Have you ever noticed how every year has its own distinctive theme? Each New Year’s Eve I download a music mix by DJ Earworm, he takes all the top tracks that were released in said year and mixes them all into one three to four minute song, and every year the top tracks all sound kind of the same. This isn’t something exclusive to music either, if you sit and look the same thing happens with Movies, Books and even Games. Every year has its own tone and theme, and when it comes to Games for 2019 that theme is most definitely starting to seem like Zombies. Luckily for me, I come from a long line of Zombie lovers, this Gif is basically my mom (and I’ve included some pictures of her car to prove my point):
If you ever want to experience what being a celebrity, or the only human survivor in the middle of the Zombie apocalypse, must feel like, drive around in a car with Zombie Slayer stickers on it. Now that I’ve got my waffle session out of the way, let’s get back to the point of this post: there has been an influx of zombie games that have been released in the last few months. It can be tricky to wade through the mess of titles to find the ones actually worth playing… but wade I did, and I came out with two games that really stand out from the rest. If you’re half the zombie lover my mom is, these are for you:
World War Z
PS4; Xbox One; PC – Single and Multiplayer
World War Z is a third-person shooter, reminiscent of the Left 4 Dead games, that can be played alone but is definitely best enjoyed by grabbing three of your friends and diving into the zombie infested areas of Moscow, Tokyo, Jerusalem, and New York. You get to choose from six distinct classes: from medics to fighters to fixers and each of those classes can be upgraded as you play. One of the biggest things that drew me to the game is quite literally, the biggest thing: zombie hordes. There can be up to 1000 zombies on your screen simultaneously, and yes, that is just as crazy as you imagine. This giant horde can clamber together to form giant zombie mountains to lift themselves up to pretty much any place where you could be hiding, so teamwork and good communication (read yelling) is vital. The game has enough difficulty settings to suit pretty much everyone, from easy mode where you can feel immortal to insane which will have you sweaty and begging for your life. If fighting against AI still isn’t enough for you it also features five competitive modes to play with friends (read enemies) and a Player vs Player vs zombie mode for those who want the best of both.
The main campaign will give you about 10 and a half hours of playtime and the Competitive modes about 6 hours.
One of the only drawbacks to the game is that even with items being periodically spawned each time you play, it gets repetitive fast, so if you’re not someone who enjoys playing the same thing, again and again, it doesn’t offer much in the form of replay-ability.
PS4 – Single player
This is a game that I was skeptical of in the beginning because of all the heat it has taken from critics, but after playing it I can tell you that while it’s definitely not as epic as Last of Us it’s still a pretty good game in its own right. Days Gone is a Third-Person, Open World, Action-Adventure Survival game that’s set in a post-apocalyptic Oregon two years after the first zombie outbreak (FYI they aren’t actually called zombies instead they go by Freakers but let’s be real, a zombie by any other name is still a zombie). You play as an ex-con, now drifter, named Deacon, who is on a mission to find out if his wife, Sarah, is still alive. You can journey around the massive (and beautiful) world on foot or using Deacon’s bike which also works as a mobile inventory, and if you’ve ever seen what a giant horde of “Freakers” looks like, you’ll be so thankful you have it to escape. The game gives you a lot of deviation when it comes to how you can defend yourself, from stealthing past enemies (something I can not, for the life of me, pull off) to ranged, melee and improvised weapons. So, for example, you can search in the bonnet of a car and take out its oil filter to attach to your gun to make a suppressor. This is also where the small details of Days Gone truly shine because when you first attach the oil filter there is no hole until you fire that first shot.
There were a lot of things that bugged me with Days Gone, from unnecessary load screens to a somewhat weak story but there was way more that I did like and with the main story giving you over 40 hours of playtime and the side quests adding another 40, there is enough content to keep any zombie lover happy.
I think the beauty of zombie games lies within the overwhelming odds that are stacked against you at all times, even in a game like World War Z where you can play with friends, you are always outnumbered and survival is never guaranteed. You need to fight for everything and you can’t let your guard down for even a second or you’ll be dinner before you even notice you’re out of ammo. All of that just makes the feeling you get from surviving against all odds much sweeter, and that is exactly where the magic lies.
Have you played either of these two games or do you have your own 2019 hidden zombie gem? Let me know in the comments.
I usually send out a weekly mailer with a recap of blog posts but also some personal anecdotes. If you want to know about competitions or just catch up in a more personal setting then you might like to receive the mailer.