Given my recent reviews and trailer impressions, it seems only fitting a zombie apocalypse game should come around that I get to review. Being a PC gamer, there is some bias in favor of Valve and everything they make. Ask any PC Gamer and they will agree that Valve makes games for gamers. They share their source code; they encourage the community of gamers to expand on their product and make it better (that’s how Counter-Strike was created.) So, I didn’t want to instantly love the game just because I am in love with the company and their philosophy. Although, it doesn’t matter who made Left 4 Dead because I fucking love it.
Left 4 Dead is a cinematic game with no cinematics. It is fun; plain and simple. It delivers some of the best first-person multiplayer I have been privy to. To be fair I have only played about four hours of Left 4 Dead, and only one scenario. I have not felt every bit of nuance that there is to be felt, but the No Mercy scenario (where the early gameplay videos came from) was a thrilling experience nonetheless.
There are four characters to choose from and there is NO difference on which person you choose. You can either be the old Vietnam vet, the systems engineer for his IT firm, the chick who is a horror movie enthusiast, or the tattooed biker. All characters are ripe for the zombie motion picture. If one of your teammates dies, they are brought back by finding rooms with a survivor ‘trapped’ inside.
Further adding to the cinematic value are the random stop points where your characters will say things that pertain to the situation. Such as the movie enthusiast said aloud, “Fast zombies? I call bullshit, that’s not fair. Where are the slow ones?” These conversations add to the atmosphere without getting old and tiresome. You can always hurt your team, you have been warned. How your characters talk to the people that shot them is humorous and it lets you know who just shot at you. It also is a good reminder for you to duck if you are at the head of the pack trying to get through the plethora of zombies. Your characters reactions to ammo, grenades, health, etc is unique and needed. You come across a pipe bomb in a room and your character shouts ‘Pipe Bombs here!’ to your other teammates. Valve decided to play a mean trick on the user’s this time around: the louder you are on voice chat, the higher the probability of in-game zombies hearing it and running to your position.
I can remember when I first saw the E3 videos for RESIDENT EVIL 4. Leon Kennedy was walking in a mansion when a humanoid apparition appeared before him, chasing him out of the room. While the first videos had their freaky moments, I still sighed. The concept of ghosts just doesn’t scream RESIDENT EVIL to me. My feelings were mirrored when this first was released. The enemies and bosses didn’t have the same feel as previous RE games. Hell, there technically aren’t even zombies in it(!), but I must admit; the game grew on me faster than I thought it would.
The RESIDENT EVIL franchise has always been synonymous with horror in the gaming world. Maybe nothing that has ever delivered pure terror, but horror all the same. This entry sticks with that formula, only with pacing that lends itself more in the direction of action over horror. That’s not to say the game lacks its share of the grotesque. The grunting and murmuring of the end-game Regenerator/Iron Maiden enemies still send chills down my spine whenever I give the game another play through.
You are Leon Kennedy, a protagonist from RESIDENT EVIL 2, sent on a mission to find the President’s daughter who may (or may not) be in a small village. After you break into a house and encounter a local who then immediately turns hostile (who knew?). After that unpleasant exchange you realize that something is afoot.
First up we have the new trailer for the (so far) Japan only release of the RESIDENT EVIL remake. It shows a trailer, which shows off nothing that we haven’t seen from the game already. It makes no mention of anything new/exclusive to the Wii. This is especially odd considering the first remake of RESIDENT EVIL was for the Gamecube…which is already backwards compatible with the Wii!
I must admit, the trailer reminds me of HOSTEL and that does not bode well. Although the graphics sure look uninspired, there isn’t too much to praise or condemn. With no real gameplay or features shown, it is more of a teaser than anything.
In the end it’s better than nothing and interesting enough to periodically search for updates.
I have a confession. If a game has zombies, odds are I am going to like it. If the game gives me the opportunity to shoot said zombies, odds are I am going to love it. Thus I am lucky that Capcom loves killing zombies as much as I do, but much how the coach of a little league team judges his son’s performance harsher than the rest of the players, I feel I must do the same.
DEAD RISING tells the story of photojournalist Frank West. He was contacted to come to a small town where he’ll get the story of a lifetime. As he arrives by helicopter, he sees the townsfolk rioting and performing brutal acts on one another. Dropped off at the Willamette Parkview Mall, where you’ll brilliantly spend the rest of the game, Frank tells the pilot to return in 72 hours.
From here on out, you control Frank. After a few screens you enter the security room. The ‘plot’ is established and now it is up to you control Frank’s destiny. The entire game has a time limit. I believe it is about 1 minute of real time equals 15 minutes of the game. Game play itself is a sandbox world of interactivity. You can do (or not do) anything you want. You could run around the mall and find survivors, you could follow the plot quests, or you could do neither. You could literally stand in the safe zone of the security room until the three days are up, at which point you will receive the worst game ending possible.
I write this to everyone to say “Hi”. I’m Matt Wells and I’ll be covering a large portion of the new horror/sci-fi game section of HorrorsNotDead.com. I’ve been a reader and comment-contributor for almost three years, brought to it when a friend from Longwood heard me talk about several horror movies and he knew Peter, the author. [Editors note: Thanks for the referral, Jeff!]
I’m a graduate of Longwood University with a major in Computer Science. I’m a week away from being 24 and I live in Herndon with a friend from high school and currently have a very shitty IT Help Desk job in Reston, VA. It generally gives me enough downtime during the day to troll the internet, so I can’t complain about that part.
The word ‘nerd’ probably wouldn’t be enough to accurately describe me. I have a huge collection of video games. Thanks to a bout of obsessive compulsive disorder I’m almost at 900 now. I have pretty much every genre of game there is (sans racing and rhythm) and I definitely know more about RPGs than horror games (although, I have a hefty collection of both). If I had to pick a favorite it would probably be the SILENT HILL series, being the only series that has kept me up at night, afraid to turn off the light. The RESIDENT EVIL series is a close second place as the sheer stupidity is utter brilliance at the same time.
One thing I enjoy more than video games is football. My team, the Oakland Raiders, sucks but I still watch them and everyone else thanks to finally being about to afford NFL Sunday Ticket.
I am always up for questions, comments, and suggestions; so let me know if there is anything you want to see reviewed or you think I should get into or you want to know about (i.e. If/When FATAL FRAME IV is going to come state-side [It won’t for now]).
I enjoy writing in my off time and I am always up for getting better, so I hope to contribute and enhance HND with games and occasional movie reviews. That’s about all I can think of for the moment…if there are any questions, go ahead and ask. If anyone is REALLY curious to know anything else about me, I can post up my MySpace or something like that. Other than that, I’m done.
[Editor's Note 2: I've implemented multiple blog authors so that I no longer have to input everything. As such, the Guest XYZ headlines will vanish. Unless, of course an actual guest comes along. Soon I'll have posts on the home page display the author's name, so you'll have an idea of the site's new multiple personalities.* Right now, the individual posts should have the author up.
*This does not count when I write reviews drunk, which admittedly happens more often than I should probably admit to.]
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