What if I told you that death wasn’t the end? Would you believe me if I said that I’ve seen people die and then come back to life? I’m serious, I’ve seen them get up and start walking, running, and eating everything in their path. Now, I should probably specify that I didn’t see this in real life. No, it was in a video game. In fact, it was in a lot of them this generation. Zombies got their mainstream debut in the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead and have gained popularity ever since. In the past few years, the gaming industry has exploded with titles featuring these lovable undead monstrosities.
With the PlayStation 4 on the horizon, it makes sense to expect more of these shambling corpse ridden games to be slated for release on the new hardware. The thing is, we’re not talking about a few tweaks here, this is the next generation, and so the possibilities have exponentially increased. Where is the immensely popular Zombie genre heading? Stick around and you will find out my friends.
Dying Light: Mixing Parkour and Zombies
Known most recently for their work on the Dead Island series, Techland has made a name for themselves this generation by merging the complex world of RPG’s with the worst case scenario concept of a full on zombie outbreak. Now they’re coming back again with a new title called Dying Light, set for release in 2014 on the PlayStation 4. This title once again blends two seemingly different worlds together to create a unique setting and gameplay. In Dying Light players will be able to utilize Parkour maneuvers such as jumping and sliding to more fluidly navigate the environment.
The game will feature a fully open world with a realistic day and night time cycle. The developers have already discussed how the next generation technology will allow them to fully immerse players in the world and give them the most intense and realistic experience possible. Beyond incredible graphics and immersive gameplay, Dying Light will also feature a dynamic story driven by player choice along with randomly generated side missions to keep the player on their toes. With the new hardware at their fingertips, Techland is already showing how the PlayStation 4 can allow developers to bring new and exciting mechanics into their games and truly unleash the concepts they bring to the table.
Day Z: Bringing the popular PC mod to consoles
Sony has expressed a desire to welcome more independent titles and developers into the world of PlayStation and one of the benefits of such a policy is the announcement of the popular Arma II mod Day Z for release on the PlayStation 4. Bohemia Interactive, the developers behind the game, has crafted an ultra-realistic first person survival horror game that forces players to maintain themselves by managing their food and water needs. Beyond this, players must be conscious of being infected by the virus that is creating the zombies as well.
The game is intended to make the player feel a sense of both freedom and foreboding danger. In the world of Day Z, every person is responsible for themselves and allies can just as quickly become enemies. This concept of humanity’s willingness to turn on one another in an apocalyptic setting has been explored a fair amount in zombie games, but in Day Z, the idea that other humans are just as dangerous as the undead is quite unnerving for someone who just wants to survive.
Day Z is looking to push the envelope for realism in video games and does so in a zombie apocalypse setting to bring these shambling horrors into the real world in a frightening way.
The lighter side of the Zombie Apocalypse
Most Zombie games are intense and horrifying experiences, but with the release of Plants vs Zombies by Popcap Games, the world was exposed to a more family friendly and comedic take on the undead, with massively successful results. Other studios have taken to this idea. Redtag studios, an independent developer, announced a game called Ray’s The Dead which is a zombie action puzzler featuring a similar style to Popcap’s series along with a humorous feel. The goal of the game is to solve the storyline’s mysteries while raising your own army of the undead.
Popcap isn’t content to rest on their laurels though, they recently announced a next generation third person shooter set in the Plants vs Zombies universe that is called Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. This shooter brings back the never ending war of plants and zombies in the form of an action shooter set to release on next gen consoles. It is certainly an interesting step, but yet another piece of evidence that shows how next generation technology can accommodate the innovative ideas of today’s modern game developers.
What does the future hold for Zombies?
Despite being dead, zombies in video games are looking very much alive. This incredibly popular genre is set to utilize the power of the PlayStation 4 to create exciting and innovative experiences for gamers of all ages. With mainstay franchise like Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, and Dead Island still awaiting next generation announcements, the innovations for the next generation have only just begun.
What do you want to see from the next generation of zombie games? Do you favor the slow shambling kind or the fast turning and fast moving kind of zombies? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you want to see from this ever evolving genre of video games.
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 9/19/2013