Format: Download (1446mb)
Players: 1-2 (local+online)
Price: $15 usually 30% off for regular PSN users for a week, 50% off for Ps+ users for 2 weeks.
Dead Nation is a top-down shooter from developer Housemarque the guys who brought us Super StarDust HD, their latest venture Dead Nation is a game where you kill various different types, and kinds of zombies. The game also hosts what the developers are calling a “meta-game” where you can contribute to your countries progress in fighting off the zombie infection, and unlock gallery images based on your contribution, as well as your countries progress. Hit the jump for our full review which covers each element of the game organized from my least-most favorite.
The story in Dead Nation is told in a motion comic style between the levels. It’s definitely quite serviceable, and gives you a good reason for why you are in each location, and why for instance you’re shooting at fat cop zombies, or hilariously demented clown zombies. The story in Dead Nation is always going somewhere, and leading you along a journey to try to end the zombie virus using your resistance to the virus. There’s no character development (personality wise anyway) or anything of that sort, but liike in Killzone 3 Dead Nation’s story is mostly just giving you an excuse to kill an immense amount of zombies. Dead Nation’s story also has hints of something not being right in your mission if you look close enough at it.
The music in Dead Nation is extremely intense, and really gets your blood pumping.The sound effects also really help to prepare, and scare you; often you’ll hear a zombie and you’ll be looking all over for it only to not see it sneak up behind (or in front) of you. You might be wondering how the hell zombies can sneak up, and scare you in a top-down shooter, I’ll elaborate on that when I talk about the presentation of Dead Nation. Additionally you can use custom sound tracks in Dead Nation, however they’re disabled if you’re using the voice chat feature while playing the game in co-op. The audio in Dead Nation overall suits the game extremely well, and creates a hauntingly creepy atmosphere that I’m sure you’ll love.
The graphics in Dead Nation are very impressive, especially considering how Dead Nation is a downloadable game. The lighting in Dead Nation is especially good, and rivals the best lighting effects you’ll see in full retail games. The great thing about the presentation is how little you’ll see, often you’ll hear a zombie so you’ll be pointing your weapon all around you looking for it before it kills you. (Everywhere you point your weapon gets illuminated by your flashlight) Or in one stage there’s lightning, so suddenly for a brief moment a strike of lightning will reveal a horde of zombies all around you, the game at times seems like it’s showing off, for instance the last stage is an airport with mechanical lights flashing all over the place.
There’s also many different environments in Dead Nation, and lots of themed zombies like fire fighter zombies that can walk in fire, or soldier zombies that can take a lot of bullets, and shoot their guns mindlessly; all of the zombies, and environments in Dead Nation look very nice, and help to keep Dead Nation looking like the eye candy that it is; speaking of eye candy: the explosions in Dead Nation look ridiculously nice, it must have something to do with the aerial view but seeing cars explode is a huge treat.
The gameplay is where Dead Nation really shines, if you’ve played Super Starddust HD you know that Housemarque are great at delivering excellent addicting gameplay in pretty packages, but Dead Nation really ups the ante. In Dead Nation you have several different weapons, and explosives to buy, and choose from, and you can upgrade each weapon in several different ways. There’s also equipable armor that increases various stats for your character like speed, melee strength, defense etc. I found that everyone who plays Dead Nation sort of develops their own style of play, and upgrades their weapon, and armor accordingly. I for instance upgraded the standard infinite ammo rifle to max as soon as I could, and I’ve bought every explosive/throwable item and maxed them out, then I equipped the best armor pieces to increase my speed, I did this so that I could constantly run backwards shooting with my standard rifle, while throwing out a flare or whatever I can if the zombies start overwhelming me. The other cool thing is that you’ll develop all sorts of strategies for taking out zombies; for instance I would often charge up my rifle then shoot a car so that it’ll explode, then chuck a flare beside the car so all the zombies gather around the explosion, and die. Another nice trick I love is chucking a flare, then letting all the zombies pack in dense around the flare, then take out my shotgun, and slice through all of them with a couple shells.
The game lasts about 5 hours or so but the replayability in Dead Nation is very high because there’s 3 higher difficulty modes above “Normal” I’m currently on the last stage of the second highest difficulty. The other nice thing is that with the patch that hit last week the game automatically saves at checkpoints, so you no longer have to dedicate an hour or so to Dead Nation to actually get through a level (that’s if you’re like me, and explore the open environment, looking for loot, and zombies) so the pick-up and playability of the game is really high.
Playing Co-Op in Dead Nation is a ton of fun too because you’ll constantly be communicating with your partner, saying things like “Zombie behind you” or “Fuck I hear a fattie” (the exploding fat zombie) the other awesome thing is like I said everyone has their own play style in Dead Nation so it’s fun seeing your partners ways of doing things; my one buddy would always charge, and melee kill a lot of zombies, and he hated the throwable items, and used the shotgun a lot. It was really interesting combining his close range, with my long range style of play, and the other neat thing is that if you have half a brain between you, and your partner you’ll realize right away that if you’re gonna live you’re both gonna have to specialize in weapons. So while my buddy was specializing in the shot gun, and flamethrower I was specializing in the SMG, and Rifle, along with all my explosive toys. This way I was able to cut through the hordes of weaker zombies with my SMG while my buddy tackled the heavier zombies.
As you can probably tell I could go on, and on about the gameplay in Dead Nation, but the simple fact is that Dead Nation fucking rocks, and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone with an internet connected Ps3.
Fucked-Up-Meter *******___6/10 Intense gore, a twisted dark story.