To the gamers who say, "Enough with the zombie games already," consider Dead State, an upcoming zombie role-playing game.
The new game from development studio Doublebear got profiled over at Rock Paper Shotgun. In a detailed interview, lead developer Brian Mitsoda describes a game that seems to have many wonderful touchstones, from Fallout to X-Com to... Gradius?
Most games deal with a Night of the Living Dead scenario where you have to survive one night, one wave, one map. We're dealing with a long-term zombie threat, where you have to worry about keeping people fed, friends getting bit and infected while scavenging, and the desperation of other human beings. Honestly, the game is not about the zombies, but about how people react to a crisis and what they are willing to do to other human beings and even members of their group to stay alive or protect their own. The zombies are just a cause, like economic collapse or a massive earthquake, and it's really the human self-preservation instinct and the survivor mentality that we're interested in portraying.
The big difference in our group and something like Jagged Alliance is these are normal people with little to no combat experience, not a veteran squad of commandos, so they handle like you'd expect them to. It's best to think of them as intelligent Gradius options – they're there to assist and absorb damage. They make combat much easier than going it alone, but they can die and you're really going to have to work at it to bring everyone home all the time. Sometimes you may have to let someone go to get the rest of your group out safely. If everyone else is at the rally point and one ally is still in that house surrounded by ten zombies, let ‘em go, ‘cause they're gone.
If that doesn't sound like interesting gaming to you, then perhaps you have the pulse of a zombie.
Read the full interview about this not-in-2010 game for more.