Monday, May 30, 2011

A Look Ahead - Project Zomboid

A couple days ago, my attention was brought about to a game that I believe I'd heard of before, but never really looked into it.  I don't quite remember why I didn't, why I wouldn't (because it seems fairly interesting), but all I know of is that this game was put back to the forefront of my mind when a youtube person I'm subscribed to did a little test run of the Alpha Tech Demo he'd gotten.  The game, obviously as it's in the title, is called Project Zomboid, and it's being made by a little indie group appropriately named The Indie Stone.  From what I can tell, they're based in the UK, as is the game itself.

The premise of the game is relatively simple:  There is a zombie outbreak, and the game is telling the story of how you died to it.  Yes, that's right, Project Zomboid is the Tarantino movie of Zombie games, in that you know how it ends, so the important part is how it escalated there.  Admirably, the game attempts a story that gives a goal without restricting you and, from what I can imagine, can branch rather quickly.  At the start your character and his significant other, who is injured, are holed up in yet another in a series of 'safe' houses on the continued journey of survival.  The tutorial then takes place which explains the base game, showing off how you scavenge for food, fight zombies and defend yourself via crafting and barricades.

It also teaches you that you'll encounter other survivors.  And said survivors aren't always friendly, as paulsoaresjr (The youtuber mentioned earlier) eventually learns.

Positive impressions aside, I do have to state that, personally, the interface and the controls seem a bit clunky still (Of course, this is just from what I've seen; I've not actually played it for reasons we all know by now) but with the aggressive (In a good way) patching the developers have shown capable of doing, hopefully they'll be able to clear that up to match the good the overall rest of the game carries.  And hopefully the myriad of problems they've experienced with the game (Discussed on the blog that I've already linked) will clear up soon enough.

One of those problems, being with Google Checkout, has actually stopped them from really selling the game itself, which they've done a little workaround spoken of here that will explain what they're doing.  But in essence, if you buy one of their other games, you get a free, lifetime access pass (whatever you want to call it) to Project Zomboid and all its updates.  (Similar to, say, Minecraft with its account system.)

Even as someone who hasn't personally been all too affected by the apparent 'glut' of Zombie games that others speak of, I'm glad to see a refreshing attempt on the whole idea.  Sure, you shoot zombies, but you'll never actually get them all; you just get enough of them before they catch up to you.  The sense of dread absent in most other zombie titles will be here in spades, given that well, you know they're going to get you.  It's just a matter of when.

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