Tank controls are back in free survival horror Dead County

(Image credit: Blake McKinnon Productions)

Resident Evil 2 did a pretty great job of modernising survival horror, but there's room, of course, for throwback horror games with tank controls, cinematic camera angles, and ginormous polygons stuck together with sellotape. It's pretty budget, but Dead County is a free survival horror that successfully captures much of the spirit of Resident Evil.

You're Some Guy, and you're exploring Some Town where a zombie plague has broken out. Luckily, you find some weapons with which to send them to zombie hell. You know the procedure: you hold a button to aim, and slightly awkwardly rotate and shoot while locked in place. There are items to find and use, first-person door opening sequences, and textures and 3D models that would have blown minds back in the late 1990s (and that still look fairly good in 2020). It's a neat, no frills throwback to a classic genre.

I don't particularly like the babbling voice acting, which undermines a lot of the horror, but this is a good way to refamiliarise yourself with survival horror, without having to dig out your PlayStation from the attic.

For more great free experiences, check out our roundup of the best free PC games.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.