The Walking Dead – No Man’s Land

The Walking Dead No Man's Land

The Walking Dead No Man’s Land

I love videogames, but I’m not really into playing them on phones, since their screens are usually small and the controls for mobile games are generally terrible. That’s probably why it has taken me so long to download No Man’s Land, the official Walking Dead mobile game. I finally broke down though, and decided to try it.

No Man’s Land is fun, so I could see how obsessive gamers who delight in micromanaging characters and camps could get addicted to it, however I’m far from hooked. Part of my middling sentiment comes from its controls (which aren’t great) and the other part comes from the type of game it is (not one of my favorites). Is No Man’s Land worth your time? Here’s a breakdown of the game in greater detail so you can decide.

Story: There’s not much story from what I can tell so far other than the game’s setup. You control a group of three survivors who escape from Terminus and are rescued by Daryl Dixon in the process. Daryl becomes your guide, telling you where to go next or encouraging you to undertake missions through dialogue boxes. Missions involve you killing walkers to acquire items or points you can use toward them. Once you complete all the missions for a particular area you can move on to new ones.

Graphics: The graphics for cutscenes in the game are amazing. If you told me a few years ago that mobile games could achieve these visuals without killing your phone’s battery I would have never believed you. During regular gameplay though, graphics are just okay, particularly on loading screens and when the game zooms out to a wider view during missions.

Controls: You tap items on screen with your fingers, and move characters by dragging your fingers across the screen. This element of the game is especially frustrating. Sometimes the game is under-responsive to your tapping, while other times it is over-responsive. Plus, dragging your finger across the screen in even slightly the wrong direction, can move your character in such a way that they could accidentally finish a turn and be sitting ducks to get damaged by walkers.

Game Type: It’s somewhere between an RPG and a strategy game. During a mission, battles take place in a turn format, where you are limited to a number of moves per turn, and zombies have the opportunity to fight back while you’re waiting for the next turn. When you’re between missions, you have a camp with various areas where you can build things, train characters, and work toward upgrades. You can change who is in your party and you can also adjust the armor and items that they use.

Is it Worth Your Time?: So in the end, is No Man’s Land worth it? Depends on the type of gamer you are. If you get easily addicted to performing repetitive missions and you love micromanaging characters to build them up, then yeah, you’ll probably dig the game. If you prefer something more story-driven with better controls and more challenging puzzles, then you’re better off checking out Telltale’s episodic Walking Dead games on console or PC. Those games are much more fascinating since the decisions you make can affect the entire course of your game. Look out for posts on those in the future too.

No Man’s Land is available for iPhone in the App Store and on Android on the Google Play. 

Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16: Last Day on Earth

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I had a number of big things going on which made it difficult to maintain this site on top of my film writing and my podcast, so I had to step away for a while. Now that everything has calmed down a bit though, I’ve decided to resurrect Blogging Dead. Plus, after I saw the explosive and divisive Walking Dead Season 6 finale, there was no way I could just sit back without saying anything.

Big changes are coming to the site (mainly in how recaps are structured), but I’ll catch you up on those and tell you more about what I’ve been doing in an upcoming post. For now, let’s just talk about the Season 6 finale.

As usual there are spoilers ahead, so don’t read on unless you’ve already seen it.

The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16: Last Day on Earth

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16

In the entire time I’ve been a fan of the show, I’ve never been as on edge about a character’s fate as I was after the previous episode “East.” Seeing Daryl get shot in the final moment of the episode was so nerve-wracking that I had to rewind it at least three times to make sure he wasn’t dead. So going into the finale I was already anxious about that. I became even more frightened though due to a wild theory I developed that Rick might die. This theory was mainly based on an interview with Andrew Lincoln where he mentioned staying up all night after reading the finale’s script, a fuzzy screenshot featuring Negan’s baseball bat Lucille with a person wearing a white t-shirt in the background, and Rick’s new romance with Michonne. Killing him off would be daring and really change the show’s dynamic.

