Welcome one and all to the 2nd Annual Indie of the Year the largest celebration of purely indie games. It's time to pick players and editors choice in...
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You've heard about the growing multiplayer phenomenon Dayz haven't you? The one where you and your friends traverse the eastern European land of Chenaurus in a desperate search for fresh beans? Well, there are also zombies in Dayz! There are also zombies in Project Zomboid, a work-in-progress zombie survival simulator and the first product from developer The Indie Stone.
Im not really a big fan of zombies. I think that they are overused and don't really have much potential to them as a device. I wish we could use some other kind of freakishly horrible creatures to kill and survive, how about the cast of Jersey Shore? I mean, they're just as ugly and probably enjoy eating human flesh, the only difference is that these guys actually exist! ooooooooo scary. I do however praise the fact that The Indie Stone didn't decide to hop onto the generic modern zombie bandwagon and make their zombies Usain Bolt. The zombies I encountered during my first Impressions were slow, but that doesn't mean they weren't deadly. One subtle mistake and I might have a horde of 200 zombies on my ass.
Despite only recently purchasing the game, I had previously played Project Zomboid's free demo, and lets just say I became ever so slightly addicted to it. The atmosphere of this game strongly reminded me of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Being almost completely alone in a hostile environment with no starting means to defeat your foes other than a good pair of legs and an opposite direction. As stated, the Devs main objective of this game is to have the most unique and remarkable adventure leading up to your player's inevitable demise. And as an avid player of Dwarf Fortress, im reminded that sometimes "It's fun to lose". I decided to re-familiarize myself with this game by playing the tutorial/story-mode. For an isometric game it does a good job of portraying drama to a degree. A caring husband desperately trying to care for his injured wife whilst hordes of the walking dead roam the outside is a great set-piece to learn the basics of the game, of course being me I seemed to fail almost immediately when I decided to shoot my wife in the face with a shotgun. Well now that the story-mode has failed, time for Sandbox!
Being the kind of guy who enjoys making things a touch more mentally retarded than is legally acceptable, I chose to create the most unlikely zombie-slaying hero imaginable, an Obese, claustrophobic, clumsy police officer who is a raging hypochondriac, think Paul Blart during a zombie apocalypse.
I began my adventure with a smile on my face and an uncertain trickle down my trousers. The apartment complex I had spawned in was poorly lit with many surrounding rooms but only one exit. I would of thought that the old-school isometric perspective would of helped improve my vision during my ventures in Project Zomboid, I was wrong... I was surrounded by an ever looming shadow which, with every turn appeared to close on on me in a dark, undying embrace. "Oh god the claustrophobia's taking effect!" I murmured to myself "I better search this building and get the hell out of here!" The bedrooms were helpful in providing basic supplies, I ripped the sheets from the bed and torn them apart to create makeshift bandages just in case my years of excessive eating catches up with me and I get mauled by a grumpy zombie. The kitchens provided much needed food which I took under the circumstance that just in case my lovable oaf got depressed and needed his favorite thing in the world to cheer up again. Yet, the single greatest room in the complex was by far the Bathrooms. Every crack and crevice of the urinal utopia was filled to the brim with DRUGS! "Hmm" I murmured a second time "I better keep these for later...just in case." My plan for the eventual moment I surrender my life and begin a last stand is to completely fill my unnaturally proportioned body with so many drugs that all of the zombies that take a bite from me will become so high that they don't want to be zombies anymore, or something odd like that. So, with an inventory filled with drugs I finnaly took my first steps into the outside world.
Despite being the middle of the day, the streets of Knox county are pretty dark, I could still see what was around me though, I wish I couldn't. Zombies, zombies everywhere... It seems that a horde at formed right outside my spawn zone and could easily smell the hulking mass that had stumbled into their presence, one hundred zombies were now shambling towards my position and without any weapons, I had to run. Although I was a great blob of a man, the zombies were unusually easy to avoid, you would think that they could if simply held on to one of my many rolls and let me run on the spot like a Scooby Doo character, alas they did not. A few minutes later I was safe. After a nice stroll down the road I bumped into another survivor. From the developer diaries I knew that it was possible to converse and form alliances with other survivors via an in-depth system which examines your mood and replies accordingly. It seems however that this particular individual had no interest in joining up with someone of the likes of me, as after first seeing me, he immediately ran straight in the direction of the horde I had a previous encounter with. Perhaps he thought I was a Boomer, that or he had stolen from my drug sack.
It was night-time now, my hunger had been satisfied with some packets of crisps I had found after a raid on a local corner-shop and I was extremely tired, the situation was pretty similar on Project Zomboid as well. By a mere stroke of luck I had stumbled across the former residence of our two tutorial protagonists. By the looks of it, the home had only recently been abandoned, they even forgot to take their tutorial messages with them! There was some fresh soup in the cupboards. Even some pretty effective weapons were located in the shed, like a baseball bat and hammer. This all seemed rather suspicious, As if some unknown entity had placed these very items to prepare me for what is to come. Like that great horde of the undead shambling towards me was somehow trying to kill me... hmm.
The Great Shambling horde of the undead was indeed trying to kill me, kill me very much indeed. By the time I had ran up the stairs, the door had already been broken down. I decided that this was the moment, the moment I make use of all of those drugs I had carefully stored in my inventory ever since the start of my adventure. I had decided to hide in the bathroom while I administer the drugs, Everything from beta-blockers to sleeping pills were now making their way around my system and I was ready for battle. With nailed baseball bat In hand I cleaved my way through the hundred-so undead, my round form rolling and tumbling like a great big bowling ball. However, despite the raw amount of awesomeness that was coming from me, the zombies were too powerful. In a matter of seconds they had swarmed all over me, clawing and biting any section of flesh they could find. I had died....
There is no denying that Project Zomboid is looking very promising. And the very fact that it has already been accepted to Steam Greenlight, even in alpha! is mind-blowing in its own right, I predict that Project Zomboid is going to be a monumental success, try it out, you won't be disappointed. The Team have gone through great hardships to develop this game.
- Great Premise
- Fun Game-play
- Fantastic Atmosphere
- Kind, welcoming online community
- The game world needs to be much brighter during the day.
- More dangerous zombies
- After final release the addition of some form of multiplayer mode would only benefit the game.
Next time, I will be giving a spotlight for "The Sundering: Rise of the Witch King" a truly fantastic modification for Medieval II: Total War, feel free to post comments suggesting future First Impressions or general criticism. Thanks for Reading.
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