You will most definitely have noticed the recent influx of games that have either been based around, or had crow-barred in the rotting corpses of the Undead.
That’s right, I’m talking Zombies, everywhere you look, whether they are pushing prime time TV time, Nazi zombies, marvel zombies, the infected. It is interesting to see that after 30 years of classic George A Romero movies we are finally seeing games trickle down to capture that massively growing fan base that have been pining for each different aspect that the zombie film has thrown us since the beginning of time.
The first slow moving zombie game that had any real influence on society was of course, the original Resident Evil, with a lack of ammo, slow moving zombies and a real sense of ‘will I survive?’ This was a game changer for me; it took me from the Mario and Crash Bandicoot games to play to games really designed for with the adult gamer in mind.
Of course there have been many iterations and variations of the zombie game before the Resident Evil series, with some extremely surreal versions, such as “zombies ate my neighbours” and other classics we can say that there haven’t been too many games that really have hit the mainstream in the way they have in the last few years.
It’s true that Resident Evil have continually explored the medium to great success, but the recent supply of Zombie games for the next generation consoles may have quite simply outweighed the demand. Call of Duty; World at War started it all off once again with the side game Nazi Zombies that saw you defend a variety of locations, some costing as much as 1500 Microsoft points, from the Undead hordes.
But there have since been Dead Rising which pays a tribute to the shopping mall survival horror of the Dawn of the Dead film Romero created in 1978, although a lot of the commentary on the materialism and urbanisation of America was lost in the game, it still produced a truly enthralling piece of gaming that almost captured the fear of being stuck in close quarters with a whole bunch of flesh eating zombies.
What Dead Rising does have on the other zombie games is the way you can really use anything you can lay your hands on as a weapon to fight away the hordes.
Left 4 Dead and its successor was based on the player on the edge of survival of the Nazi Zombies kind of intensity, but lacked any real interesting features apart from shooting a range of different mutants rather than zombies, it was a hit online and many people enjoyed the story mode that it had. But why pay for the whole game when you can get a better version as an addition to Call of Duty.
The new Call of Duty: Black Ops has once again had some magical reviews, not of the game or the highly revered multiplayer, but the Zombie mode which sets you up as Nixon, Castro, JFK and McNamara as lean zombie killing machines, situated where else but in the Pentagon.
With all of these top class Zombie games that have hit the shelves in recent years, you would be surprised to hear that the trend isn’t about to subside any time soon with the game Dead Island receiving much hype since the trailer arrived, I won’t go through what the Video entails but it is a gorgeous and well edited cinematic sequence that engages you emotionally.
Set on a fictional Island during a zombie infection Dead Island is looking to be a dramatic piece, whether the game delivers the emotional intensity that the trailer has promised is another question altogether. The publishers Deep Silver have a lot to contend with and the timing of the game could prove to be a little too late with all the great zombie releases that have come and passed.
I’m a big fan of zombies in films TV and games, and with the Walking Dead about to be converted into an episodic gaming adventure by Point and Click specialists Tell Tale Games, we will have to wait with baited breath to see if Dead Island can deliver to the hype that the trailer has created.