The team behind the snowbound survival-and-murder game Project Winter is turning its talents to the zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead: Betrayal, a new game in which players must work together to complete objectives, avoid the undead, and ferret out the "traitors" who for some reason are trying to get everyone killed.
The Walking Dead: Betrayal is a third-person action game for up to eight players, who find themselves stuck in the rural backwaters of Canada with no resources and a herd of walkers—The Walking Dead's term for zombies—bearing down on them. The only way to escape is to work together to scavenge resources, cook food, craft weapons, and otherwise stay ahead of the relentless shambling hordes pursuing them. Proximity chat will encourage players to stick together, while radios may enable communications between more distant locations later in the game.
But hidden amongst every group of survivors are jerks who are determined to screw things up for everyone else. These lurking troublemakers have to blend in and earn the trust of everyone else at first, but eventually all sorts of "creative possibilities" open up: They can poison food or set traps, make noise to attract groups of walkers, sabotage equipment, or just straight-up murder someone who wandered a little too far from the safety of the group. Why? Because deep down, under all the good PR we get about being "nice" and "polite," Canadians are in truth an angry, spiteful bunch. We don't really care who wins—we just want you to lose.
(I'm Canadian, so you can trust me on this.)
One upside to falling victim to a mob of zombies (or being murdered while in its vicinity) is that even though you're dead, you're not done: Players who find themselves in a deceased state will be able to take control of zombies and look for some payback.
The Walking Dead: Betrayal looks a lot like Project Winter, but with the added imperative of a mob of bloodthirsty zombies to keep everyone on their toes. I like the idea: It means players won't be able to think too much before they're forced to take action, which opens the door to all sorts of funny-when-it-happens-to-someone-else outcomes.
A release date for The Walking Dead: Betrayal hasn't been announced yet, but a closed beta is set to kick off on August 10. You can sign up for a shot at access via the TWD: Betrayal Discord server.