The Walking Dead

For the past few months, I’ve been reading The Walking Dead, an intense black-and-white comic by Image. I’ve been catching up, really (and still have a few trade issues to read, so I need to get over to the comic shop…), in preparation for what will quite possibly be my next new favorite show. Premiering in October will be The Walking Dead, a series developed by the AMC network.

The show seems to be true to the comic in characterization and promises to deliver plenty of the bleak, what-the-fuck nature that the comic engenders. This is achieved through an exceptional amount of zombie action. If you haven’t realized it by now, pretty much my favorite genre of movie is disaster film, and my favorite genre of disaster is of course the zombie apocalypse.

One of the greatest things about the comic is the way it begins. Robert Kirkman’s story shows two cops in a shootout with some crazy person, and the protagonist–whose name is Rick–is shot. Nearly dead, he’s taken to the hospital. The scene cuts from Rick passing out from being shot to waking up alone in a hospital bed, having lost a considerable amount of weight. When he comes to, he tries to call for help, but no one is around. Eventually he musters the strength to get dressed and leave his room, and the world he finds around him is all but lost, with the dead roaming around and no one in sight. The story progresses from there.

I wish they would develop a video game series based on this comic as well. I liked the Resident Evil series when it first came out, but the game became far too difficult to manipulate the controls, as well as too formulaic based on the PS2 scene-change engine. I found myself wishing the game were a bit more immersive with a movable 3rd-person camera, or an option for 1st person movement, as opposed to the standard.

Then Left4Dead came out and while they fixed the control-motion issues, and even though it is an intense game and has multiplayer features allowing players to use humans or zombies, I find that the game lacks an engaging story element. I mean there is no story really. The game counts on the fact that you’re going to FPS-fight zombies, and there are several scenarios that can be engaged with your friends online. Fun, but loses its appeal after you complete each of the scenarios a couple of times, not to mention there’s no real intrigue.

If Bioware or one of the big names came out with the story of The Walking Dead with possible off-shoots for the main quest involving things not already in the main storyline, making the world free-roaming (at your own peril, of course), while utilizing controls similar to Valve’s Left4Dead, and allowing for DLC, then you’d have an immersive story-based zombie game with a lot of action and an incredible amount of replay value.

But, until someone develops such a game, it will be nice enough to see this series premiere in October.