There was a time when I was crazy about The Walking Dead. I read the comic books and fell in love with it at the same time I started watching the television show on AMC. It hooked me in mainly because it was what everyone else was into and it was quite gripping (well, the comics at least).
As time passed, Walking Dead became so big that it spawns several adaptations and is known worldwide. Video game developer Telltale scored critical acclaim for their take on the franchise. I personally love the stories they craft with the game.
However, there are moments when I feel like the franchise is being stretched too thin. There’s going to be a new game from the Pay Day developers and a spin-off television show in addition to the main one. It certainly makes me wonder if The Walking Dead is pushing itself towards its own grave.
It’s been a while since I read The Walking Dead comic, but I know that the writing is way better than the television show. I just got to the point where I stopped and thought: “Where is this story going? Is it all about fighting zombies and humans?” While great writing and chracterization can vastly make up for a cliche plot, there’s always a need to keep things fresh in terms of direction. Maybe things have changed and I just need to get back into it, but I don’t hear about any drastic changes.
I actually think that World War Z has a more interesting plot and I would love to see it as a television show or a video game. It doesn’t even matter if they use Max Brook’s or Brad Pitt’s version. It’s a story that’s going somewhere with a plot in motion. Lost was just about people surviving on an island, but the story was building up to a larger mystery. Hopefully, the television show will decide to pursue a different direction for this whole “cure” and Eugene story arc that’s different from the comic books.
I don’t have a problem with just “surviving” because characters are at the fore front this way. It’s tough though when the characters aren’t good enough and have plenty writing flaws people pick up on.
Additionally, the spin-off makes me worry that it’ll be exactly the same as the main show even it showcases different characters and is in a new locale. However, I’ll hold my tongue for now and wait for it to come out before I pass judgment.
I have nothing but praise for Telltale’s The Walking Dead especially for its storytelling. It’s awesome for interaction fiction, but I’ll be honest that it’s nothing innovating about gameplay. This is why I’m interested to see what the next The Walking Dead game will look like. It’ll be made by the same studios behind Payday. Awesome developer, but there’s a chance the game could turn out to be a Left for Dead clone.
To be honest, The Walking Dead franchise isn’t as rich as Star Wars. The former does not own the whole zombie apocalypse landscape. The only thing unique about it is the characters and some of the variations they made to the zombie mythology. It doesn’t have lore or locales that’ll keep people invested. I feel like the gold mine of this franchise is its characters and their adaptations should largely focus on that. No one wants to see another generic zombie shooter. Activision tried and we know how that turned out.
If the folks behind The Walking Dead thinks it can survive by slapping anything with zombies with their name, then they are sadly mistaken. People will flock to other established zombie properties way better. They need to focus on what got people interested in the comic to begin with to maintain the longevity of their franchise.