AMC and Survios today announced The Walking Dead: Onslaught, which is billed as the first VR experience based on The Walking Dead TV show. Get ready to step into the walker, biter, please-call-them-anything-but-zombies apocalypse some time in fall 2019.
Onslaught's announcement said it features an "exclusive original story, visceral real-motion melee and ranged combat, player progression and a full campaign mode." It also "invites players to assume the roles of their favorite survivors from the TV series." It's not clear if that means Onslaught takes place during the series itself or if it will be relegated to the periods of time in between episodes and seasons.
That likely depends on AMC's involvement with the project. It's possible that Survios will be allowed to craft whatever narrative it likes for Onslaught, but it might also be left to make the television network's ideas a (virtual) reality. Having The Walking Dead involved might pique interest in Onslaught, but the game itself has to be compelling to convince people to stick around, and that's where Survios thrives.
Survios has been around since 2013. It's made numerous VR games, and we've liked the way the studio handled persistent obstacles for such titles, like it did with DJing with Electronauts, movement in Sprint Vector and melee combat in Creed: Rise to Glory. This time around it's working on two systems: a "progressive dismemberment" combat system and "grappling that feels incredibly real," a spokesperson told Tom's Hardware.
Survios did tell us that the game differs from The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, another upcoming VR game based on the popular franchise, in that Onslaught is the first to feature characters from the actual AMC TV show. The developers is banking on this giving Onslaught the competitive advantage.
What does it say about modern life that not one but two VR games promise to let you experience a seriously-we'll-go-to-any-lengths-not-to-call-them-zombies apocalypse? Eh, we'll leave that question to our therapists. The Walking Dead brand has grown from graphic novels, to a TV series, video games, board games and other merchandise. Two VR games should be able to co-exist.