Walking Dead: Destinies Review – Licensed Catastrophe

Navigating the apocalypse of atrocious game design.

The Walking Dead: Destinies Review
Overall
1
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

The Walking Dead: Destinies is an incredibly disheartening journey into mediocrity and frustration, and I cannot recommend it to anyone.

Pros

  • Gunplay Is Decent

Cons

  • Inconsequential Choices
  • Repetitive
  • Subpar Visuals
  • Technical Issues
  • Ridiculous Price Tag

Developed by Flux Games and published by GameMill Entertainment, The Walking Dead: Destinies presents an ambitious premise, allowing players to reshape the destinies of their beloved characters from The Walking Dead franchise.

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: Flux Games
  • Publisher: GameMill Entertainment
  • Release Date: November 17, 2023
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4
  • Game Length: 5 Hours
  • Time Played: 8 Hours
Editors Note: The reviewer played through the entire game once, and even put a few extra hours into a second playthrough to come to their final conclusion.

However, as we dive deeper, it becomes clear that any ambition the team might have stepped out with has become infected and rotten to the core, delivering something that cannot be cured. Join us as we dissect this morbid concoction, assessing how badly it got lost in undead shadows.

Story And Setting

The Walking Dead Destinies Review Story and Setting
Story. (Image by eXputer)

Despite having the potential for an engaging narrative within its rich universe, I believe this game falls short of delivering a compelling plot or a captivating setting.

It covers the TV series’s first three and a half seasons and promised me an opportunity to alter the course of events by making key decisions at pivotal moments. This promise of choosing destinies and influencing character fates is an intriguing concept, especially for fans invested in the show’s plot.

However, its conceptual foundation fails to live up to its potential, resulting in an experience that feels disjointed and lacks meaningful consequences.

The illusion of agency in shaping the story is shattered, and the consequences of player choices are disappointingly superficial.

While the game touts its ability to make impactful decisions, these choices often prove illusory. Major events from the television series unfold regardless of player decisions, leading to a chronicle that feels predetermined.

The illusion of agency in shaping its overall story is shattered, and the majority of the consequences of my choices are disappointingly superficial. This lack of depth diminishes the overall impact of storytelling, leaving me with a sense of unfulfilled potential.

One of the central hooks of Destinies that interested me was the idea that NPCs could die or live based on my decisions. However, this fails to translate into an experience that feels dynamic, and the presence of characters seems arbitrary, lacking any emotional weight or consequences that such decisions should carry.

Despite covering significant events from the TV series, all aspects feel rushed and lack the depth necessary to explore The Walking Dead universe and its intricacies fully.

Cutscenes lack emotional depth
Cutscenes Lack Emotional Depth. (Image Captured by eXputer)

Crucial sequences are skipped or abbreviated, which left me with a sense of frustration. Pacing issues also contribute to an experience that feels more like a summary of the TV series than an immersive narrative venture.

Its reliance on still images and voiceovers for cutscenes results in a lackluster presentation. The voice acting is embarrassing and detracts from the immersion and emotional engagement this title desperately needs. Cutscenes, instead of enhancing the narration, become awkward and stilted, further disconnecting players.

Altering destinies and reshaping the story had huge potential to breathe new life into The Walking Dead universe. Unfortunately, Destinies misses its mark, failing to capitalize on its unique selling points. Its narrative lacks the depth, emotional resonance, and agency I wanted out of it.

Gameplay

The Walking Dead Destinies Review Gameplay
Gameplay. (Image Credits: eXputer)

I don’t say this with enthusiasm, but The Walking Dead: Destinies is a disheartening journey into mediocrity and frustration. Its gameplay mechanics and design leave much to be desired. It attempts to blend stealth and combat in its linear missions, but unfortunately, both aspects of gameplay suffer from significant flaws.

Its fundamental mechanics, such as movement and combat controls, feel awkward and unrefined. Characters exhibit a notable lack of dynamism, and the overall responsiveness of the controls is frustratingly subpar. This lack of fluidity contributes to an overall sense of clunkiness during moment-to-moment gameplay.

Melee combat, a central component of the game, is hindered by an overly restrictive stamina system. Even on the default difficulty setting, players can find themselves grappling with a stamina bar that depletes rapidly with each attack.

This design choice forces one to adopt a hit-and-run strategy, disrupting the flow of my gameplay and introducing an unnecessary level of frustration. Melee combat became a tedious affair as I had to continuously wait for stamina to recharge between each encounter, detracting from the overall enjoyment.

Stealth kills, a staple in this genre, are marred by prompts that appear at irregular angles, disrupting the intended flow of gameplay.

Stealth mechanics, another pillar of gameplay, suffer from a myriad of bugs and inconsistencies. Enemy detection is unreliable, with foes either spotting the player when they shouldn’t or failing to notice their presence when they logically should.

