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Walking Dead Wiki
Walking Dead Wiki

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a first-person shooter video game based on AMC's The Walking Dead. The game was developed by Terminal Reality and published by Activision. It has been released on March 19, 2013 in North America, March 21, 2013 in Australia, March 27, 2013 in New Zealand, and March 22, 2013 in Europe.

The game acts as a prequel to the TV series revolving around Daryl Dixon and his brother Merle on a haunting, unforgiving quest to make their way to the supposed safety of Atlanta. Players will control Daryl as they attempt to avoid detection from zombies that hunt using sight, sound, and smell and will choose between fighting them or using stealth to avoid detection. According to Activision, "No place is truly safe for Daryl as he makes his way through the Georgia countryside in this new, post-apocalyptic world."

Supplies will be scarce and players will need to carefully manage rations, ammunition and supplies as they make their way through the game. Daryl will encounter a slew of other characters along the way that can help or hurt him. Whether or not these characters accompany Daryl is completely up to the player and represents just some of the major decisions that will constantly be made while fighting to survive.[1]


Will Dixon, father of Daryl and Merle, Jess Collins and Buck went out for a hunting trip in Cabot Ridge. However, the hunting trip went awry when Buck and Will are killed by zombies with the latter being shot out of mercy by Jess. Daryl and Jess return to their hunting cabin and gather their remaining supplies and leave. Their first objective is to go to Fontana and get Merle.

First, they stop at Sedalia to pick up some fuel for the journey further. In the town, they optionally recruit Jimmy Blake and Warren Bedford and managed to collect fuel and other supplies. They go to either location, Garwater or Pemberton to find their truck to be malfunctioning and forced to find a new vehicle. In Garwater, Daryl finds Albert Lee, who is gathering the remaining survivors, and asks for any vehicle to spare. Albert instead points a vehicle owned by a ranger and Daryl gets the keys for the Ranger's car. In Pemberton, Daryl meets up with the Sheriff, John Ed Turner who request Daryl to check up on his deputies in the nearby motel in exchange of a police car. In either case, Daryl manages to get the vehicle, but finds that Jess turned due to being bitten back at Cabot Ridge, forcing Daryl to mercy kill his uncle.

Daryl soon arrives at Fontana to search for his brother, only to find the town filled with sniper fire and car alarms. He find a group of scavengers led by Anna Turner who request Daryl to find their other scavenger, Mia, in exchange for the goods they have. However, Daryl finds out that Anna and her friend Noah left the premises due to Noah's wounds and instead left the keys of a car, much to Daryl's ire. He gets to the police station and finds that the sniper is his brother Merle, and proceeds to get him leave the rooftop.

Reunited, the brothers go to either Cleburne or Oakview to gather medicine for Merle. In Cleburne, Daryl investigates an infested hospital; he find Noah, who was taken there by Anna to treat his wounds. Daryl learns that there is a doctor in the hospital who is trying to find the cure and is using Noah as a test subject. Daryl either leaves the scientist be and takes the medicine, or rescues Noah, who gives him some medicine in exchange. In Oakview, the brothers find a local lumber mill turned into rescue center, but it is overrun by Walkers and the guards in the area are on alert as their camp was sabotaged by an unknown assailant. Daryl meet one of the survivors, Mike Swenson, who in exchange for traveling with Daryl's group gives the medicine to Daryl. However, the Oakview incident left the military to patrol for the unknown assailants. Paranoid, Merle decide to ditch the car and ask Daryl to find a different car in Taggart. Daryl finds a lone survivor, Charlene Wilson, and in exchange of a new car, he collects her cat from her house.

After grabbing Merle's medicine, they head to Barksdale to go to Jake's, Merle's former biker gang. However, they see a herd of walkers heading there and are forced to to stop in Lemon's Hill in order to impede the herd. Merle comes up a plan to use the fireworks from the town's festival and uses it to blow up the church and a gas station to not only kill the zombies but to distract the herd from reaching Barksdale. The brothers then arrive at Barksdale, and Merle tells Daryl to stay at his place while he goes to Jake's alone. Daryl disobeys and goes to Jake's anyway, where he learns that Merle wanted to return to Jake's not only for his drug stash, but to take revenge on the gang for getting him arrested. Merle chases after the gang and gets separated from Daryl. Daryl recovers his equipment that was stolen by the gang and rescues Anna Turner.

Daryl's next destination is Sherwood, where the evacuation is taking place. He either takes the Lafferty-Polksville path or Archer Creek-Danvers path. In the Laffertry-Polksville path, he and Anna scavenge Laffertry and encounter Noah again. Depending on Daryl's previous choice, Noah can either join Daryl's group or refuses to do so and is killed by walkers. They also witness the military cleaning up the area. On the way, they arrive at Polksville, where they hear military chatter about supplies in the train yard. They scavenge the place and attempt to get rescue by a nearby helicopter, but are chase away by a walker horde, and Daryl manages to escape thanks to Merle. To Anna's shock, the radio is revealed to be not working where Daryl fell off the ladder in Polksville.

