About The Walking Dead Onslaught
The Walking Dead: Onslaught is a single player, Zombie shooter game developed by Survios. It’s the official VR game adaptation of the beloved Walking Dead series. Available on the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, PlayStation VR and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The game is rated for players aged 18+
Game Languages: English
Game Length: Approximately 5 - 7 hours
Download Size: Approximately 10 GB (disc space required)
The Walking Dead Onslaught invites players to assume the roles of their favourite survivors from the TV series. They must struggle against the relentless walker threat while confronting the horrors and humanity of this apocalyptic world. With an exclusive original story, visceral real-motion melee and ranged combat, player progression and a full campaign mode.
As part of your training, you go through the process of setting up movement preferences. There are three types to choose from depending on your play style. There’s the common ‘Teleport’: a point-and-click mechanic for those who like to quickly retreat to safety when the going gets tough. This is the most comfortable option. ‘Fluid’ in which you use arm-swinging motions to move - ideal for those who like a bit of exercise. For those confident in VR, there’s ‘Smooth’ locomotion, enabling you to walk forward at a set speed, or engage Sprint to move faster. In this mode, you can also side-strafe.
In regards to turning, you also have three options to choose from. Again, this depends on your play style. ‘Swift’ and ‘Snap’ turns being the obvious choice for those with strong stomachs. Not my cup of tea, to be totally honest with you. ‘Smooth’ is a better option for those who prefer fluid, seamless rotation.
Once you’re happy with how you get from A to B, it’s on to learning how to collect items, pick up weapons and open doors. Then, you’re introduced to various combat styles: a variety of melee attacks and, of course, firearms.
The Walkers look as you’d expect - blood-stained shirts, rotting flesh, missing arms... you know, typical zombies. They’re pretty easy to kill: A couple of whacks with the l wrench does the job. The best close range weapon though is the hunting knife: simply grab a Walker around the neck and drive your blade into its skull. The pistol is also an option should you want to keep your distance, however, it takes three headshots to bring a Walker down. The knife ended up being my weapon of choice, since otherwise I’d find myself pretty quickly in a tight corner with an empty chamber, totally surrounded by zombies.
The game runs really well, and so it should! There’s nothing much aesthetically or graphically complicated to render. More on that in a moment.
The Walking Dead Onslaught is split into two parts. Players can experience an original Campaign story playing as Daryl Dixon. Alternatively, they can take on the roles of Rick, Carol or Michonne, to undertake scavenger runs to rebuild the city of Alexandria. The more resources you obtain, the more you’ll be able to upgrade the city’s buildings, ultimately altering the way that Alexandria looks. Upgrades also provide you with access to skills and other perks to increase your fighting abilities.
These scavenger runs are the backbone of the game. For a little added realism, the runs are all timed as the shuffling zombie horde catches up to you. Unfortunately, this means that you never really get to explore your environment - or what little there is of it, anyway. Even if you do decide to fight, you can’t actually do anything. Your character just ends up standing there motionless, health gradually draining away.
The Walking Dead Onslaught, fully installed is only 10.9 GB. So I wasn’t expecting much in the way of visuals, and boy was I right! The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners comes in at 32 GB and Arizona Sunshine is just shy of 26 GB. The most detailed and beautifully textured VR game, certainly as of 2020, is Half-Life: Alyx, with 66 GB. Even a title like Arktika.1, a game released three years ago, is still far more cosmetically advanced than The Walking Dead: Onslaught.
In terms of graphics, the closest comparison I can make is Left 4 Dead - a zombie game released twelve years ago!! Everything from the trees to the forest floor looks incredibly basic. Everything static is made of simple polygons, mapped with incredibly pared back textures - there aren’t even bump maps. You can’t interact with objects in the environment, such as physically picking something up and taking a closer look using the grip controller function. Almost everything is fixed in place, apart from the items you collect during scavenger hunts. I couldn’t see any evidence of real effort going into the aesthetics.
Sadly The Walking Dead Onslaught was a complete flop for me. It’s a shame really, I had such high expectations. I feel that given another 6 months, the game could’ve been much better. Admittedly shooting Zombies is always fun...but that’s about it!
“Chez. What did you think of it?”
|Chez: “It’s a joke to be honest, a complete joke. I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead and I was really looking forward to this game.”|
“Map, your opinions on The Walking Dead Onslaught please”
|MAP: “I’m off to the pub mate, does that say enough for you?”|
“Bougy, your feedback please”
|Bougy: “Oh yeah, that. I haven’t had time to play it yet. Mind you after looking at the reviews on Steam, I don’t think I’ll waste my time.”|
|"So that’s what the guys thought of The Walking Dead Onslaught. Now onto my thoughts and final verdict…"|
I’d like to start off by mentioning some statements made by Survios. On July 22nd 2020 they posted an update on Steam. Let me quote their main points:
Given this, it’s pretty obvious that The Walking Dead: Onslaught still required a lot of post-release work...Umm, that didn’t go according to plan then! The real joke, and I’m sure many gamers out there would agree, was when Survios announced that they were removing co-op! “We made the decision to remove the cooperative mode in favour of going all-in to build the best possible single-player experience". Ha! The proof is in the pudding, I say.
Onto my main thoughts. My main gripe was how repetitive the gameplay was. Onslaught is incredibly linear, and doesn’t allow you to properly explore the environment. Beyond this, it’s mundane and visually primitive. The NPCs are motionless, with wooden facial expressions. The developers didn’t do themselves any favours by adding the extra nail in the coffin with the removal of co-op. I’d guess that they realised including co-op would significantly delay their planned launch date, so they decided to just bin it instead of taking the time to make Onslaught good. This was a big mistake in my opinion - co-op would have added some much needed appeal.
Maybe the updates the developers have announced will bring some much needed life to this undead game. But frankly, I’ll never find out. I have better things to do than playing games like this.
The Walking Dead: Onslaught is £24 - grossly overpriced, in my opinion. I reckon it’s worth about £10 at most. The game is repetitive with basic game mechanics and has no depth. I guess the amateurish graphics and textures do have one upside: Onslaught will run adequately well on a GTX 970, although a GTX 1080 is recommended.
Looking back, I did have a gut feeling that Onslaught wouldn't end-up being all it was cracked-up to be as it was up for pre-order. Damn! I should've trusted my instincts. The developers must have known it was going to be a flop, I mean come on.
As I sit here writing this, I flicked over to Steam just to see what others are saying about Onslaught. Everything I read seems to mirror my own experience. All I see are red thumbs down.
To sum it up, The Walking Dead: Onslaught is a drooling attempt at reviving the horror of the original series and comic. What we really need is something as impressive as Valve's best selling Zombie game Left 4 Dead, a title which most gamers consider as nothing less than a masterpiece. We can only hope Valve steps in with a VR adaptation of L4D in the not too distant future.
What were your impressions of The Walking Dead: Onslaught? Have I been too negative about the game? Whatever your opinions, we’d love to see them in the comments section below...
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