Geek Zone Exclusive – Dead Nation
Well lookie here. Another post. Don’t get too excited. This could very well be just another flash in the pan for all I know. In any case I decided to stick with this theme of getting back to my roots and present you all with some good old-fashioned zombie goodness. What better way to officially christen my aptly title GEEK ZONE.
This little gem came into my possession as a result of the infamous Playstation Network Hack a few months ago. No I didn’t illegally download it or circumvent anything. I’m flattered you’d think that but I’m not nearly skilled enough to do anything like that. No, this wonderful little game came as a compensatory gift from Sony during their Welcome Back Program. For those unfamiliar with the whole matter, the condensed version is Sony’s game and music network was hacked and some shifty nameless people gained access to a lot of personal data. The network was shut down for a month and change and kiddies (big and small) across the world very very angry. As a gesture of good faith for the inconvenience it caused (and to brush over the whole intrusion incident) they announced a Welcome Back program that would give all registered PSN users 2 free game downloads.
Needless to say I pounced on that like a fat man at a chinese buffet.
For some odd reason (I have no idea why) I was immediately attracted to the title of this game and the fact that it had a picture of a dude with shades blowing a pussbag’s head off. So I said why not. It’s free, right? I’ll start by saying it’s not a groundbreaking game. It doesn’t have stellar CG cut screens or dramatic dialogue. In fact their cut screens are pieces of artwork. The gameplay however is kind of funky. It’s a two stick directional shooter where you, a survivor of a zombie outbreak who is immune to the disease, fight through hordes of ravenous zombies tying to uncover the mystery of Patient Zero. I had a feeling I would like this game just based on the fact I gave out a Patient Zero Award here on WordPress many moons ago. Although the controls are painfully simplistic I must say that the gameplay is slightly addictive. Firstly the actual graphics are pretty tight. Although the game camera is always at an arial view, the level of detail in the zombies and settings are quite impressive for such a small game. The lighting and fog effects are also unnerving at certain points as well. It pays very close attention to lighting detail to the point where if you accidentally (or purposefully) destroy light sources you get plunged into very creepy scenarios where you only have your flashlight to guide you.
While some zombie purists may take exception to this, the game does introduce some special new types of undead. The majority of the game you deal with your typical slow plodding ones but every so often you get to match wits with Runners, Mouths, Jumpers and the utterly hilarious Bombies! They add an interesting dynamic to the whole zombie apocalypse theme making it great kill’em all fun.
The game’s greatest aspect is the chaos that ensues in each zone. It takes me back to the days of old Arcade shooters like Gauntlet. Is anybody even old enough to remember going to arcades? I liken the madness in this game to one of my most favorite arcade games Smash TV. Dead Nation takes the concept of being overwhelmed to a whole new level. There’s nothing quite like getting surrounded by literally hundreds of zombies and having to fight your way out. It’s totally unbelievable and outrageous but insanely fun. There’s something profoundly therapeutic about mowing down a field of brain chompers with a sub machine gun after a stressful day. It’s an easy game to learn how to play but can be incredibly hard to complete especially on higher difficulties.
As if that isn’t enough it has online co-op capabilities where you and your buddies can wreak as much havoc and mayhem as you want. There’s even an online meta game that tracks your country of origin’s progress versus the zombie epidemic against other countries. All in all it’s one of the best game downloads I ever got my hands on and definitely a crowd pleaser for zombie fan boys and girls out there.
Dead Nation is Geek Zone Approved!