In the Archer Creek-Danvers path, they are blocked by some cars in Archer Creek and had to move the cars to proceed. In the process, they find a small community there, who are defending on their own. The snipers of the community help Daryl to pass through their community by switching on the breaker of the gate. However, the unblocked cars allow the walkers to pass through, forcing Daryl to assist Archer Creek in its defense. After the skirmish, the community allow Daryl to go, but not before informing him that they have sent a scout group in Danvers, rumored to have a cure for the sickness. Daryl arrives in Danvers and investigates the area to find the scout group killed and the lone survivor Sheila, who informs him that the cure wasn't made. They leave the area and head to Sherwood.

In Sherwood, Anna and Daryl get separated as she joins her father instead of following the evacuation. Daryl decides to find more information of the evacuation and talks to two survivors in the neighborhood, Terry Harrison and Jane Carroll. It is revealed that Aiden Carroll is supposed to help signal the evacuation in the area. While Aiden manages to signal an evacuation helicopter, it forcibly takes him and leaves the area prematurely. Meanwhile, walkers attack both Harrison and Carroll houses, and Daryl has a choice to rescue either Harrison or Carroll. In either case, Daryl's group leave for Firesign Stadium, where the evacuation is taking place.

However, they find the stadium overrun by walkers, and the survivors are separated in the process. Daryl traverses the infested stadium to find an evacuation helicopter. He manages to find one and defends it from a large walker horde. Merle arrives with a Humvee; Daryl man's the vehicle's machine gun to finish off the rest of the walkers. After the battle, Merle prevents Daryl from entering the helicopter, as the pilot has been bitten and is likely to crash the helicopter, killing them in the process. Soon after, Daryl and Merle leave the stadium together and continue surviving.



The game is played from a first-person perspective to limit the players view of the environment and the walkers to create a sense of fear. There will also be multiple choices available. In one playthrough, you may go to one city but in another you may take the country side route, which can help the player finding more supplies and survivors, depending.

The player controls Daryl Dixon. You can use several weapons and tactics to deal with walkers. You can use melee weapons, firearms and Daryl Dixon's signature weapon: the crossbow. The player can also be sneaky. If a zombie is distracted and Daryl approaches silently without being detected, the player may execute a walker in order to maintain cover.


Walkers can smell, hear and see the player. They are also created using a random generator so there will rarely be two of the exact same walker model at the same time. A lone walker is not much of a threat, but more of them can be a great hazard to the player. The walkers can only be killed by extremely forceful blows to the head, e.g. a bullet shot from a gun or a sledgehammer. Walkers tend to kill in one bite, or simply flail about until the player somehow stops breathing. The player is discouraged from fighting multiple walkers at once and is instead recommended to avoid them at all costs.


There are many survivors featured in the game, most of them not seen before. The player can recruit survivors to his group during the game. The player may also choose to send them on missions to scavenge for supplies. They may be killed during their search, meaning you lose the survivor and whatever they are carrying with them. Other NPCs can be found such as police officers. All survivors thoughout the game don't try to fight.


Supplies are very important on the game. You can heal yourself and your group members with sports drinks and meal packages, you can use fuel to explore different ways on the game and find random loot. Supplies are randomly spawned, which makes each play through different.

Distraction Items[]

Distraction items are used to distract walkers. These are often bottles or flares. Throwing these items far away will attract the attention of nearby walkers, and will generally draw them all into one spot. This tactic is especially useful in stealth-based situations.


The game was in development since late 2011 or early 2012, and then went gold on March 4, 2013.

Merle Dixon thingy

On the left is the first gameplay, the right is the final build of the game.

It was developed by Terminal Reality (Blood Rayne, Ghostbusters) and published by Activision. The game was first announced July 6, 2012. The first gameplay was shown on December 24, 2012. The first gameplay had a bad reception mainly due to the lacking quality of the visuals. The game released on March 19th (US), March 21st (AUS) March 22nd (EU IE) and March 27th (NZ).


Reception for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct was particularly poor. Reviewers main concerns were the level design, poor graphics, and broken gameplay mechanics. The title was labeled among reviewers as a "Cash Grab".

Platform GameRankings Metacritic
PlayStation 3 33.3% 34
Xbox 360 35.3% 32
PC (Windows) 32.6% 38
Wii U 30.5% 41


This is a list of Downloadable Content released for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.
Note: Some content may not be available for certain consoles.



Behind the Scenes[]


The following is a list of all obtainable Achievements and trophies in the game.


Main article: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct credits




  • If you pre-ordered The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct at GameStop, you would receive 2 exclusive DLCs called "Herd Mode" and the "Walker Execution Pack" as well as a "Walker Ear keychain". With the Walker Execution Pack, you will gain access to the following exclusive weapons:
    • Survival Knife
    • Saw-toothed Machete
    • Kukri Knife
    • Reinforced Hatchet
    • Advanced Machete
  • Candace Jenner, Edwin JennerAndrea, and Amy Harrison are the only characters from the TV series who are mentioned in the game other than the Dixons.
  • The game was originally set for release on March 26th, 2013, but was changed to March 19, 2013 for unknown reasons.
  • The Wii U version of The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is not available in Australia due to low demand.
  • Characters that you cannot recruit, but only talk to briefly, will not help you even if you are being attacked right next to them. The walkers will also not attack them when close to them.
  • It has been said, especially during the AMA on Reddit, that Robert Kirkman didn't enjoy Survival Instinct, and basically all around hates it.
  • The plot of The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is referenced in The Walking Dead: Onslaught.
    • The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is the first canonical game where Daryl Dixon is a playable character with the second being The Walking Dead: Onslaught.


External Links[]