Baldur’s Gate 3, Alan Wake 2, Dave the Diver, Diablo 4, Sea of Stars, Starfield, Resident Evil 4 Remake – 2023 is and continues to be one of the best years for PC gamers in recent memory. Yet it hasn’t been without its struggles. Redfall fell short of expectations, but was outpaced by the likes of Lord of the Rings: Gollum and Skull Island: Rise of Kong, both of which are duking it out at the bottom of the barrel to be crowned 2023’s worst game. Now, however, a new challenger enters the fray – The Walking Dead: Destinies.
The Walking Dead: Destinies comes from publishing house GameMill Entertainment, the same studio that recently brought us Skull Island: Rise of Kong. Once again, the powerhouse license at its back opens up the potential for greatness, yet it seems unlikely that The Walking Dead: Destinies will be shambling its way onto any lists of the best zombie games any time soon.
The pitch certainly sounds interesting. The Walking Dead: Destinies tasks you to “Change the course of The Walking Dead history.” Following in the footsteps of Rick Grimes throughout several sections of the hit AMC series, you’ll have to decide whether you make the same decisions Rick did in the show, or change his fate and those of his friends and foes. You’ll have to sneak and fight your way through the Walkers, and scavenge for ammo and resources to stay alive. Unfortunately, the reality is proving rather underwhelming.
Released on consoles on Friday, November 17, The Walking Dead Destinies Steam release date is set for a Friday, December 1 launch, yet it seems unlikely those two weeks will be enough to tackle the myriad problems displayed in videos that have already surfaced online.
Let me be clear right now: I take little pleasure in seeing bad games. The Walking Dead is a hugely successful and beloved franchise, and the idea of having the chance to see how different choices might have played out in that world is a fantastic concept.
As seen in the video above from YouTuber ‘MKIceAndFire,’ The Walking Dead: Destinies at launch is a passably competent, if somewhat underwhelming, third-person action-adventure game, but one marred with bugs, glitches, and production values far below what you’d hope for from such a long-standing and successful franchise.
Cutscenes are simple, static shots with half-hearted voiceovers, the dialogue is stiff and unremarkable, many of the animations leave the characters looking rather out of sorts, and key members of the team are absent altogether. While there are 13 playable characters that include the likes of Rick, Shane, Michonne, Daryl, and Carol, neither Andrea nor Amy make the cut – despite the fact that the game covers stories such as Woodbury where they were crucial players.
Numerous people on Reddit report that they are unable to pass a key boss fight in the game when choosing one of the two paths to take, forcing them down the other option. Video creator MKIceAndFire notes, “I played this on PS5 first but I got a game-breaking bug after a few hours so I restarted the game on Xbox Series X.”
The above video opens with a sequence showing characters walking side-by-side. It looks fairly standard until you realize that Hershel (on the far left) is missing his prosthetic leg, yet seems perfectly capable of walking normally as though it were still present. Just ahead at the 2:10 mark, Merle is seen wearing an eyepatch, which then promptly disappears only to return moments later.
It’s all a bit of a sad situation, really. Telltale’s The Walking Dead games remain the high bar for the series, despite themselves being rather clunky on the gameplay side – it was never really the focus there, after all. Other than that, the only notable success has been the virtual reality game The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. With how beloved games such as The Last of Us, Dead Island 2, and State of Decay 2 are, there’s plenty of potential for The Walking Dead to find a seat at the table. Destinies seems unlikely to be the game to take it, however.
The Walking Dead Destinies launches Friday, December 1 on Steam. You can wishlist it, if the initial response hasn’t yet put you off.
Cleanse your palate with the best PC games you can play in 2023. If you’re looking for something new to keep you busy, you might fancy browsing the best free Steam games, where you’ll find plenty of fantastic experiences that you won’t even have to pay for.
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