Dead Nation Review

-Uriah Marriott

Grab your shotguns, flares, grenades, and let the undead genocide begin in this twin-stick-shooter called Dead Nation! Dead Nation is a PS3 exclusive download from the PlayStation Store. In Dead Nation you can play as either Jack McReady or Scarlett Blake. Jack and Scarlett are two of a small percentage in the world that is immune to the zombie virus that has engulfed the world in chaos and destruction. The main story is trying to figure out if there is anyone left in the world and if there is a cure.

When you first start Dead Nation you have a few options, whether you want to play single player, co-op, or online. The single player mode in Dead Nation is fun and very challenging at times. When you first start the game, you have only a rifle and a couple of flares, which help distract the zombies and herd them into a small group like cattle. I found that single player is fun, but can become a little dull at moments. Co-op, on the other hand, is way more exciting as you and a friend will find yourselves surrounded by twice the zombies than in single player. Co-op mode is the way to play in Dead Nation. Not only do you get to share this adventure with a friend, but the game requires a great amount of communication, strategy, and teamwork. This really helps you think about whom you may want fighting alongside you in a real zombie apocalypse. Online is more of a hit or miss just depending on the player you get teamed up with. The reason being, if you or your teammate has a horrible internet connection this will cause lag issues, or if the other player’s skill is greater or less than yours. This can make the experience a little less enjoyable. Along with the multiple player options, there is a variety of difficulty levels like brain dead, normal, grim, and morbid, all in respective order.

As you progress through each mission, no matter what mode, you find yourself collecting armor which helps increase three main stats, strength, endurance, and agility. Each level and type of armor increases any of these stats, so it is important to try and find them all to have a well-mapped character. The strength helps add power to your melee attacks, endurance is how much damage you take from an enemy, and agility is how fast you will move. On top of collecting armor, each enemy you kill helps earn money, but you can also find treasures along the way that contain money and armor.

The money in the game is used to upgrade current weapons and purchase new ones, along with purchasing/upgrading new side-weapons such as grenades, mines, and molotov’s. When upgrading your weapons you can choose from a few options such as; rate of fire, fire power, clip size, total amount of ammo, and laser sight. Each upgrade option is important; I always went for fire power or rate of fire first because it helps bring down the enemies faster. In addition to all of the collecting, you are also timed for each checkpoint in the game and level. At the end of every level the game will give you an average time of completion. If you complete the level under the set time, you receive a point bonus. You are also scored on loot percentage, percentage of zombies killed and multiple other statistics. More points equal a higher ranking.

The gameplay is smooth and action-packed, which provide hours of fun. I did find myself annoyed when switching between guns and sub-weapons all while being surrounded by enemies. I found it to be either a hassle to switch between weapons, which sometimes ended in me dying because of trying to switch to another gun, or I would forget about my sub-weapons. The other problem was the camera angles, while the overhead view is a great fit for the game, it did become a problem at times when walking into gated or narrow alleyways. The reason is you cannot see if there are any monsters around the area when the building closest to you is in the way of your view and you only see a red or blue image of your character pushing through.

Overall gameplay is fun and exciting with not only weapon options, but environmental kills as well. You can shoot a car which sets off alarms and attract the zombies to the vehicle. A couple more shots will explode the car. There are also explosive barrels and electric transformers that, when shot or punched, will send electricity pulsating through your enemies via fence or electric lines. By far, my favorite, but also most feared, is the conveyor belt with saw blades at the end. These will not only puree hordes of zombies, but you and your friend as well if you’re not careful.

In conclusion, Dead Nation is a great game which will have you sucked in for hours of gameplay and always coming back for more. The upgrade system really adds to the games strategy and how you will deal with each level. Multiple gameplay options leave you with endless possibilities of how long and what the outcome of the level may be. A variety of weapons, sub-weapons, and environmental hazards really brings out the destructive nature and fun of the game. Though there are a few problems with camera angles for seeing enemies and control setups for switching between weapons, which does make it easy to forget about these or a struggle to survive at times, it is only a minor draw back. This game is worth every penny that you spend for only $14.99.

Verdict:85%

Dead Nation: Launch-Trailer

Were you one of the people that picked this up during Sony’s “Welcome Back Program”? If so, were you happy about your purchase? What is stopping you from owning this awesome game?