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Game Review: Project Zomboid

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At the risk of sounding like an old fogie, I must ask: what happened to zombie games? Games like “Left 4 Dead” are mind-numbingly unrealistic. Characters find shotguns in some soccer mom’s car, and miniguns in some guy’s dishwasher, with nothing to fear. You’re immune to the zombie virus.

Well, fear no more, because “Project Zomboid” is nothing like the zombie games of the past. Zomboid’s goal is to deliver a “realistic” zombie apocalypse. That means no militray-grade weapons everywhere, no immunity to the zombie virus and no chance of survival (wow, that’s dark). The game makes it perfectly clear that you will not survive long. In fact, the opening cutscene simply says: “These are the end times. There was no hope of survival. This is how you died.”

And there are no extra lives either. If, no, when you die, there is no compensation, no second chance, no teammate reviving you, nothing. Many times I have been trapped in a house, with no way out, and zombies climbing through the windows. Do I try to fight them off? Do I hide in my saferoom, and doom myself to a painful death from starvation. Or, realizing the hopeless situation, I decide to kill as many as I can.  I grab my shotgun, bash down the door, and proceed to wreak havoc. For a breif moment, I have the ridiculous hope that maybe I might make it out alive, but there are too many.  It’s only a matter of time before I am bitten, and join the ranks of the dead.

The game then displays the “highlights” of my life, stating I survived for a measly 20 days. Hopelessness is a common theme in Zomboid, with the game reminding me multiple times that my life could end at literally any second.

That being said, the game is still unfinished, and has its fair share of bugs and glitches. I caught myself thinking this game was a waste of money on more than one occasion, but this is one case where the good far outweigh the bad. There is huge potential in this game, an I am really interested to see what the developers will do with this awesome formula. The best part of this game, at least for me, was how “realistic” it was.

Character creation is simple but detailed, and your character can be affected by multiple status effects, like fear, thirst, hunger, fatigue, disease, and boredom. Not only that, but all it takes is one zombie to kill you. All it takes is one serious scratch to make you bleed out, and one infected bite means a slow, guarenteed death.

After everything is said and done, Zombiod is a deep, engaging, and very scary game that is still being developed. While the price is a bit steep at $15.99, there’s a free demo available.

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Game Review: Project Zomboid