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Nov 29

Nov 29

Terminal Reality’s The Walking Dead: Norman Reedus is Daryl Dixon

Drew Haworth's Avatar Posted by Creative Director, Terminal Reality

SPOILER ALERT: Be warned, there are spoilers for seasons 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead TV show in this post, so if you haven’t watched them, steer clear!

When we first decided that The Walking Dead videogame would be built around a single-player action-adventure prequel to AMC’s insanely popular series, there’s only one character that checked every “must have” slot. We needed somebody who was rugged and capable of surviving alone in the ruins of civilization, but also sympathetic to the needs of others in a world where it only makes sense to help yourself. We needed a protagonist who is tough enough to take on a swarm of raging walkers, but smart enough to know that there are probably safer alternatives. Finally, we wanted a fan-favorite character who you can’t wait to learn more about.

The Walking Dead - Norman Reedus

Photo by Scott Garfield/AMC

Welcome to the stand, Mr. Daryl Dixon. Really, who else would you want to play as in The Walking Dead? We’ve spent a lot of time with Daryl recently, really getting to know him. We’ve reviewed every scrap of his series footage, pored over interviews, and most importantly, gotten insight and guidance—but still no Season 3 spoilers–from the ultimate authority, actor Norman Reedus.

It’s been surprising for some of us to dive deeper into a character we thought we knew from the show. Did you know that even though Daryl has pulled a gun (and crossbow, and knife) more times than you can count, the only living person he’s actually killed is Dale, in a very clear-cut mercy killing? That’s the kind of attribute we’re interested in exposing beneath the leather-tough exterior.

I traveled to Atlanta recently with our Audio Director Kyle Richards in order to work with Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on the show. He recorded Daryl’s in-game dialogue during a pair of recording sessions. We’re big fans of the series, but once you work with an actor in the flesh you really get to know him. Norman is super-cool, generous, and a real joy to work with. And man, does that guy deliver! He gets the scene, the line, and what you’re going for instantly and then doubles down on it, effortlessly ‘Darylizing’ lines for maximum punch. He’s the kind of actor that really makes writers look good. When you finally hear the lines you’ve been shaping and reshaping in your head for months spoken in that voice – and sounding way better than you even hoped? Well, that makes for a pretty good day. And he really got into the game, which is especially gratifying.

Kyle, our audio director, wanted to chime in here as well:

“Norman’s a badass. One second you’re talking to this cool, laid-back guy, and then he clears his throat, and there’s Daryl, larger than life. You’re suddenly checking your back to make sure walkers aren’t creeping up on you. This is actually the first video game he’s ever worked on, but you’d think he’d been doing it for years! Also, he has excellent taste in motorcycles.”

Our goal is to shape Daryl authentically, chronicling everything that happens to him from the initial Wildfire Global Outbreak until he joins with Rick Grimes’ group at that quarry near Atlanta. And on the way, we’ll reveal a couple of our own interesting backstory surprises that fans haven’t already gleaned from the series.

The Walking Dead - Michael Rooker

Photo by Scott Garfield/AMC

As a bonus, we get to recreate that original dark blot of violence on mankind, Merle Dixon. The relationship between the Dixon brothers is complicated, to say the least. We get to illustrate from Daryl’s point of view the conflict created when the toughest, most capable-of-surviving-zombie-apocalypse person you know is also the most volatile, uncontainable force of nature left on the planet. Also: he’s your older brother. All fun all the time!

What I find fascinating about AMC’s The Walking Dead is the way that they’ve been able to take an epic, global story and focus it on the human equation. The main story arc involves the outbreak of walkers, but the show is really about morality and the choices people are forced to make in unusual circumstances. How far would you go to protect your family? Is life still worth living and protecting? Who do you trust and how much is that trust worth? These are all questions that drive the story and while there is a visceral thrill in watching the interaction with the walkers, there is an emotional connection with the characters that really forms the heart of the show.

We’re really looking forward to letting everyone see how we’ve taken our appreciation for the series (and Daryl in particular) and turned it into an interactive experience. Players will have the opportunity to meet some interesting characters and have a hand in deciding their fate.

Oh, and there are some really cool zombies.

Add Your Own

xaos said:

November 29th, 12:18 pm

Nice, Daryl is unquestionably a great choice; Norman Reedus’ own description of Daryl as a “wet coyote” seems pretty apt and seems like it should lend itself to some good story and gameplay possibilities. Looking forward to it!

whyaskdouknow said:

November 29th, 12:21 pm


tacotaskforce said:

November 29th, 12:38 pm

So I assume this is no longer a first-person shooter then? I guess the popularity of Telltale’s game caused you to go back to the drawing board.

    Drew Haworth's Avatar

    Angel Gonzalez said:

    November 29th, 2:08 pm

    Nope, nothing’s changed as far as our original design. Gameplay is still first person.


November 29th, 12:38 pm

Correction ” chronicling everything that happens to him from the initial Wildfire Global Outbreak until he joins with Rick Grimes’ group at that quarry near Atlanta.”

