When The Walking Dead: Last Mile was announced back in March, it was hard to picture exactly how the upcoming game would work. And with the game launching today, it's time to scrub up on your knowledge!


Last Mile was pitched as "a massively interactive live event” that would take place across Facebook Watch and Facebook Gaming, both of which are free services that all Facebook users can access. But what does that actually mean?

Now, having attended an online presentation about the game, RadioTimes.com understands The Walking Dead: Last Mile a lot better than we did before. We’ve got the feeling that it could be a revolutionary gaming event - if it takes off and finds an audience, that is.

A unique mix between a gaming experience and a television show, The Walking Dead: Last Mile will give players/viewers a lot of different activities to take part in, with the decisions and actions of the players irrevocably altering the direction of the overarching narrative. Put simply, the community will influence how the characters act, even going so far as to impact who lives and who dies.

Taking place in a previously-unseen corner of The Walking Dead universe, Last Mile is set in an isolated community in Alaska that has never been explored in the comics, games or TV shows before. There are a couple of different factions of survivors here, each with access to different resources, but their fates are yet to be decided.

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Last Mile, the new Walking Dead game.
You'll get to impact how major story beats play out in The Walking Dead: Last Mile. Skybound

This blank slate allows for bold storytelling, empowering the developers from Robert Kirkman’s Skybound company (along with partners from Genvid, Pipeworks and Cyber Group Studios) to create scenarios with lots of room for player agency. And whatever the players decide to do will become official Walking Dead canon, which sounds pretty cool on paper.

In reality, though, what will you actually get to do in Last Mile? During the event, we learned that there will be a few different minigames for players to access at launch: playing as your own character, you can fight off walkers in on-rail shooting segments; you can interact with characters from the main narrative; or you can even go fishing if you want something more chill. There will be an array of quests to take part in, as well.

All of these activities will allow you to earn Influence Points, which will come in very handy when it’s time to influence the larger story. Over the four-month period that Last Mile is live, there will be a series of live events where players will get to vote (using their Influence Points) on what should happen in the latest story segment, to such an extent that the developers literally don’t know which characters will make it out of each cut-scene alive.

The Walking Dead: Last Mile will even have its own after-show of sorts, with Yvette Nicole Brown and Felicia Day hosting a series of live streams where they’ll discuss the fallout of all the players' decisions. These streams will be interactive, too, we’re told, again blending the barrier between gaming experiences and television viewing.

All of this sounds incredibly interesting. Revolutionary, even. Who wouldn’t want to, essentially, take control of a TV show and decide the story beats? Imagine, for example, if we’d got to vote on who Negan should’ve killed in that classic TWD cliffhanger. We can't think of another major franchise that has offered fan input on this scale before.

And in another cool twist, if your character becomes a big enough player in the Alaskan community, you might even see them in cut-scenes that players around the world are watching. Your own custom character would be part of the official Walking Dead canon, which is surely the stuff of fans’ dreams.

The success of this, to our mind, hinges on one big thing. We’re sure there will be technical challenges behind the scenes, and the writers will surely have a tricky time keeping up with the player decisions, but the biggest hurdle will be this: Last Mile needs to find an audience in order for the whole experience to work.

We’re really hoping that it does. This could be a fascinating experiment and a sign of things to come at the intersection between TV and games. Better yet, the game is totally free and you can play it without having to download anything, so there’s no excuse for skipping it!

The Walking Dead: Last Mile begins tonight (11th July) with a live stream at midnight kicking off a four-week prologue. Look for the stream on Facebook Watch and the game on Facebook Gaming.

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