I’ll come out and say it now folks, I’m a big fan of zombie games but in the last couple of years it has felt as though the ‘zombie-shooter’ franchise had hit its peak and was very much on the decline. We had hits like Left 4 Dead and Killing Floor to help bring the recreational zombie blasting pastime from the House of The Dead era and into the limelight.
But with games such as Dead Island getting little regard in the industry and ‘zombie-mods’ popping up literally everywhere for almost every game I honestly thought that nothing could be done to improve this specialization going forward…
That was however, until I played Project Zomboid…
I first found out about Project Zomboid by listening to the Eurogamer.net podcast and heard indie developer Will Porter talk about a project that he and a few friends were working on. I decided to investigate the matter and found myself on the Project Zomboid website.
From my initial cynical reactions I presumed that PZ would be an isometric version of Left 4 Dead, almost a crossover between that and The Sims. The trial version was available for download so I thought that I should put my money where my mouth was and try it out, I mean – it couldn’t be THAT bad, right?
I was correct, it isn’t THAT bad – it’s amazing!
I’m very proud to announce that Project Zomboid is one of The IndieGardens “Ones to Watch” as the development process continues. Bought to you be developers The Indie Stone, Project Zomboid literally does fell like The Sims but with zombies, you aren’t trying to kill as many foot-draggers as you can before the rescue helicopter arrives. You are literally just trying to survive until the next morning.
I think I like Project Zomboid because it’s the closest I have come to how I would potentially handle a real life zombie apocalypse situation – as in, dreadfully.
I’m admittedly terrible at Project Zomboid, this is probably the most realistic version of what I would actually do during a zombie outbreak – not reach for a conveniently placed 12-gauge shotgun and a backpack of ammo, ready to take on the hordes of brain munchers single handily. My first instinct would be completely motivated by self preservation and the preservation of my family. Gathering food and supplies, creating a barricade at the exits of the house, that kind of thing.
I’m not going to speak about the campaign mode of Project Zomboid as this game is still in open development and will most likely go through revisions before its full release, I will say that the main aim of PZ is survival, you have to live from one day to the next taking into consideration all the needs and desires of normal life, you can’t go for more than four or five in-game hours without suffering from hunger and prolonged tiredness brings paranoia and frayed nerves.
You have to travel from house to house gathering food and supplies, encountering other survivors who have their own agendas and personalities and of course there are the zombies themselves.
Yes, the slow-walking zombies direct from the universe of George A. Romero where in PZ you are so preoccupied with gathering supplies and generally staying in good (enough) health that seeing a zombie brings fear and trepidation and encountering one in close quarters in literally terrifying! What if you get bit? Will you have the supplies to heal yourself? What if you get infected?
Project Zomboid bring a fresh aspect to the zombie survival genre that is much needed in my opinion – Abstract Desperation.
It also features what I believe is the best line of dialogue in any video game ever “I miss the days when we didn’t need to take a hammer to bed”
You are currently able to download the demo of Project Zomboid for free (have a cheeky try, it’s worth it) from its official website – you can also order the full game from the site also for the meagre sum of £4.99