The Last Stand: Dead Zone brings RPG, Action and Strategy to the zombie apocalypse.
The Last Stand: Dead Zone - More zombie-survival strategy from the much-loved series, only this time it's social
Oh Union City; we've seen the rise and fall of you over the years in Con Artist's zombie-survival strategy series The Last Stand.It would be more accurate to say that we've mainly seen the fall of the aforementioned city, and at the hands of zombies no less: snarling, snivelling, dripping, oozing, disgusting, squelchy zombies that want nothing more than to pick your brain in the most literal of ways. But we've survived each and every encounter with these base beings up until now, so who dares say that we cannot survive the real-time, zombie-survival strategy game The Last Stand: Dead Zone, with all of the social interaction through Facebook you could possibly want in a simulated end-of-days scenario.
Premise: you're a survivor in the remains of Union City, an unlucky area of the fictional world where you've just happened to have borne witness to an unbelievable quantity of suffering and mouth-watering action in equal measure. This time however there's a few more elements to consider rather than just blasting the hell out of the brain hungry, erstwhile humans that are begging forcefully for your brain matter - as you'll see things have changed a little since the original Last Stand.
The Walken Dead
Survival is still obviously the main factor here: you begin in a sort of safe compound area that needs to be made safer and better by doing necessary things like foraging in the outside world for supplies and recruiting survivors to come back to your safe house and form a sort of dystopian utopia, effectively trying to make the best of a bad situation. There's nothing that drives the human need for survival like worst-case scenarios, but flight isn't an option, so you must fight the waves and waves of zombies that incessantly attack your safe house. Don't go trusting anything with a pulse so implicitly however: other humans will also try and raid your safe house as well.
Because survival is one of the main themes running through the adrenaline-laden veins ofThe Last Stand: Dead Zone, there are resource matters to consider: things like water and food as well as ammunition and other supplies must be constantly replenished to ensure the survival of your camp. Since you're in charge it is you that will be sending your group of survivors off on missions - these take place in real-time so patience is also key with this game - to get such supplies, hopefully to see them return with building supplies and much-needed weapons.
The Managing Dead
The full-on zombie-shooting action of previous titles like The Last Stand 2 has taken a bit of a back seat here, particularly when you look at the format of the game when you're in base camp. Your responsibilities are very similar to other resource management games like Farmville 2, only with a lot more death, killing, and blood spatter. You're essentially doing things like setting tasks for your survivors: clearing up the destruction from previous zombie encounters, gathering water, tending to the small crops you have growing in your safe house, building various luxuries and amenities, and things of this nature.
The great thing about this game is that you can choose either to have missions play out automatically or you can go into full manual mode. The former mode is self-explanatory but the latter involves real-time management of your team, who will attack any enemy that happens to be in range - make sure to direct them to specific areas you want searched and explored however as you're literally responsible for everythingthat they do.
You'll obviously encounter the in-game currency barrier at some stage (developers have to eat, you know), though this comes in the form of having the option to purchase the commodity of fuel, which lets you get on with your tasks more quickly and can be spent on accelerating a multitude of actions in the game. You can also find fuel while out scavenging, though it is obviously a rarity otherwise this would effectively nullify the in-game transaction system. In all, it's a very reasonable system and I shan't complain about it as it doesn't negatively impact the gameplay in any discernible way. Well done Con Artist Games for not selling us the hell out.
As for the game's longevity, well, that part's a little less certain. Sure, it's entertaining when you begin: you've got a load of tasks to complete and a lot of managing to do, zombies to kill, and survivors to recruit. But switch to the long term and there isn't that much to do so you begin repeating things, over and over. Because it's a social game however there will be updates and you can expect things to improve on a fairly regular basis. So I recommend you give it a try. Zombie survival-strategy in a social setting may sound a little odd, but it's a damned perfect match that's only missing one thing: Christopher Walken quotes.