Gaming Innovation From A Surprising Source

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Gaming Innovation From A Surprising Source

With all the talk going on about the console market, it's worth taking a moment to look at some of the upcoming games in the field. There's a surprising amount of innovation coming up, and it's coming from a source that may not be expected.

The direction in question--and you'll want to brace yourself for this--is zombie games. Normally, zombies are little more than a wandering target that occasionally bites potential victims, but a pair of upcoming games are injecting some rather exciting new mechanics into things.

First, a game that's arriving this June: State of Decay. State of Decay offers not just zombie-fighting action, but also resource management and even a level of personality management to the mix as gamers keep a group of survivors together in a world turned upside down in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

While State of Decay is offering some very interesting new dynamics in terms of zombie gaming, thanks to some new management and relationship simulation tools, it's not the only expected source of innovation in the zombie arena. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is putting up its own slice of innovation called Dying Light.

In Dying Light, you play a scavenger that goes out to find the various things folks need even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. But here, the zombies are a bit different than the ordinary. While some favor the classic, slow zombie, others favor the fast-moving screamer, and both are accommodated here. By day, the zombies are slow and easy to kill. But when the sun goes down, the rage goes up, and the zombies that were so easy to splatter by daylight become howling bloodthirsty monsters.

That's a lot of innovation, and seeing it all come out of one very specific sub-class of action game is unusual to say the least. But still, this is good news, to see so much thought and study invested in producing good quality games should give anyone a lift, especially those who were starting to lose hope in the face of a flood of first person shooters that all seem vaguely similar and an assortment of sequels besides.

It's strange that the zombie genre would be the source of unusual gameplay styles and play mechanics, but that seems to be the case. And frankly, I'm eager to see just how it all turns out. State of Decay will be available soon, at last report, and though Dying Light won't hit until 2014, reportedly, it should still be a joy when it finally does.
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