On top of those worries, the finale itself was an exercise in tension. Between the situation happening with Carol, and the one with Rick and his crew, I was scared for everyone. I spent the entire time clutching my fiancée’s hand tightly, ready to pee my pants long before Negan uttered his famous line about doing so, thanks to Greg Nicotero’s masterful direction. When Negan finally made his debut in the episode’s final minutes, he was amazing. Jeffrey Dean Morgan knocked his big scene out of the park, to use a baseball metaphor. One thing Scott M. Gimple and his writing team did not knock out of the park though, was the episode’s ending.

After building up tension to a volcanic peak, the season ended on a bullshit note with a first person shot of an unknown character getting their brains bashed in by Negan. On Talking Dead, Gimple said his reason for doing so was because this character’s death marked the end of one arc and the beginning of another one next season, but that’s not only baloney, it’s just unfair to do to your audience following that level of build up. Sure he cited other television shows that have done cliffhanger finales, although those situations pale in comparison to this one. Showing who died would have just as much impact, if not more because you’d be left wondering how things could continue.

Now that I’ve properly vented, let’s talk theories about who died. I’ve heard a few like, Glenn because that’s how it goes down in the comics, Eugene because he was finally starting to find his way, Sacha because Abraham would lose it, or Rosita because it would be a blow to the Alexandrian army she has been training. I plan to rewatch the finale again to come up with a rock solid theory, but here are the two most promising ones I’ve heard.

Abraham

The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

“Last Day on Earth” was a big episode for Abraham. He expressed the desire to have a child with Sacha, he made up with Eugene, and he refused to be intimidated by Negan, sitting up straight to look at him. When Negan swings Lucille and declares that whoever it is took it like a champ, Abraham might be the only one who could take a beating like that without dying on the first blow.

Daryl

The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The episode’s other first person shots were of Daryl or someone else in the van covered in a hood. Also, Norman Reedus now has a motorcycle show on AMC which would probably conflict with shooting the Walking Dead. Plus, he’s the only cast member who has said publicly that he knows who died and it’s “gut wrenching.” Finally, Daryl is one of the only characters not in the comic so killing him on the show would be a game changer.

Until I re-review the episode, my money is on Abraham, because I just don’t see how they could kill Daryl without a fan revolt.

Who do you think died in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16? Take the poll below or leave a comment with your thoughts and theories.

Dear Diary: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10 (Inmates)

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers.

At the start of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10 (Inmates) I had no idea who Beth was addressing. I wasn’t sure if she was talking in her head, to the audience, or maybe even aloud to her dead mother as a form of therapy. I felt dumb though once I realized she was rereading pages from her diary. The show’s writers use these entries in a fascinating and memorable way to contrast her hopefulness when she was at the prison with her despair now that she and Daryl are separated from everyone else.

Even through all the terrible things that have happened, Beth is still optimistic that they will reunite with the others and get back on track. But not Daryl. It’s shocking to see how despondent he has become. For the first time ever, I wanted to kick him when he says to Beth “Faith ain’t done shit for us. Sure as hell didn’t do nothin’ for your father.” What a low blow, assy thing to say to her so soon after Hershel’s death. It’s his guilt over this statement that probably allows her to convince Daryl they should track down other survivors from the prison. So at least a positive comes from it.

One of the odd things about this episode is that everything seems to happen out of order chronologically. Most of the people seem to be in the same places, like the prison bus in the middle of the road or the train tracks, but at different times. I think the show’s writers are telling us that the timing just isn’t right for a reunion yet. However it’s pretty annoying that they come crossing paths without bumping into each other.

There are some pretty fantastic surprises in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10 that make up for the lack of that major reunion though. First, we find out that Judith is alive (phew), with Tyreese, Lizzie, and her sister all stumbling in the woods together. Lizzie shows us more of her crazy side by almost smothering Judith, which isn’t all that that unexpected. Then we see the return of Carol, something I didn’t suspect would happen so soon. She casually lies to Tyreese about her whereabouts since he still doesn’t know about her transgressions. It works and they walk away down the tracks.

