Dead Nation is an addictive and gruesome twin stick zombie shooter from the developers of Super Stardust HD. During the past couple of years several zombie shooters have been released, and have oversaturated the market depending on your tastes. Does Dead Nation have what it takes to stand up on its own? Or is it an infectious scourge on the PlayStation Store? Hit the break for my verdict.
Dead Nation will definitely be one of the most addictive and well-polished PSN titles you will play all year. Dead Nation occurs in a deserted city where everyone has been turned into flesh eating zombies. The main character, the only survivor, miraculously remains immune to the virus that has infected everyone in the planet. The story which focuses on your desire to survive is both cliché and well presented. Dead Nation features rough, yet beautifully drawn cut-scenes that are used to progress the story. Combine that with great voice acting and you have a story that is more intriguing than it should be.
Anyone that has played Geometry Wars and Super Stardust will be able to step right into Dead Nation. The right stick controls aiming and the left stick controls the player movement. Any player can step right in and start blowing chunks out of the infected. Dead Nation features a number of best looking dismemberment by any arcade game. Zombies are very eager to taste your flesh and a few require quick moves in order to be dealt with. Dead Nation has an amazing amount of enemy variety, which is essential to making a deep experience. Players can expect slow and burdensome enemy types all the way to extremely fast and frisky enemies. In fact, Dead Nation does a very good job of including every type of enemy you can think of.
Dead Nation is an exceedingly moody game, and features some of the best graphics and lighting in an arcade title. Despite the deep atmosphere, Dead Nation also brings about frequent breaks of humour, which helps the game from having an overwhelming amount of depressing tone. If all the previously mentioned elements weren’t enough, Dead Nation is also cleverly paced. Enemies, appear, hide and swarm you in the most inconvenient moments, helping to keep you engaged at all times. So many instances that developers have failed in one area or another, still even the sound design is outstanding. The ambient noise that plays in the background, combined with the sound effect, enemy chatter and music helps create another layer of fascination that is lacking from some retail titles.
Dead Nation features both offline and online 2-player co-op play. It was hard to assess if there were any latency problems since only a few people were online playing. Perhaps my favourite feature is the way Dead Nation handle their leaderboards. Not only does it do an impressive job of tracking stats, but it also counts your country’s stats. The more zombies you neutralize, the quicker you can help clear the infection from your country. This leaderboard does not only facilitate competition between players, but it also encourages competition between countries. It creates a unique sense of competition that I haven’t experienced within an arcade game in quite some time.
I highly recommend Dead Nation. I would encourage you to purchase it as soon as it gets released on November 30th. It’s an impressively polished, very addictive, and highly atmospheric game that no one should miss out on.