We are opening this list with a pretty controversial title: Capcom’s Resident Evil 6. While there is a love-hate relationship with the series and its’ fans (especially ever since the departure of creator Shinji Mikami since the fourth installment), it is undeniable that the game still manages to innovate and push the zombie-genre for video games as a whole.
By virtue of its’ legacy alone, the Resident Evil series has to be recognized in any zombie list –after all, it was this series that kept interest in the genre alive quite a long period of time. It did more than be the first however, each new RE game presented players with new gameplay and story elements that further evolved the way we experienced dealing with the undead in games.
RE6 in particular focuses heavily on the storytelling aspect of playing –and in the innovative method of showing it through the eyes of different characters. The cast of this game combines two of the series most iconic characters, Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy, with several new characters (and a few returning ones); and the game is told from their varying perspectives. In terms of scope, the story is quite wide, and the way that the characters all end up intersecting each other’s paths in incredibly well written. And of course, being an RE game, there is no shortage of all new zombie virus mutations for everyone to enjoy getting freaked out on.
Surprisingly, despite the fact that Resident Evil is a console series, it actually handles pretty well with computer based controls –making it an easy transition for those without controllers for the PC.
Not to be confused with the TV series, “Season One” of The Walking Dead is a series of 5 episodic games (though you can get them as a complete set) that details the story of survivor Lee Everett and the young child he is protecting, Clementine. This point and click adventure puts players in an emotional thrillride that will make you question your own moral standards.
Living in a world where the undead are everywhere and even fellow survivors cannot be easily trusted, Lee and Clementine soon find themselves working alongside the most unlikely of folks to ever be brought together in a single shelter –and this poses the big question, can they all work together to survive? Or will their differences tear them apart before the zombies do?
The Walking Dead is not an action game (though there is plenty of nerve-racking time based events that will get you panicking), players are forced to focus more on understanding the different characters and how they interact with one another –and knowing how to forge relationships with those around them. Players will have to make many key decisions which will not only affect the main story, but also the lives of the NPCs.
For those of you worried that Season One would end with a stereotypical horror-movie cliffhanger, it kinda does (though it does resolve a major plot point). Good thing is that there is already a Season Two for all of you to chew on.
This is a definite example of a sequel being so much better than the original While the first L4D game had players amazed with the 4-player cooperative gameplay, it still was full of little bugs and gameplay issues. Of course, that original game managed to be on top lists for quite some time simply for being so satisfying to play.
Left 4 Dead 2 manages to deliver everything that the original game did –only better. Of course, there’s all the usual benefits of being a sequel too: better graphics, more stages, new enemies. But the core reason why this game is so good to play remains: the coop play.
Four players, a ton of zombies, and a simple stage objective: make it to the end. The game’s dynamic lighting system and combat mechanics allows players to choose between sneaking around and going guns-a-blazing (though expect around 90% more gunfights regardless). Zombie behaviors also vary –allowing the AI to adapt to player strategies and making each game played more exciting.
After all, the best way to balance player cooperation is to provide zombies that can cooperate with each other.
The FPS community got a nice big bite of the zombie hype thanks to the original Call of Duty zombies extra mode –the game mode has been such a big hit among players that a getting carried over to the newer sequels was all but inevitable. Black Ops 2 Zombies brings all the great gameplay present in the previous modes then ramps the gameplay up a few notches.
Cooperative gameplay is still a key ingredient here and players must work together in order to stem the tide of the undead that are rushing at them. And this time, there will be much more to do than just boarding up windows for protection. There is actually a story mode here that can be followed –and the content is just as well written as the main campaign of Black Ops (there are even branching outcomes).
Originally a mode of Arma II, DayZ is a server-based, open world, multiplayer game that allows you to take control of your own survivor in a post-apocalyptic land filled with zombies. Scavenging, crafting, and getting weapons is an important part of player survival, but so is dealing with other survivors. The game takes on a more realistic approach of not having giant zombie mobs at every turn. Instead, the greatest danger that players will face in this game is the unpredictable nature of being among other humans.
While the game does have its fair share of in-game griefers and online detractors, there is a genius to DayZ’s overall design: it forces you to make do with a lot of stuff that does not function properly (just like in real life). This is of course, just regarding minor gameplay quirks (like clipping, or animation errors) as compared to major gamebraking bugs. Still, technical problems are to be expected as the game is still in Alpha and progress is ongoing.