the most part of the game, you will need to handle four different characters and get them through to the end safely. Each character is armed with a melee and ranged weapon - do note that using ranged weapons will cause noise. And noise attracts zombie hordes; that is something you will want to avoid as much as you can - fighting off the large groups of zombies is not impossible, but it will take a toll on your ammunition and also delay you from finishing your mission objectives fast enough. And practically speaking, attracting more undead never really helped anyone in any zombie related situation. By default, Rick will be your point man. Any specific instructions you give will be executed by him. However, you can also choose to move your team as a whole - this is the best way to get everyone out of tight spots or to position them in easy to defend areas. In some stages, you may want to split your team up - like set several characters to provide a defensive ambush while a faster character pulls aggro from distant zombies and draws them in carefully into the line of sight of teammates. It works for several maps, and to do that, you will need to utilise the character select button on the upper right. Press it to switch between various characters (you can also click on them on the map, but this one lets you select characters that are off screen). Combat is purely automated. Each character will have a blue range circle around them -this determines how far their attack range is. If you switch them from melee to range, the circle adjusts accordingly. Combat starts when a zombie enters the blue circle -at this point, a character will automatically start attacking the nearest zombie. If you are avoiding a confrontation, it is best to switch to melee weapons in order to prevent random shootings from your characters. The Verdict It is not hard to appreciate the Walking Dead: Assault. If you simply love zombie games, then this one certainly has enough uniqueness about it to scratch your undead itch. The graphics are constructed with care, the combat is streamlined, and the action is non-stop. For fans of the series, it will be a giant geek fest as you get to visit familiar locations, summon known characters in the group, and of course, enjoy the comic-book based visual presentation. Unfortunately Skybound removed this game from both the Playstore and Appstore last year. Instead what has come in it's place is a bunch of licensed monotonous civilisation building games based on heavy micro transactions. You can however obtain the Android apk file for the game at many mirror sites including at mob.org by clicking the link below. Download the Walking Dead Assault for Android
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