Daryl doesn’t join Rick’s group. That group was headed by Shane. Rick joined Shane and Daryl’s group.

Also, when are we going to finally see this game? It’s a little worrying that we’ve known about the existence of this game for so long and we have seen nothing.

    Drew Haworth's Avatar

    Angel Gonzalez said:

    November 29th, 2:09 pm

    We’re just getting ready to show some things so keep an eye out next month!

SuPerGaMiNg101 said:

November 29th, 1:12 pm

I hated Daryl up until season 2, so I’m genuinely curious how I’ll feel about him in a story placed before I liked him. And might we be expecting a story trailer anytime in the near future?

tacotaskforce said:

November 29th, 2:22 pm

A first-person action-adventure? Well that’s different. Hopefully gunplay isn’t a major part of the game’s interactivity.

hulkrock said:

November 29th, 2:39 pm

Cool, I am looking forward to more info on the game.

Nick930930 said:

November 29th, 2:44 pm

Please for the love of God, FOCUS ON STEALTH.

This game can not be another hack-n-slash zombie killer game. It needs to be a first person stealth game with an emphasis on survival.

If you want this to be successful, it needs to be LONG, have MULTIPLE PATHS for replay, OPEN WORLD like Farcry3, emphasis on STEALTH, and have a GOOD story.

Please avoid multiplayer, avoid perks, avoid explosions, avoid anything that the big games are doing if you want this to be good.

Nick930930 said:

November 29th, 2:44 pm

If you keep to those guidelines, you can make a game as successful as Bioshock. Emphasis on atmosphere NOT GUNPLAY.

Nick930930 said:

November 29th, 2:47 pm

Take pointers from Dead Island. It had fun gameplay, but it’s story sucked and it was a dry and dull experience. Emphasis on atmosphere is soooo key.

Satnamji said:

November 29th, 3:04 pm

Until I read this, as far as I was concerned, TellTale’s The Walking Dead game was the only one worth considering. Now I’m officially intrigued and looking forward to hearing more details about this game.

Busca-Cabezas said:

November 29th, 3:23 pm

I’m patiently waiting…

Rukahz said:

November 29th, 4:17 pm

this will be a sick game as ever i’m also fan of walking dead, but question Angel Gonzalez, i wonder if it could be possible to add option where we can choose turn on 3rd person or 1st and other question i have will there be option where we can change controller botton config. ? as myself i am one handed and i know there alot ppl out there like me

blakseed said:

November 29th, 5:57 pm

Even tough it’s Activision, I’m looking forward to this game. Please, please, please treat us right.

joostin said:

November 30th, 12:13 am

I hope the gameplay is a lot like “I Am Alive”. That game was all morality; “Should I help this group or leave them high and dry?…If I help I may have to use my last 3 bullets, but they could help me in return.”

If it is anything like that with zombies and Daryl!!…I am in day 1.

Zhi13 said:

November 30th, 6:03 am

This series is awesome! Can’t wait how the game turns out! Daryl FTW!

Stryden said:

November 30th, 12:29 pm

Sounds like a cool idea, but your suppose to be working on another Ghostbusters game… Grrr

JUGGALO414 said:

November 30th, 12:29 pm

Great… Another potentially good game ruined by being a first person shooter because we all know there aren’t enough FPS games out there… Let me know when you actually do something original… Or good…

SpooNManX said:

November 30th, 4:28 pm

Love the show and the TTG game. I want to be excited about this, but why aren’t we getting so much as a real screenshot? That worries me a bit.

The developer is very capable though so that’s reassuring, but give us an in-game screen! :)

dizeeStL said:

December 1st, 3:07 pm

Cant wait to play The Walking Call of Duty. Will be cool sending in airstrikes and UAVs after a zombie horde jumps me. Maybe we can have the same game released in 2014 too but with different maps

thanks activision!

dizeeStL said:

December 1st, 3:10 pm

LOL @20 how are they capable? they made kinect star wars, ghostbusters the game (which was awful on PS3 btw so thats another thing to look foward to as we will get another crappy 360 port) and a bunch of other shovelware.

want a good walking dead game? support telltale

want a good apocalyptic game? buy the last of us

they are not showing any footage for a reason, the games gonna be a bust just like all the new bond games activision puts out now.

SpooNManX said:

December 1st, 9:25 pm

What was wrong with Ghostbusters on the PS3?
I enjoyed it.

Judging a game that hasn’t been released yet? Try an open mind and give these guys a chance.

Do you think everything Naughty Dog has made has been a winner? If so, I recommend you give
Way of the Warrior for the 3DO a spin!

KookieMeow said:

December 1st, 11:47 pm

I’m excited to see what you bring us, I hope you don’t disappoint. I’m not too fond of the first-person shooter idea since I thought it would have too much gun fights like Call of Duty but if you focus on stealth then I’ll be quite pleased. Perhaps we can get to use Daryl’s trademark crossbow and pick up some new weapons that he doesn’t usually use?

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