Takedowns, a staple in this genre, are marred by prompts that appear at irregular angles, disrupting the intended flow of gameplay. Bugs further exacerbate the stealth experience, diminishing any sense of satisfaction in successfully navigating or eliminating threats undetected.

Destinies’ overall design also contributes to a sense of repetitiveness. I often found myself navigating linear levels with little room for exploration or strategic decision-making. Objectives typically involve progressing from one point to another, dispatching a set number of enemies, and surviving.

Inconsistent enemy AI
Inconsistent enemy AI. (Image Captured by eXputer)

Lack of variety in mission design also diminishes the potential for engaging gameplay experiences, contributing to a feeling of monotony throughout their entirety.

Enemy AI, whether human or undead, exhibited erratic behavior throughout my playthrough, frequently breaking immersion. Human enemies may spot players too easily, while the undead exhibit predictable and easily exploitable patterns.

The Walking Dead: Destinies is a disheartening journey into mediocrity and frustration.

Difficulty scaling is implemented in a manner that feels artificial, with challenges often arising from overwhelming enemy numbers rather than thoughtful design. This approach failed to deliver a satisfying gameplay experience, instead making me more and more frustrated if anything.

Visuals And Performance

The Walking Dead Destinies Review Visuals
Visuals. (Image By eXputer)

Environments in The Walking Dead: Destinies suffer from a lack of visual diversity and detail. Their settings, whether urban or rural, lack depth and intricacy expected in contemporary game design.

I consistently saw low-resolution textures resembling those found in games from previous console generations. This deficiency becomes particularly pronounced when compared with the visual standards set by other titles released in 2023.

Furthermore, environmental elements lack interactivity, contributing to a sense of static and lifeless surroundings. A glaring absence of dynamic elements within every environment diminishes the overall immersion, preventing players from feeling fully engaged with the game’s post-apocalyptic setting.

Visuals often come across as bland and uninspired, failing to evoke the atmospheric tension associated with the source material

While it attempts to capture the grim and gritty aesthetic of The Walking Dead universe, its execution lacks finesse. Visuals often come across as bland and uninspired, failing to evoke any atmospheric tension associated with the source material.

A subdued color palette, while appropriate for its post-apocalyptic setting, lacks the nuance and visual storytelling I’ve seen in more accomplished games.

Another glaring issue I noticed is the subpar quality of character models. Character designs, particularly facial features, lack the detail expected in a modern game. An attempt to capture the likenesses of iconic characters falls flat, with characters like Rick Grimes appearing more like caricatures than faithful representations.

Weird Character Models
Weird Character Models. (Image Credits: eXputer)

Animations further exacerbate the visual woes. Character movements are characterized by an awkward and often glitchy quality. Choppy animations contribute to a lack of immersion, preventing players from fully connecting with the characters and their unfolding narrative. 

Technical performance also leaves much to be desired. I frequently encountered performance issues, including frame rate drops and stuttering during gameplay, severely disrupting its flow.

Moreover, In my experience, this title is plagued by various glitches, ranging from minor visual anomalies to more severe bugs that can impede progress. Instances of characters getting stuck in environments or disappearing entirely are not uncommon, highlighting a lack of polish in the development process.

This title is plagued by various glitches, ranging from minor visual anomalies to more severe bugs that can impede progress.

On consoles, particularly the PlayStation 5, many performance issues persist. It fails to leverage the capabilities of modern hardware, delivering a visual experience that feels outdated and out of place on current-gen systems.

I saw that load times, an aspect often improved with advanced hardware, remain longer than expected, contributing to a sense of frustration for players eager to engage with it.

Verdict

The Walking Dead Destinies Review Verdict
Verdict. (Captured By eXputer)

In conclusion, The Walking Dead: Destinies attempts to breathe new life into the iconic franchise by offering players the chance to alter the course of its narrative. Unfortunately, it falters in execution, with lackluster gameplay mechanics, uninspiring visuals, and narrative choices that ultimately feel inconsequential.

Despite its ambitious premise, Destinies struggles to deliver an engaging experience, leaving players with a lackluster and forgettable journey through the iconic franchise’s undead-infested world.

This has been our The Walking Dead: Destinies review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles. 

This is box title
Get This Game
You like watching car crashes, because then there is some value in this game.
Dont Get This Game
You value your hard-earned money and time.
Do I Need To Get This Game
This game has no discernible audience, not even the most die-hard Walking Dead fans. So no, you should not but the game.
Alternative Games
  • Dead Rising
  • State of Decay
  • 7 Days to Die
  • Dayz
  • The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
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Asad Ahmad is a Games Reviewer on eXputer who’s combined his passion for writing and gaming into a sweet blend of content for his audience to enjoy. He started off his gaming journey in the RTS genre but settled on RPGs like Skyrim as his go-to games. Asad has a substantial amount of writing experience in reviewing and writing for games, which is backed up by his extensive gaming library on Steam.

Experience: 2+ Years

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