From what has been said on the gameplay and premise, it sounds intuitive and fun, especially the emphasis on visceral hand-to-hand combat. One thing that wasn’t mentioned was the actual interaction between characters, and the element of survival, both of which were focal points in the trailer. Never before have the two come together in perfect tandem, at least not in the current stream of zombie-affiliated video games. Maybe it’s just not practical? Maybe it’s just not what gamer want to play?
Here is a brief list of what’s on the market, and how they have dodged the grips of realism, yet have still flourished into magnificent games.
Though fantastic, the Dead Space games tend to focus on a strictly linear design, with jump-scares sprinkled generously throughout. They’re engaging and action-packed, though the characters are forgettable with no real bond between them, the game is centred on the beliefs of Unitology, the emergence of the Necromorphs, and the various locations in which they inhabit.
Capcom’s comic zombie caper is probably the biggest winner when it comes to the survival element. With huge open worlds and so much variety in terms of weapon-choice, it has a strange sense of authenticity, though instead of survival, Dead Rising soon turns into a platform for wacky experimentation, with little focus on the severity of a zombie outbreak.
Left 4 Dead
Similar to Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead has a definite comic twist, it’s trump card being fast and frantic team-based gameplay. The characters are like-able, and there is an actual sense of realism too; you will find yourself conserving ammunition, deploy team tactics and even shelter/hide from the infected hordes. However, the experience feels far too gameplay-orientated to leave any emotional impact.
The best example for character development, Resident Evil is the biggest name in the zombie genre. The first three instalments of the series are unforgettable, not only featuring a cast of memorable protagonists but also villains. With that said, it can be argued that the over-arching plot has been somewhat diluted in recent years. Though titles such as Umbrella Chronicles have strengthened the foundations of the series, Resident Evil 4 & 5 have ditched the conventional zombie formula, in favour of other fictional viruses.
Despite all of the criticisms made above, all are great franchises; I just wanted to indicate that not even the industry giants have been successful in creating a game which depicts not only the horrors of a zombie outbreak but the emotional impact on the characters, and a more detailed outline of their survival plans.
In the second part of this article I will attempt to piece together what would be, in my opinion, the most realistic and gripping way of putting together a zombie game, whilst also trying to preserve the fun factor.