Your Visual Guide to This Year's Zombie Games

Using the power of Venn diagrams, we offer an occasionally informative look at the year's most exciting zombie games.

I believe it was Thomas Hobbes who once wrote, "Life in the zombie apocalypse is nasty, brutish, and short." Or maybe that was Winston Churchill? I'm not sure. The point is, when you're being chased down by zombies--real or virtual--you probably don't have a lot of time to spend sifting through massive amounts of information. So with that in mind, we've come up with this visually oriented guide to three of the biggest zombie games arriving this year. Or at least, three games we're hoping will come out this year, because they all look pretty rad for decidedly different reasons:

A Visual Comparison to Other Games

With the Uncharted series, Naughty Dog has established itself as one of the industry leaders in storytelling and building realistic characters. It's pretty much got the market cornered at this point. And with The Last of Us, it looks like Naughty Dog will adapt those skills to a human-survival-with-a-sprinkling-of-zombies story set in a lush, postapocalyptic world overtaken by nature. You know, like the setting of the criminally underappreciated Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.


Considering its stylized and cartoony aesthetic, Fortnite couldn't be more of a departure from Epic's recent work on the Gears of War franchise. The gameplay seems to be quite a departure as well, because this is no straightforward third-person shooter. You'll actually be designing and assembling your own structures to withstand the zombie onslaught. We like it! It's definitely a more effective approach than letting yourself get bitten and repeatedly shouting "revive me!" at your fellow survivors.


This one's a little like a snake eating its own tail. See, Gears of War is a direct evolution of the modern third-person shooter formula popularized by Resident Evil 4, and now it looks as though Resident Evil 6 will take a cue from Epic's manly shooter franchise with a sticky cover system of its own. But there's also a point in the trailer where a character--who I can only assume is named Buzzcut McRoundhouse--totally wrecks some zombies with a hand-to-hand combat montage that looks more like Devil May Cry than Resident Evil.

A Visual Comparison to Movies and Television

Adapted into a movie from the original 2006 novel, The Road is Cormac McCarthy's bleak survival story of a father and son trekking across a postapocalyptic wasteland. It's a crushingly desolate world these two live in, and the only thing keeping them going is the relationship they share with each other. Now, go ahead and substitute the son for a plucky young girl who looks more than a little bit like Ellen Page in Juno and ta-da! You've got a gross oversimplification of The Last of Us!


Based on the debut trailer, it looks like Fortnite places a heavy emphasis on trying to survive one night at a time during the zombie apocalypse. How's that done? Well, by the look of things, you build your defenses by scavenging a whole bunch of junk that's just sort of lying around the place. Now that's zombie survival done MythBusters-style.


In Resident Evil 6, the zombie outbreak has escalated to the point of a full-on military assault, much in the way 28 Weeks Later followed up 28 Days Later with the American army occupying zombie-infested England. What sort of special forces do they call in to take on these zombies in RE6? Yes, that's right, an all-star cast of pretty much everyone who has ever appeared in a Resident Evil game at any point in history.

A Visual Comparison to Types of Zombies

In the trailer for The Last of Us, we see an infected humanoid creature charging at the male protagonist the way only infected humanoid creatures can. Which is to say, terrifyingly. But don't forget that this is also a world full of displaced wanderers fighting one another to survive, so up until recently that creature was also a ravenous hobo. Now let's cross our fingers that this game also has a moment as memorable as Condemned 2's bear chase scene.


Fortnite's trailer hints at the appearance of shambling zombies who strike only at night--probably not exactly like the ones in George Romero's 1968 classic, but you get the idea. Now, these are also zombies rendered in the vibrant, cartoony art style of the rest of the game, which can mean only one thing: they'll be so adorable you can't help but want to give them a big ol' hug.


Resident Evil will always have its traditional shambling zombies--don't you worry about that. It's the big boss guys we're talking about here. These zombies just seem to be getting bigger and scarier with each new entry in the series, and judging by their recurring appearances in the trailer, it seems they're not just big: they're also every bit as persistent as the creepiest of Facebook stalkers.

