How the summer blockbuster World War Z inspired Yesika to think of a new kind of zombie video game.
We’ve had our share of emotionally wrecking zombie games like Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead or Naughty Dog‘s The Last of Us. We are no stranger to shoot em’ up/slice and dice games like Resident Evil or Dead Rising as well.
I think it’s pretty obvious that society is addicted to the undead. So, is there anything else the zombie genre can give video games? I found my answer after watching the film World War Z. I loved it, and you don’t have to agree with me. Hear me out.
I’m not asking for a video game adaptation of the film. The mobile version was awful enough. However, the film gave me a lot of ideas on how to reinvigorate the zombie genre in video games without relying on drama or gore.
What if we had a video game wherein we take control of a protagonist who is actively searching for a cure and is working with the remaining governments to stabilize society? Instead of just fighting to survive, you’re actually trying to save humanity from extinction.
Just like in the film, this game could have a more investigative approach to zombie games. The main character is tasked to gather evidence from different areas around the world to discover the origin of the virus and means to generate a vaccine.You don’t even have to play one character. It could just be like Heavy Rain or Battlefield 3 where there’s more than one perspective.
Based on the evidence you find, you can track more leads to investigate. However, not all the leads you discover actually mean something. So, you’re given a lot of information to sift through and you have to critically analyze which of it is useful. L.A Noire with zombies?
You won’t have all the time in the world though. The infection is rapidly spreading, so you can only investigate a limited number of leads. Choosing to favor one over the other might lead to the fall or stabilization of one major cityChoosing to favor one over the other might lead to the fall or stabilization of one major city.
Choices can also affect small scale elements. For example, your ally was infected and if you go about finding a cure/vaccine slowly then there’s a chance that they won’t make it. I guess I can see a bit of Mass Effect 3 here where your choices impact more than just a small group of people.
There could also be political choices involved that aims to rattle a player’s morality. Would you send a military team to save a bunch of world leaders or a group of refugees? Other simpler choices could involve deciding to shut off all transportation routes or allocating funding. Something that reminds me of the mobile game called Plague Inc., except you’re trying to save the world this time instead of killing its population.
Of course, this game would definitely have some sort of combat involved. Perhaps, something similar to the The Last of Us wherein you can either sneak or attack the zombies head on. I also see the potential of having a more tactical approach if you are playing as a special ops character. Your allies could silently gun down zombies for you or something similar. You could have access to military covert weaponry in addition to makeshift weapons.
It would also be nice to escape a major city while it rapidly gets crumbled by the zombie infestation. Imagine those hordes of extremely fast zombies chasing after you and you have to find your way out of there. I also loved that scene where the zombies started climbing on top of the wall to get to the other side.
While you are running, you could see buildings fall or zombies taking down a helicopter because they keep piling on top of it. So, there could still be plenty of heart pumping action involved even if it is isn’t a slice and dice or shoot em’ up type of game.
Regardless if it’s the film or the book, World War Z gives us a glimpse of how the whole world might react to a zombie apocalypse. It’s not just one man’s or a particular group’s perspective. It would be nice to see this translate into a video game.
I’m not saying that we need a new type of zombie video games because we’ve had a plethora of bad ones in the past. We’ve recently had amazing ones like Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead or The Last of Us. However, it would be nice to see game developers try creating one using a different formula or framework.
Would this be a game you’d be interested to play, or do you have ideas of your own? Let us know.