At San Diego Comic Con 2018, I had an opportunity to have a conversation and hands on demo with the developer of the new Walking Dead Mobile game, Next Games. Joonas Virtanen, the marketing director walked me through this recently released AR game. Side note: we got to do the demo in the middle of AMC’s Deadquarters event which was both amazing and kinda gross (in a fun way) – I’m looking at you Janis and giant meat grinder. Gross in the show, gross in person.
But what is it?
Well, after getting my hands on it for a bit, I would say it is well worth your time to check it out. Our World is a augmented reality game where you do what you expect in a Walking Dead game, kill zombies. Think Pokemon go, but more violent. Now before you start thinking this is some kind of cheap knockoff, let me stop you and tell you that it is most certainly not. There are so many great features that I think really set this game apart from the pack. Here are a few of my favorite feature of The Walking Dead: Our World.
What I like:
#1 The combat. Fighting zombies is just plain fun and it is particularly satisfying to pop a few good head shots in a row, and yes, it does matter where you hit the zombie (as it should).
#2 Fun with others. This might be the most interesting feature of the entire game in my eyes, the social aspect. One of the great things about this type of game is the encouragement to get out and explore, but at the same time it is a very solitary experience. That is not the case in this game. You are encouraged to join a group and work together to complete challenges, chat with friends, and save survivors.
Next Games really wants this to be a social experience and I think they have accomplished that. Players need to work together to build safe houses and populate them with survivors that you rescue. If you don’t fortify your safe house enough, the zombies will take over. Something tells me that won’t be a problem in San Diego given all the people dropping safe houses around.
#3 The Map. Something you don’t really think much about with the AR genre of games is the map that your character wanders, but in this game it is really well done. Using Google maps to build the world gives a level of detail that is very impressive. It isn’t just a flat, bland world you are walking, this world is populated with depth and buildings and feels more like you are playing in the city you are actually in.
#4 But are you playing in your city? The social nature of the game encourages everyone to join a group. Well, one of the perks to that is a member of your group can drop a flare down and you can travel to it to fight. I killed zombies in London next to Big Ben and next to the Great Pyramid of Giza, all while in San Diego. It is a really smart feature and helps to address a major issue I have with these types of games, what you do it you live in the middle of nowhere? Or just don’t feel like walking. You follow a flare and go fight somewhere else. Well done.
What I didn’t like:
Honestly, not much. I really enjoyed the demo and have been playing it ever since and there have been no shortage of zombies around me. I also really enjoy the customization and leveling up aspect of this game. There is an energy system in this game that you need to use to fight each encounter. I haven’t had any issues running even close to low however. Maybe that becomes an issue down the road or depending on location. They appear to give you enough so that you can keep your game going.
I have been having a blast with this game and have literally been playing it since I got to try it out. Me and Michonne have been cutting through zombies with ease and saving so many people along the way. I’m very curious to see what other features they bring down the road, I heard the words PVP thrown around! Do yourself a favor and download this game, join my group and visit my zombie safe house!