This is The Walking Dead: No Man's Land, and yes we are referring to the highly successful AMC TV series about a group of survivors from Atlanta trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse (the show is based on a comic, but that's a wholly unrelated discussion). Anyway, No Man's Land is all about you -the player. You create your own random survivor and you get teamed up with Daryl right from the start of the game (he rescues you from Terminus). From there, you move on to base building, survivor management, and of course, killing as many walkers as possible.
Fans of the Show will be Happy
No Man's Land is a great game -it is fun to play even for players who have never seen an episode of the TV show. But there are plenty of great story elements and details that are easier to appreciate if you like the show. Locations such as the prison, Herschel's farm, Terminus, and other major locales will have a stronger atmospheric effect if you already know the context of the story behind each of these places. This is even more true with the characters -being able to get Glenn, Maggie, Rick, Michonne, Abraham, and Jesus on your team feels great if you are already familiar with the characters.
Sure, they have much better stats than survivors (even the best ones), which makes them great to have on the team. But combat functionality aside, seeing them fight side by side is nothing short of exciting as well. This is where being a fan comes in -the characters represent more than just a unit with good combat stats, they also come with their own personality, an intricate backstory, and of course, their own unique relationships with the other pre-established characters in the series. It is a whole lot of culture and content that makes this game so much deeper than it is -which is an aspect that a lot of other tie-in games fail to recognize.
Know Your Tactics
Just because the undead are a bunch of shambling corpses, it does not mean that you can win every match with sheer force and firepower. In fact, you should never expect to be able to overwhelm your enemies at any point in the game. Walkers are generally weak, but they come in droves, and knowing how to quickly dispatch them while keeping everyone's health high should be a priority in each combat situation.
Battle are turn based, and you can take your time assessing where all the resources are, the layout of the stage, the positions of the enemies, and most important of all, where the exit is located. The general idea is to grab as many resources as possible, defeat any zombies in the way, then get out of dodge. Of course, you will want to maximize your returns with each mission. So instead of just making your way to the exit and picking up stuff that’s on the path, it makes sense to strategize and determine which resources are worth going out of your way for. Second, since killing zombies earns you experience points, it makes sense to grind a little bit of that as well.
The optimum strategy is to keep your squad in a tight formation (pay attention to the different character classes), pick up all the resources, and then camp out near the exit to farm kills. This way, the herd ever comes around or you get too damaged from the enemies -getting out will be a simple matter of taking a single step backward. Sticking together is crucial since some zombies can try to incapacitate your team members and being able to help them out quick is a must (ergo, do not split up your team unless you are very confident that they can hold their own).
A lot of effort has been put into making this game. Not only is the gameplay fun and the combat solid, the visuals are also very nice. The character models for both the zombies and the survivors are nicely made and animated -there is a lot of character in each and every single one. Even the random survivors you get feel quite interesting. Of course, this amazing attention to detail really shines with the named TWD characters. They look and act like they do in the show -which is an important thing for fans of the game to be able to relate the play experience with what they see in the show.
Even the recruitment system is nicely executed. Players are able to make calls that would allow them to recruit new characters -as a basic rule of thumb, low-stat random ones should be turned away in order to maximize the limited number of slots the base can hold. And yes, you should keep the named characters in your team.
Taking the Fight Back to the Walkers
The Walking Dead: No Man's Land is not much of a horror game. Sure, there are zombies -but the primary tension comes from the combat scenarios and not the narrative. And any fan of the series would appreciate that. By the Terminus story arc, Daryl, Rick, and the rest of the characters have already survived some of the worst things that the apocalypse can throw at them -if not outright overcome and defeat whatever got in their way. These survivors from Atlanta are not a bunch of pushovers and it reflects in the game as they make their last stand against the zombies: www.zombieslaststand.com. The real question is whether your own survivor can keep up with them.