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Author Topic: Where did they go wrong?  (Read 1786 times)

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« on: September 27, 2009, 12:09:47 pm »

So, just something I've been thinking about lately, but where do I feel other zombie games have gone wrong?

For something as ubiquitous as zombies in video games, I can't put a finger on any game that I think nails the zombie apocalypse feeling for me. I thought I'd discuss the "Big 3" "Zombie" Games and what hasn't worked for me, and maybe get some feedback from everyone else. I know there are some games featuring zombies and some lower key stuff, but I just thought about these three in particular.

First off, Resident Evil. Now, I guess for most this is the definitive zombie experience, but really, I find these games, all of them, mediocre. First off, the lack of getting "infected" (which is sadly a constant among zombie games...) really doesn't make sense to me. I know that there is probably some backstory or reason or explanation of how the T Virus hasn't yet destroyed the world, but I probably nodded off during one of the terrible cutscenes. I do like the way that ammo is not plentiful, but then how do you balance out that realism with me hitting a melon with a knife and a box of ammo being in it? Ok, so I am getting a little over the top, but Resident Evil has never felt like the zombie apocalypse. It's felt like a wonky shooter with poor controls and a main character I couldn't care less about. Finally, Resident Evil seems to get so lost in it's own story that it forgets to be fun. The stage you play through always seem to just be ways to get from one minor story reveal to another.

Next, is Dead Rising. Hoo boy. Talking about Dead Rising for me is very hard. I thought this game was going to be EXACTLY what I wanted in a zombie game. How could it have failed so hard? Well, first of all, there is the god awful save system. Any game made past 2000 has no excuse for at least a checkpoint save system. The mission timers, the annoying survivor AI, and the terrible human enemies ensured that Dead Rising never leaves the shelf for a visit to the 360. Seriously, every time I have tried to replay it, the part where the convicts with the HMMWV and the .50 Cal mowing you down just wrecks anything I might call enjoyment. The camera system is novel and neat but not much more than a gimmick. The guns in the game don't ever "feel" right and the various mall weaponry you employ all seem lackluster. Mini-chainsaws and wait out the 48 hours. Boo.

Finally, Left 4 Dead. I really enjoyed L4D. The atmosphere is great. Valve can teach so many game designers the lesson of how to tell a story in the environments. There are rooms in L4D that have more atmosphere and story written on the wall than other games have in their entire plot. L4D goes with the fast zombies and boss zombies, which I am okay with. However, the issues I have with L4D is that you can't ever outsmart the zombies. Director AI makes sure of that. It's more or less an exercise in mad dashes past hordes. You don't fear the regular zombies and there's not much to it past running and gunning. Great FPS, don't get me wrong, but man I wish this game received the full Half-Life treatment so it could live up past what it currently is.

So, I hope that a few folks could talk about what works and what doesn't for them in zombie games. Hopefully, we can provide the good folks at DB some ideas.

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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 12:15:49 pm »

I think they actually have more good ideas then us.
So far every one of theirs has been superb and better than anything we came up with.
Its about... 12 - 0 or something like it, for DB against the home team, currently.


I don't know, I don't care, and it doesn't make any difference! - Albert Einstein

The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.
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