Tell Us Dammit: Zombies In Gaming

Tell Us Dammit: Zombies In Gaming

This week we’re trying to ‘zombie’ up our regulars a little bit, and the same thing goes with ‘Tell Us Dammit’. This question is for folks who have spent years playing video games with zombies in them: what has video games as a whole overlooked in the zombie experience? Is there a feature or a mechanic that you’d like to see implemented in a game? Something that hasn’t been done yet?

Alternatively — what do games featuring zombies get wrong? Or do you think video games as a whole get it completely right?

Let us know in the comments below!


  • I think the main thing they’ve been missing is the whole survival aspect. Dead Island touched on it, Day Z further explored it, but a zombie apocalypse is an end of the world scenario. People still have to eat, sleep and find shelter. The majority of zombie games have just been action games.

  • I’d like to see a perma-death zombie game where your player-character is not miraculously immune to the zombie virus. So even after after one glancing bite the clock starts ticking until you eventually succumb to the infection.

    And to stop people from quitting as soon as they are bitten, a mechanic where, once bitten, the more you accomplish before your time is up will earn better gear or ability bonuses for your new character.

      • Yeah, from what I played at the EB expo, if your character is grabbed then it’s game over and you respawn at the start as someone else. You then see your character when you get back to where you were, now an infected zombie. If you kill him, you can loot the body for your stuff!

      • No Zombie U is just Left 4 Dead but with scarier bits in it. You dont have to realy find shelter, u just go checkpoint to checkpoint doing missions. Nothing that survival about it. They have taken advantage of the Zombie Genre, made a game that looks like it will be what everyone wants.
        The Gameplay points only to a FPS with Cliched Scary moments.

  • The only zombies are slow ones. dead rising was awesome because the zombies were easy when alone, crazy in a horde and the bosses were humans not super zombies.

  • Dead Rising is probably my favourite Zombie game and gets the whole thing right. Having a mass of them in a mall or casinoish place all outnumbering you, with the ability to use ordinary items as weapons is pretty goddamn great.

    • I didn’t get into Dead Rising 1, but I played 2 and enjoyed it a lot. I don’t know if it’s “zombies done right” as far as gaming goes, but it was one of the more fun zombie-related gaming experiences.

      I’d say in generally the issue is that games are about killing tons of zombies, which is something that movies traditionally use as an action climax, either through people escaping or making a dramatic last stand of some kind.

      I appreciate that DayZ has explored the survival aspects more, though I guess people are finding ways to game that system a bit and it’s become too easy for them, which leads to a lack of interest – which is a darn shame. I am hoping excitement picks up when the standalone game comes out – and WarZ has been getting some interest too.

      So far though, the Walking Dead games are unbeatable in terms of human drama – I never read the comic and I don’t particularly enjoy the show, but those games… ok, so they don’t focus much on survival – you have one episode that’s about being low on food and that’s it – but they’ve really nailed the atmosphere of desperation and creeping dread, which I think is the best way to sustain it in the long term.

  • Dear Resident Evil 6, you can’t call them zombies if they don’t die when you shoot them in the head. Call them Ganados, Majini, or J’avo. Whatever. But you can’t call them zombies if they don’t die when you shoot them in the head.

    On the whole, I think zombies are a very tired gaming cliche. I haven’t enjoyed playing a game with zombies in it since Resident Evil 2, with the one exception of the Zombie Island of Dr Ned DLC for the original Borderlands.

    EDIT: I also enjoyed The Walking Dead game by Telltale. How did I forget that?

    • Are you kidding. Zombies Games are never done u bloody idiot. We got Dead Island a while ago…. Ummmm Resident Evil last month, and yh Dead Rising 2 before that. The Walking Dead isnt a true Zombie Game, yeh there are zombies but its just simply a very crap game and I dont like the limited controll over the character.
      We get a Zombie game rarely.
      Now Sports games, FPS games with generic gameplay, Racing games with bad gameplay, those are genres that have beendone to death.
      Anyone in half s brain knows that if we got a true Horror/Survivor Zombie Apocalypse game that is true to what a Zombie Apocolpypse will be like with great gameplay and storytelling then that will be an amazing game.

      Zombie games will allways be a success on some level. The thought of Zombies has allways been in the back of our head which keeps us interested in em forever.