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Discussion

104 comments
Getbacktogaming
Getbacktogaming

Oh I thought I was the only one that thought that the girl from The Last of Us looked like Ellen Page... With this and Beyond: Two Souls that'd be a little too much.

devastion913
devastion913

@vicsrealms UC and other good console titles for ports of The Witcher, STALKER, and other good PC games without complaints from either crowd, I'd make that trade 100 times over. But, fanboys will always complain when "thier" titles lose exclusiveness.

vadagar1
vadagar1

only got one thing to say RE 1 with new graphics

chechak7
chechak7

Only the last of us is worth it here....maybe RE6 will be good 2

Albaficas
Albaficas

Only the last of us is worth it here.... RES6 just became a gears of wars clone..no more survival horror jsut brainless shooting --->zillions zombies That new epic game wont sell more than 1.5mil The last of us will put the rest of the list in the trashes.

icetone
icetone

thats litterally what I thought of the Last of Us when I first watched the trailer

anangelsdemon
anangelsdemon

I love how I can tell if an article is written by Shaun without even looking at the author. The man has a gift for writing entertaining articles.

kakashi552
kakashi552

it looks like facebook stalker is hungry for keyboard. by the way, great picture, shaun

DarknautXXX
DarknautXXX

Would have been fun to see comparisons made to Lollipop Chainsaw

rasputin177
rasputin177

@dubel_07 28 weeks later was awful? Did you see The Expendables?

dubel_07
dubel_07

28 Weeks Later was awful- I hope RE6 isn't as bad as that.

Iamtrent424
Iamtrent424

When I first seen Eli from the Last of Us I said she looked like Eli Page. But as a game maker its good to base your characters on same actress or model

Marky360
Marky360

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

RyuRanVII
RyuRanVII

No Dead State and Project Zomboid. Predictable.

trivolution
trivolution

The only real zombie I saw, is the Facebook Stalker. Make that "are".

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

lol :D at the last topic!

sangdolee
sangdolee

wow very creative i love it ! ^.^

Shacrob
Shacrob

The last five years of last decade (and 2010/2011) have had a lot of attetion to zombies...and also on the TV series, i have never write or complain about the zombies but this will be my very first post. Dont get me wrong im ok with the zombies and i love Resident Evil (where the real zombie franchise started), but enough with it! Companies have been picking up the zombies just too much imo, the only zombie related thing i will look out for will be only for Resident Evil, NOTHING MORE, hope for this zombie fashion really end this year, damn...

Codester_41
Codester_41

@ shaunmc ... Oh... That makes more sense.

nate1222
nate1222

I'm kinda burnt out on zombie games. Having some zombies "in" a game is cool, depending on how they're incorporated. But entire games based on zombies is tired. I really miss the OLD Resident Evil games (RE1-RE3 and Code Veronica). Those games required actual "survival" elements, such as avoiding zombies, rationing ammo and solving environmental puzzles. This current wave of zombie games are all just run-and-gun affairs geared towards Call of Deuchebag buffs.

strawhat1987
strawhat1987

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

garrett_duffman
garrett_duffman

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

crazyintheface
crazyintheface

@joselin333 Because the character looks like her.

19Gam3NErD91
19Gam3NErD91

@F10yd sir,that game was just awesome,i can assure u that! although it pretty much didn't have anything to do with zombies as far as i know!

joselin333
joselin333

i dont understand why juno was there ...?¿?

scarred_fox
scarred_fox

after watching "last of us" trailer, it reminded me of "I am Legend" but with zombies, not mutants

Visionisto
Visionisto

@reprividi5 I don't see where it claims the picture is from 28 days later could you point it out for me?

F10yd
F10yd

I'm still waiting for a Condemned 2 PC port

DiamondSlicer
DiamondSlicer

Funny, I actually made the same comparison with Ellen Page when I first saw the trailer of The last of us.

shaunmc
shaunmc moderator staff

@Hurvl It's a good Scottish name.

Hurvl
Hurvl

I thought Buzzcut McRoundhouse was a Saturday Night Live or other popular culturally known character, but Google (who knows everything and is never wrong) only gave three results and all quoted this article. A unique joke name, that's a surprise!

rprevidi5
rprevidi5

The picture used for 28 Days Later in the Resident Evil 6 "As Seen In Movies" is actually 28 "Weeks" Later...

lucas_lotr
lucas_lotr

@Kero100 there is the Legacy of Kain series, and i would highly recommend Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver for the PSone.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@dougdriller85 Yeahhh.. I gave up on them a long time ago..

lilflex1
lilflex1

@Kero100 the closest one i can think of is bloodrayne

Kero100
Kero100

Just curious... Is there any game base on vampire? I can only think of Castlevania :)

dougdriller85
dougdriller85

good call warhawk.....the last time res was remotely scary was maybe nemesis

dougdriller85
dougdriller85

buzzcut mcroundhouse hahahahahahahaha aka hunk prob

RunningMansKid
RunningMansKid

 @vadagar1 and 2! 1 was already remade for GC so I would think 2 to be next but another remake or a port would be nice.

Getbacktogaming
Getbacktogaming

@LonelyHippie27 They could easily do something like RDR Undead Nightmare... Not my type thought...