What would bethe perfect 'Zombie' game? There are a vast number of games with the zombie sub-genre, spanning over various other major genres of gaming, over the various different consoles in existence. However has there ever been a perfect zombie game. I am quite a fan of the genre, both in gaming but also in literature and film, and tend to enjoy the role playing perspective of a character in a time where the world is currently suffering from a Zombie Apocalypse. However in my opinion, up to date there has been no such thing as a perfect game, showing the war against the undead.
Firstly there is the famous 'Resident Evil' series. This 'Capcom' published series bringing with it a new definition of survival horror. Basically before you pissed your pants and decided to sit in a corner and cry, after playing fear, in the 90's Resident evil allowed that option at an earlier age. The awkward camera angles as well as sound effects and game-play were designed for the specific purpose of scaring all form of unwanted waste from your body. However as time has gone on, the series has somewhat gone into decline, particularly with the series manoeuvring into the action-adventure category. Resident Evil 4is the one exception where it maintained some of its horror traditions; however Resident Evil 5 basically ended that reign of terror.
Next is the Left for Dead series, which to be honest isn't really about zombies, but more along the lines of rabies infested humans that have the problem of bulimia. In addition to that, you have three friends who do bugger all, to help. Graphics also seem to be similar to that of something that was made in the early 2000's before they realized that their graphics engines were slightly better. So if you like shooting people that are throwing up and acting like they have the rage virus then this is the game for you, but I want to make it quite clear it is in no way using the traditional form of zombie.
Fallout 3 uses a similar approach to the above. Although not an undead themed game, it does have moments when the undead decide to make a cameo. These are fast manoeuvrable ghouls that use a high pitch scream and charge at you not out of hunger, but out of annoyance that you are currently walking in their sewer pipe disturbing their daily meal of manure and urine. Again the ancient traditions of the undead are not used in this game, and are instead drawing inspiration from both the effects of radiation, and that of the Dawn of the Dead remake.
If by now you have not realized, I am a bit of a traditionalist, someone that believes that the older, slower zombie is terrifying. Although one would claim that a group of fast moving spewing zombies are scary as hell, a quick machine gun along the knee caps is all you need so they are on the floor and then just a couple sliced from a melee weapon and they are gone. No the traditional zombie is by far scarier, first coming one by one, then multiplying to the point where you have no other option to run, unless of course you are trying to win the congressional medal of honour in heaven in which case feel free to stay behind and become some undead persons human parmigiana.
Therefore you are now probably thinking what is this all about. The point I am trying to get at, is that in reality there has never really been a good zombie orientated game. Of course this is just my opinion, but there are probably some of you out there that might agree with my view.
So therefore what I would view as a good zombie horror game. Firstly it has to be about survival, the basic human mechanics, such as scavenging for food, ammunition and other supplies has to be implanted into the game. Second there should be some degree of freedom, restricted only by regions which are dependent on different chapters that the character should be playing in. Finally the player must have to deal with the human emotions and psychological states of both the other characters in the game, similar to LFD only less dull and boring. If you have ever read the comic series 'The Walking Dead' or even the novel World War Z, issues and themes, as well as similar scenarios should be placed in this game. I believe then, to some degree the perfect zombie oriented game would bee created. Let us hope that somewhere in this universe, preferably in between now and the next 20 years, someone finally has the magic light bulb activated and implements some of the things that I have suggested could help make the series more interactive and gripping.