New Walking Dead game turns TV show’s tragic death into a hilarious video game boss fight

A new video game based on AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series gives players the power to change how the show’s biggest moments play out. That includes the ability to alter a critical death scene from season 2, in which Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) kills his former friend Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), reversing their fortunes.

In The Walking Dead TV series, that moment was handled with appropriate gravitas. Shane had been unraveling over the course of the season, as he and Rick butted heads over many moral decisions. Shane had become unpredictable and aggressive in the second season, his anger fueled by jealousy toward Rick and an obsession with Rick’s wife Lori. Everything comes to a head in the episode “Better Angels,” where Shane plans to murder Rick, but winds up stabbed in the chest instead.

The Walking Dead: Destinies offers a different outcome — one in which Shane and Rick fight in an arena loaded with weapons, ammunition, and a … collectible radio? Also Shane blasts Rick in the face with a shotgun at point-blank range no less than 20 (TWENTY!) times. All the while, they’re dodge-rolling, grabbing ammo and healing items, and dropping quips. Oh yeah, there’s also a big old prompt that reads “Kill your friend.” Amazing.

But really, it’s the fact that Rick just stands stone-faced while eating buckshot that makes The Walking Dead: Destinies’ version of this confrontation so funny.

[embedded content]

Please note that video game Rick does an “I’m watching you” double finger point right before Shane unloads a shell into Rick’s left temple, which makes this moment even funnier. After the two men have unloaded round after round in each other, they decide to have a melee battle: crowbar vs. ax. But it’s ultimately the simple knife that does Rick in. And just like the TV series, the loser becomes a “walker,” with Shane liberating Rick’s brains from his skull instead of vice versa.

YouTube channel MKIceAndFire has a pretty comprehensive rundown of the game’s choices, boss fights, and endings. The latter includes a big variation on the finale of the fourth season of The Walking Dead, with all sorts of amusing twists: Carol defeating The Governor’s tank with little more than an assault rifle; Merle becoming a version of The Governor; Shane leading the group to Pyrrhic victory at the prison; and Glenn being beheaded by The Governor, using Michonne’s katana to do so. It all looks pretty janky, but also highly entertaining.

The Walking Dead: Destinies is out now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. A PC release, via Steam, is coming Dec. 1, alongside physical editions for PlayStation and Xbox consoles.