  • Most games with zombies just have this almost unending flow of generidude (or generidudette) former humans that they throw at you in an attempt to be challenging. Too few games actually make it look like they were formerly people who had lives and a reason for being where they are now. I know zombies are supposed to be the comical multitude of cannon fodder (the FPS equivalent of rats in RPGs) but I want to see a game that explores the person behind the zombie. Maybe with a guy wearing a monocle in a leather chair by the fireplace telling the story.

  • DayZ seems to be the best at getting the experience right so far (never played it but watch endless videos on youtube) . The best zombie movies are more focused on how humans react to such an event as a zombie outbreak. It’s the anticipation that makes zombie movies such as The Night Of The Living Dead so amazing. It’s should be about making the right decisions in the game to stay alive. Take risks and you will die, don’t take risks and you will die. Zombie games shouldn’t be just an outright first person shooter. Since there is an XBox in the family I have played many zombie games on it but so far have only really enjoyed the Dead Rising Series.

  • We need more zombie games that focus on the story, character development and how horrible a zombie apocalypse would really be. Those are the three things it often feels like games featuring zombies are missing.

    • This. From what I’ve heard, The Walking Dead comes pretty close, but it’d be nice to see a free-roaming story-driven RPG centring around a zombie apocalypse. Which is why I’m looking forward to Last of Us, even more so because it is not zombies per se, which have been done to death [pun unintentional, but a happy coincidence].

      Edit: State of Decay looks pretty good, too, but looks like it won’t have much story…

  • I haven’t played The Walking Dead yet, but from what I’ve heard, that fills the biggest voids that existed previously.

  • A game that was designed to be a zombie game.. no problem.. that’s what it’s supposed to be. However games that add on expansions/DLC to make a “zombie” game inside their existing game.. no.. just no.

    I love The Walking Dead.. I loved some of the Resident Evil games.. but I am sick to death (no pun intended) of zombie DLCs that are cash cows.. booooorrring!!

  • Loved ll for zombie games having more of a resource/defence/survival management aspect to it. It’s not out yet but War Z looks to be doing that. Dead Rising was heaps of fun though and liked Dead Island if only the controls were better.

    Have also finished Walking Dead Episode 4, and this game definately nails the drama and mood of the Kirkman’s comic. It’s more an interactive tv show though, but still enjoyed it. How awesome was episode 1 of season 3 of the tv show? Season 2 was a bit boring but it looks like this season will be a ripper

  • Best experience was zombies for me was the Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. It was a great piece of DLC (although I got it in the GOTY edition), as they created a whole new (well done) story.
    The zombies were quite easy, but could be threats in large groups (or a threat individually to idiot NPCs for comical effect).
    There were people reveling in it and people fearing it all. Towns and settlements had bands of survivors stopping zombies together. The random stuff you’d find in the world was cool too.

  • Gotta admit I love a good zombie game. But some that I didn’t get into include Dead Rising, Dead Island and Resident Evil 5. The original Resi is where it’s at but Resi 4 was also a lot of fun.

    Most recently and for some time now I’ve been playing DayZ. Being a huge fan of Arma already it’s easy for me to like but certainly not without problems. Love the huge Arma maps and the complete paranoia surrounding encountering another survivor. Who can you trust?

    The War Z looks great in footage and text on screen but I just can’t commit yet. It’s definitely on the list.

    I did however pre-purchase

    Truth is I have high hopes for The Dead Linger. Looks to be everything missing from good zombie survival games as it is. Things like fortifying buildings, farms, commercial areas or whole neighbourhoods. Zombies are zombies. There are no uber zombies to cheapen the regular zombie hordes. There are only healthy (fast), hungry (moderate) or starving (slow) zombie types.

    Zombies can only be killed by headshot or physical removal of the head.

    There can reportedly be up to 500 zombies in the players immediate area at any given time. By the time TDL goes gold they say anywhere up to 1000 zombies is possible.

    FPS only even though I like the freedom of the Arma 3rd person view. I anticipate this will make the whole experience much more claustrophobic for me, even though the map is freaking huge…

    All this and it’s still too early to tell if it will amount to anything worthwhile. Alpha is released Oct 31.

    Zombie action games like L4D2 are great fun but I prefer a greater focus on survival and the environments surrounding that requirement.

    The anonymity typical of DayZ is also a huge asset to the game. Keeps you on your toes.

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