Day 25. So I’m currently sat in on the XBox360 dashboard, in a party chat with @folicacid aka Ian, and we’re just chatting about the usual – gaming, music, the zombie apocalypse, and ultimate downfall of civilisation as we know it. Typical Thursday night conversation.
Now, when I say ‘that game trailer‘, I am of course referring to the Dead Island trailer…yes, that trailer. It’s a truly amazing trailer, that trailer got me excited about gaming again. For so long, I’d been feeling quite ‘oh gaming…yea…whatever.’, then I saw the Dead Island trailer. The whole concept of the trailer, being in reverse, and how brutal it was – at showing how a family is destroyed in mere seconds, and the fact the little girl dies…honestly, that trailer blew me away. Even friends who aren’t gamers, and have no interest whatsoever in gaming, saw that trailer, and were impressed.
I was so excited for the DI game to be released…and then so disappointed, in the finished product. I mean, it’s still an entertaining game…but I wanted pure brutality, desperation, a real struggle to survive…which I just didn’t get with the DI game. The weapon mods are amusing at first, but…I wanted realism, not magically created electro/fire/poison weapons. The idea of collecting the materials was cool, but for me, it just wasn’t…enough =/
The same with other zombie games – Dead Rising 1&2, Left For Dead 1&2, Never Dead, House of the Dead, Resident Evil (although the original Resi Ebil games were great for suspense), OneeChanbara series, Lollipop Chainsaw, the list goes on and on. The all make zombies a comical, easily killable enemy. There are some games that manage to make the zombies scary, but these games usually don’t have the zombies as the primary problem, they end up just being extra enemy or game mode.
Ian mentioned the Activision Walking Dead game, and we’ve just been discussing zombies, and our expectations. I love The Walking Dead, the TV show, and the comics, as well as the arcade game by Tell Tale – which I really am loving. In a zombie game, I don’t just want to be overrun by 1000’s of zombies. I want some zombie slaying, obviously, but I want the dangers of zombies, and the living. The ‘survival of the fittest’, where best friends would turn against one another, betray one another just to survive.
The zombie apocalypse (which I am more than ready for!) isn’t going to be pretty, I’m not going to find weirdo people ‘needing’ bottles of champaign or other stupid shit. Give me a realistic zombie apocalypse game, where I can’t shoot the gun I have – because I have 5 bullets, and I can’t risk the sound of gunfire attracting more zombies. Where my primary problem is of course the undead, but with the added problems of not being able to trust anyone – they could be infected, they could be planning on using my death as an escape (Shane, damn you!), they could be stealing my/our supplies – where you have to take into account what people would really need to survive. Foraging for food, water, clothing, weapons. I’m not going to magically just find a cache of fully loaded weaponry, so why have that aspect in games? Make it difficult for me to survive! And not just by saying ‘well turn the difficulty up’ – make the game difficult, by forcing the player to survive by needing to kill zombies in new (and inventive) ways, by needing specific everyday tools/equipment (torch, batteries, warm clothes, duct tape, water bottles/canteen, food, improvised weaponry, etc.).
What I want from a zombie game is realism. I want insanely gore-laden zombies, that will not stop until they’ve taken a double tap to the head. I want to feel the tension, to be anxious about opening a door, or stepping on a twig (or whatever, as the sound will alert zombies or other humans), I want to feel the desperation and the overwhelming need to survive – by any means possible. I want gritty, gorey, twisted, brutal, completely overdosed with suspense zombie games! I don’t want cartoon like zombies, that make me giggle. I want to fear for my damn arm still being intact after a zombie encounter.
Zombies are awesome – in films, TV shows, books, games, everything. But…zombies aren’t light-hearted, hilarious creatures…they’re dead people. They’re reanimated dead humans, that have only 2 things to do – infect others and the primal need to feed. Zombies are an abomination against humanity, and nature. The dead rising up, isn’t really all that hilarious, so why does it keep being portrayed as such? Why do games keep giving us these watered down, shambolic excuses for zombies? I want to be afraid, not amused!