What is it that makes killing zombies so much fun? Is it the satisfying thwack as bullet hits re-animated brain matter, or the thrill of facing off against an overwhelming horde of flesh-craving corpses? Zombies are the ultimate cannon fodder, providing what must be the only legitimate reason to sprint headlong into a crowd waving a running chainsaw. Now you lucky PS3 owners get your own PlayStation Network zombie shooter, Dead Nation.
One year after the global zombie apocalypse, players must take control of the lone survivors as they make their way through a city heaving with the brain-eating dead. The game is played from an isometric top-down viewpoint that allows you to spot the zombies as they run at you from all angles. The downside of the large visible play area is that you may have difficulty seeing exactly what is going on if your sofa is far from the TV.
There are five difficulty levels: braindead, normal and grim, with the unlockable morbid and undead levels reserved for the more dedicated zombie hunter. The controls are easy: aim your weapon and torch with one analogue stick and move with the other. When overwhelmed by the dead, you can either use rush to push through and escape, or grenades and other secondary weapons to blow them to chowder.
While you can play solo, the included co-op mode pushes the game into beers-and-a-mate territory. There is also an online co-op mode, which was unavailable at review time. The game features a comprehensive leader board and stats system that ranks players by country and globally.
Dead Nation provides yet another entertaining excuse to mow down zombies in a hail of bullets.
It is a genre that never seems to get old. The graphics may be a little too small for a lounge console, but this is a minor gripe. The game does what it says on the tin. With the co-op mode and the nation-based leader board, this is one shooter that you’ll find yourself returning to again and again.