Those who sunk hours upon hours into the Zombie Panic Half-Life 1 and 2 mods will be happy to know that a funded spiritual successor, Contagion, is being made by some of the same people and will be available on Steam Early Access before this Halloween.
As far as we can tell, mod-sponge Mount & Blade is seriously lacking in the zombie-themed anime homage niche. Modder "xPearse" aims to fix up that problem with his Highschool of the Dead project filling TaleWorlds' battlefields with slavering, shambling corpses as a tribute to the popular anime/manga series of the same name.
This article originally appeared in PC Gamer UK issue 231. Yesterday, a burglary at The Indie Stone HQ lost the team two vital laptops that have delayed the latest patch, but Project Zomboid has endured many dramas before then, here's the story so far...
Project Zomboid is a great game born from a passion for zombie fiction, piracy, panic and corporate generosity. Of all the drama indie devs face, little comes close to the police breaking into your flat because a car is about to explode.
Chris Simpson is one sixth of The Indie Stone, the team behind the free-roaming isometric zombie shooter that’s about narrative, not headcounts. He explains his game: “We’ve tried to turn the genre towards the survival aspect and away from the focus on combat. It’s not just about seeing how many zombies you can kill. It’s holding up in a house, going on raiding missions, trying to trade with NPCs and making friends. It’s dealing with trust issues between people. This is the ultimate plan, seeing as it’s currently a Minecraft-style alpha tech demo.” His partner in crime, Andy Hodgetts, elaborates: “Basically if you’ve ever read World War Z or the The Zombie Survival Guide or I Am Legend you’ve read the blueprint of the game.”
Most zombie games sidestep the concept of turning into one of the undead by making the player immune to the plague. It's true in Left4Dead, it's true in Dead Island, but it's not true in Amy, a slice of stylish survival horror from French studio Lexis Numerique. The video explains how the infection works; the main character is bitten by a zombie at the start of the game, and must use various means to slow down the disease's spread. Letting it take over will mean zombies treat you as one of their own and ignore you, but if you go too long without treatment, you'll eventually die.
If you asked most people to list their biggest frustrations in games, ticking down health and escort missions would be somewhere near the top. Amy plans to have both. It's a big challenge for a new developer, but the mechanics could add to the atmosphere and prove closer to zombie lore than most undead-focused adventures.