Every since 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead,” people have been obsessive with zombies. They have definitely shambled into all aspects of pop culture, from movies to comic books, and especially into video games.
There isn’t just one type of zombie out there: there is the classic slow and shambling zombies, the fast and aggressive zombies, and the walking dead variety, which respond to smells and sound. Just like these types of zombies, there are several different types of zombie games.
This year has been huge for zombie games. Here is a short list of the top five zombie games of 2013 that you have to try if you are an undead fanatic.
5. ‘Dead Island: Riptide’
“Dead Island: Riptide” is the sequel to the original “Dead Island” and is an interesting mix of first-person action and RPG. “Riptide” continues the story of the survivors as they try to escape an island chain called Banoi after being shipwrecked. “Riptide” features new characters, vehicles, changing weather conditions, new weapons, and some different types of zombies.
“Riptide” was a fun game where you could explore and dismember zombies with a group of friends; it was a bit buggy and had pretty much no story, but it was definitely an entertaining and gory zombie game.
4. ‘State of Decay’
Just like “Dead Island,” this is a open world survival game. What makes “SoD” interesting is it strives to be more realistic; it’s like a zombie apocalypse simulation. A big part of this game is meeting other survivors and building a community. This isn’t an action-packed game; it isn’t about killing zombies – it’s about surviving. You have to build a base, get food, and scavenge for supplies while staying alive. If your character dies, he is dead, you lose your gear, your home, and everything. You can’t just load a save, so this really creates an emotional attachment. Just like last year’s “Walking Dead” game from Telltale, the choices you make drastically change the game and how other survivors will act around you.
One of the best parts of this game is you can customize your outpost; you can have towers, gardens, storage, and extra security barricades. Players will have a great time setting up their home and deciding how “you” would set up your house to survive the undead. This is one of the best zombie games out there because of how realistic it can be. It is a real test of your survival skills.
A launch game for the new Wii system, “ZombiU” is an interesting and scary experience. Just like “State of Decay,” if you die, you start over. You have to find yourself as a zombie and kill it to recover your gear; this adds a huge sense of urgency to stay alive. What makes this game so cool is the two-screen experience of the Wii U; you can use the touch screen as a map or to control your inventory, and for all sorts of other tools, such as hacking. This is special because while you are using the touch pad, you can still be attacked on your TV, so you have to keep checking the TV screen to see if you are being attacked. It leads to some really intense scary scenes. It is a must-play showcase of the touch screen on the Wii U for zombie fans.
2. ‘The Last of Us’
This is not only one of the best zombie games, but one of the best games period. The protagonists aren’t really zombies; they are called the infected, but they share a lot of similarities with zombies. The game focuses on two survivors, Joel and Ellie, as they travel across an America that has been devastated by the outbreak of a virus that turns people into zombie type creatures. The real threat to these travelers, though, is the non-infected. Resources are limited and everyone is out to take them from you, as is the government, which is trying to contain the outbreak. “The Last of Us” looks amazing, and as one of the best and most heart-wrenching experiences ever, it is a must-play for every PS3 owner.
1. ‘The Walking Dead: 400 Days’
Last year’s Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” was nothing short of a masterpiece. It not only changed what people thought of zombie games, but also changed storytelling in games altogether. It isn’t an action game; it’s a point-and-click adventure game, and it’s all about story. Nearly everything you do in the game changes what non-playable characters think of you and the outcome of the game. “400 Days” is the follow-up to original and is made to bridge the gap between season one and the highly anticipated season two. “400 Days” tells the story of five new characters each having different stories based on “The Walking Dead” comic books. It’s not as compelling as Lee and Clementine’s story, but it does tell a very emotional narrative and expands the conventions of the last game by adding more interactions with surroundings and more timed responses, which impact the story. Another interesting change is the ability to switch between the other character’s story at any time. It doesn’t have the impact of the main game, but it is a great way to hold you over until season two comes out.
-Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]