Another unexpected revelation involves Maggie’s group where we discover that Bob has completely changed his attitude because he’s alive. Pretty drastic turnaround. Probably the craziest reveal happens after Glenn wakes up at the prison. He mourns, gathers his stuff, and throws on his riot gear (good plan), before reluctantly joining forces with Tara. They start traveling, but Glenn collapses quickly from exhaustion providing the perfect opportunity for new character introduction right at the end of the episode. Tada! Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita from the comics have arrived with sassy line to close things out.

That brings us to this week’s poll directed toward fans of The Walking Dead comics: Were you happy that Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita joined the show?

Showdown at the Prison: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 (Too Far Gone)

Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8

Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 (Too Far Gone) will make you want to yell at your screen for lots of reasons. In the episode’s opening you’ll want to scream because The Governor feeds his troops the infuriating baloney that people from the prison are murderers who destroyed his old camp. The Governor also claims that he can take the prison without killing anyone. No effing way, you manipulative prick! You want to holler again during this speech, since the scene flashes back to him knocking Michonne unconscious and capturing Hershel at gunpoint.

A couple of people try to talk The Governor out of attacking the prison, including Lilly, and poor Hershel who makes a heartbreaking appeal for his daughters’ lives. However Hershel’s words only elicit a shitty consolation, “You’re a better man than Rick, Hershel.” Even though you know that The Governor won’t listen to reason, you still hope desperately that he’ll change his mind. Because he won’t, you feel like shouting at him.

Back at the prison, Daryl finally finds out what Carol did, although he doesn’t believe Rick at first. The two of them track down Tyreese to break the news, but before they can tell him, they discover a dissected rat. Is it Lizzy’s? We don’t get a chance to find out because a tank blast announces The Governor’s arrival with his army. After that you’ll make a ton of noise due to all the insane events that occur.

First, you’ll struggle not to chastise Lilly for awful parenting while her lazy supervision allows Meghan to get bitten by a buried walker. Then you’ll want to smack The Governor for insisting that Rick negotiates with him, even though Rick has stepped down from his leadership role. Tears will come to your eyes when The Governor decapitates Hershel with Michonne’s sword and when Rick discovers that his baby could be dead. I made the most noise though when Daryl gets pinned down by shooting. Because the scene cuts away from Daryl while a zombie’s attacking, you’re worried that he has bought the farm. Thankfully he continues his badass streak by shielding himself with a biter, before he tosses a hand grenade into the tank’s barrel.

As much as you’ll cheer for Daryl, you will probably applaud even louder after Michonne stabs The Governor and Lilly shoots him. Michonne is much nicer to The Governor in the show than in the Walking Dead comics. She shows him no mercy there, but then again, he does more horrific things to her in the comics. Miraculously, most of the people make out of the prison alive, including Tyreese who is rescued by children?! Unfortunately everyone gets scattered to the wind, including a very injured Rick and his son Carl, who stumble away without looking back.

What do you think is next for our heroes? Were you satisfied by the end of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8? And this week’s poll: Do you think The Governor got off too easy?

Talk it Out: The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4

Melissa McBride and Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4

Melissa McBride and Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4

An alternate title for The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4 (Indifference) could be “Everyone Stops Feeling Sorry for Themselves,” since the entire thing is a series of conversations where individual characters realize they’ve been stupidly dwelling in their own issues. By watching these people talk it out with others, we’re privileged to witness the remarkable moments of clarity that they each achieve.

The episode’s opening is slightly ominous as we see Carol conversing with Lizzie through glass before she and Rick depart on an emergency supply run. This dialogue gives us a window into Lizzie’s mental instability, when the girl admits that she’s fine with dying because “at least she gets to come back.” Maybe another hint that she was feeding the walkers? For a moment you’re feeling inspired while Carol gives Lizzie a pep talk about staying strong and fighting, but that’s short lived. The wind gets knocked right out of your sails after Carol says in the most cold-blooded way, “Don’t call me Mom.”

From there, The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4 alternates between two search parties: The Daryl/Michonne camp and the Rick/Carol one. Both narratives have unique events, however the characters follow similar emotional arcs.

