Some say the zombie apocalypse has been overdone in modern gaming, but the relentless struggle for developers to nail that ‘perfect zombie game’, still has us funding, pre-ordering and purchasing on release. The FPS genre currently wears the crown with its fast, fun and cooperative approach. But what about the much darker and more genuine depiction?
Could there be a time when we’ll see the crown shift to the ‘apocalypse simulator’?
Dead State is the first release from Double Bear productions, a studio formed by Brian Mitsoda (game designer of the amazing Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines) and his wife, Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda. I had an amazing time playing through Bloodlines, so the idea of Brian Mitsoda’s designing and writing talents, merging with a survival simulation concept, understandably had me excited like a kid the night before Christmas!
Double Bear’s apocalypse begins with a simple (but incredibly effective) graphic slideshow intro. Your character (who you get to name very soon) has boarded a plane during a major pandemic. Little is known about the illness and all you know is that you’re lucky to be safe in the air. But all hell is just about to break loose…
Surrounded by flames and debris, you’re lucky to be alive. Now face-to-face with what the pandemic has produced, you fight your way (during a tutorial phase) toward a distant voice amongst the chaos. You’re then taken in, treated and awake to find yourself in a school basement, surrounded by a few lucky survivors.
It’s not just about you…
Once your character has been created and skill points assigned, you’re given a run-down of the schools before heading out for a tutorial mission. It’s here that you realise that Dead State isn’t just about your character. It isn’t about racking-up kill streaks and unlocking new moves. It’s simply about survival and what it takes to be a good leader, fully utilising and respecting that position to look after those who look up to you.