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Even though The Walking Dead comic has exploded in popularity, resulting in award winning games and the hit AMC TV show, no one was expecting The Walking Dead: Assault to even exist when it first hit iOS at the end of last year. But just as it is with Telltale's Walking Dead adventure game, Assault manages to be a unique and refreshing take on zombies in video games, which is a feat in itself.
This is a squad based tactical strategy game based specifically on the comic. Robert Kirkman's world is brought as faithfully to life as possible, keeping the black and white palette as well as the original character designs of series artists Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. Not to sound like a hipster, but I really did read the comic before it blew up and became popular, and touches like this are really nice to see.
You control a squad, comprised of pretty much any and every notable character in the comic, starting with the basics like Rick, Shane, Glenn, and Andrea, before eventually reaching the likes of Michonne and others. You play through adapted segments of comic story arcs. Using an isometric view and a fully controllable camera, you'll navigate the cities killing walkers. Enemies, collectibles, and other notable objects are highlighted in bright colors, contrasting against the colorless background in a neat way.
Each member of your party has a gun, melee weapon, and special ability. Specials range from better accuracy to faster reloads to extra stealth to using Glenn like the decoy he hates to be. In every level, a cool element from the world is present. You have to watch your noise levels by using melee weapons when appropriate, or risk attracting a massive herd, one of the omnipresent threats of the comic.
Once you complete a level's objective, you'll get new characters, unlock bonus trivia from the comic and show, and even unlock cool wallpapers to save to your device. Supplies you pick up are spent on characters and upgrades. This game is full of neat touches like that. For another example, your fallen party members will eventually get back up as extra tough walkers for you to put down. It can be frustrating controlling an entire party effectively, and the camera can get in the way during frantic moments, but all in all, this is a great zombie game that offers some unique situations, and loads of fan service for fans of the comic and world. Well worth it for the three dollar asking price.