Daryl and Michonne pal around in a cute way, especially when he teases her “Stay in one place more than a couple of hours, [you’d] be surprised what you pick up.” Almost seems like the show’s writers are setting them up for romance. Any Daryl/Michonne shippers out there? There have to be.

On the other hand, Tyreese acts like a real pain in the ass for that group, lagging behind, whining, and being dumb about chopping the vines with zombies behind them. Thankfully Michonne straightens him out, “Anger makes you stupid. Stupid makes you dead.” In the process of chastising Tyreese though, you can see on her face, that she decides to give up hunting The Governor for the same reasons.

Also during this portion of the episode, you find out that Bob Stookey has a drinking problem because he’s a “witness” to destruction. It’s awesome how Daryl supports Bob by reminding him that he’s not on his own anymore. It’s less awesome when Daryl has to get in Bob’s face later on though, after his pursuit of booze almost gets them all killed. The group’s mission is successful, but you’re left wondering if they’ll get back to the prison in time to actually save lives.

Rick and Carol get some much needed time to chat during their outing as well. Carol seems really intent to justify herself about burning Karen and Dave, which you can tell makes Rick uncomfortable. He really doesn’t want to talk about it, yet she keeps pushing the issue and eventually Rick is forced into a decision. After their depressing cul de sac supply run, Rick shocks us by sending Carol packing. He knows that Tyreese will never forgive her for what she’s done and her presence will cause more trouble than they need at the prison.

Talk about a bombshell. Didn’t see that coming. Did you think Rick would make Carol go like that? Tell me your thoughts and be sure to take this week’s poll: Did Rick do the right thing by forcing Carol to leave?

Tyreese Comes Out Swinging: The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4

Until now Tyreese has been a level-headed character. However at the start of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3 (Infected), he does a complete 180. After discovering his smoldering dead girlfriend, he comes out swinging. Was she torched as a walker? Or murdered? Tyreese doesn’t care. He just puts Daryl in a choke hold and punches Rick. I’m glad to see Tyreese becoming more nuanced like he is in the Walking Dead comics, but I wish his development would happen under less depressing circumstances.

Despite Tyreese’s grief-stricken state, Rick doesn’t take kindly to sucker punches, and loses his shit. He goes full-on crazy, turning self-defense into a total beat down. I can’t blame Rick for returning blows, because I would too, except I’d exercise more restraint. If you know about Rick and Tyreese’s epic entanglement from the Walking Dead comics, you’ll be pumped to watch this episode’s brawl, even though the show’s reasons for their fight are less complex.

Later on in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3, Tyreese comes out swinging again, this time with his hammer. When he, Daryl, Michonne, and Bob Stookey accidentally drive into an enormous herd of walkers, their car gets trapped on a hill of zombies, forcing them to fight their way out. Tyreese stays to take on a swarm singlehandedly, which seems like a sacrificial play if you haven’t read the Walking Dead comics. Using a situation similar to one in the comics, the show’s writers have Tyreese channel his rage into walker-killing superpowers. Like the Rage Mode from Doom, Tyreese angrily and rapidly destroys his foes, leaving him exhausted, yet alive.

Back at the prison, everyone left there tries to combat the mystery illness killing people off. Even Glenn and Sacha catch it, leaving us devastated. Get well soon guys! Most uninfected prefer quarantine to stem the illness, while their friends search for supplies. Although Hershel is willing to put his life on the line to help. Once again he thrives as the show’s emotional anchor, especially when he delivers one of his famous knock you on your ass powerful speeches about risking your life for what’s important. Aw snap, Rick and Maggie, you got served!

Following this season’s theme of answering a previous episode’s questions while raising new ones, we learn that Carol burned Karen and Dave. Now that Rick knows about she did, we’re all left wondering, is there anything he’s going to do about it?

This week’s poll: If you were in Rick’s position, would you tell anyone it was Carol who torched Karen and Dave?

Are you happy with Tyreese’s character development? And if you were Rick, would you have fought back against him? Click here to leave me a comment.

How did the kid get sick in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1?

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. 

During The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1, one of the kids living in the prison mysteriously became ill. There are a couple of potential causes for his sudden sickness that you can identify during the episode, so…