Terminal Reality's first-person survival horror shooter does have its fair share of unique features, yet even these are limited in many respects and only provide a modicum of relief in terms of overall gameplay. These unique features include the game's mix of stealth and outright fast-paced action which forces gamers to think on their feet and constantly keep a keen eye (and ear) on the situation at hand.
Additional unique features include the survivor mechanics wherein players can equip their group with weapons and send them off on tasks as well as the varied travel system that affords replayability as players can explore different paths not taken in their last playthrough.
Survival Instinct also features transitions from day to night, as certain areas can take place during different times including day, dusk and night. Night areas are shrouded by darkness, forcing players to make moderate use of their flashlight–even this can be punishing, as it often attracts hordes of walkers to your location.
The variety is nice, yet the darkness of the night levels doesn't necessarily add any fear to the gameplay–it just makes it harder to see and acts as an obstacle, adding yet another challenge to the game.
Although many of the features of Terminal Reality's zombie shooter are sub-par, it does allow you to play the game as you see fit and affords players with the ability to form strategies and tactics to survive. While these strategies can be quite limited in some respects, players can often take advantage of opportunism that's associated with actual real survival situations such as making use of nearby environments and in-game areas.
While playing the game it is easy to get overrun by zombies, so it's important to pay close attention to the screen and keep your eyes open at all times. You're not just limited to your sight–the zombies make telltale sounds which warn you of impending chomps, making sound just as important as keen eyesight. Sometimes you'll have to improvise and think on your feet–and sometimes you just get plain lucky and get off those perfect executions or grapple head-stabs. And sometimes you become zombie food.
The game's many forking paths and differing routes do afford a decent amount of replay-ability, allowing players to travel to different destinations and pick up different survivors along the way. The environments themselves don't change greatly–except for the main levels–and many times the optional areas will be recycled.
Survival Instinct also features unlockable extras when beating the game in different ways, providing distinct advantages such as more powerful melee strikes or extra ammo, giving players a reason to beat the game once again.