The Walking Dead's TV debut put it into the upper echelon of zombie fanfare. The result of which, has led to it's success on a grand scale. Of course, one could argue that it was successful as a comic series, but a comic could never do what a TV show could. As a TV show, The Walking Dead was introduced to many people who were unaware of it. Thus, leading to it's now, massive popularity, which has pushed it's namesake into video games.
The first of which was TellTale's, which was a well written and overall good introduction as a video game. However, it lacked a key element that such a game should have, and that is full control over the main character. This is a crucial aspect of any such game, as it immerses the player into the game, rather than making them an observer. It seems developers lack the insight to understand this.
The second game was Activision's Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, a FPS walking dead, which was horrendous, on so many levels. Yet, it was marketed and priced as a AAA title. The Walking Dead namesake can only do so much, sound gamers will call it as they see it. Survival Instinct was a failed attempt at a walking dead video game. In reality, it was Activision banking on the walking dead name, to make money.
In both, looking at and playing the game, anyone can see no real effort was put into the game, as far as mechanics go. It's nothing more than a low grade generic FPS, with the walking dead name attached. At this point, neither TellTale nor Activision has created a walking dead video game, that is 100% befitting of it's name. The ideal approach to what a walking dead game should be, is essentially what I want to point out.
First and foremost, a walking dead video game should be a third-person shooter. The basis of which, allows for better interaction with the environment. It also needs to be multiplayer (2-4), which is based on the fact that there are an abundance of characters. One may say, well...what if one of the characters someone's playing with is killed, in the actual story of the game?
My response would be, the game could do something like Obscure: The Aftermath, in which, if a character that someone is playing with is killed,(which does happen) that player must pick another character to play as. The next aspect a true to walking dead video game should have, is character skills (single, i.e. one per character), much like TellTale's game. For ex. Carley was a good shot and Doug was smart. Another aspect, that is present in Obscure: The Aftermath.
Now, one might say, you want a walking dead game to be like this Obscure game, but that's not true in the least. It is only the two aspects above, due to the fact, they fit into walking dead scenarios. Characters die, new characters are introduced, and they all posses one skill or another. The skill doesn't have to even be definitive (i.e. a marksman), just the ability to use a weapon (bat, pipe, knife, etc...), is skill enough. After all, the main goal is to survive, and protect the group.
The multiplayer aspect, is as one might expect, as far as two players go, splitscreen. (horizontal of course) However, due to the number of characters, an online component should be included too, that allows for 4 player co-op. Thus, offering something for both offline (splitscreen/couch co-op) and online (those unable to play in same location and or abroad) multiplayer fans.
The game's central theme should incorporate all of the following: freedom of choice, (unlike TellTale's game) in which characters (players) can choose to separate or diverge from group, resulting in a certain event (i.e. attacked by zombies, bandits, find a survivor, supplies, etc...) a variety of weapons, ( very limited ammo for guns) with an emphasis on melee weapons and use of environment to kill or escape zombies. A limited (car/motorcyle models) variety of vehicles should be incorporated as well, as this would provide a wide range of scenarios.
Therefore, missions would be varied, from saving a member of the group, to moving to another location. Every (major) action would have an effect on the game, and each action would have at least 4 outcomes, 2 good, 2 bad. Of course, many might say, well...this would take a long time and a lot of money to make. My response, would be, it's worth it, for a proper walking dead video game!