A Zombie game, only known under the project name of Class 3, (Class 3 being the initial launch stage, working out any bugs and issues, then releasing a final version, known as Class 4) is being released by Undead Labs sometime soon in 2011. With the help of Microsoft Game Studios, the game is aimed to be released on the Xbox Live Arcade. The game is planned to have an MMO playmode, as well as a 1-2 player solo or cooperative main game playmode. The most interesting thing I find about the game that stem from the developers' comments is the level of respect and understanding that is expressed by them about the zombie genre. Jeff Strain of Undead Labs told 1up ""We all go to zombie movies like Zombieland and come out afterwards and have a beer with our friends or significant others and kind of sit around and say, 'What's your plan?' Strain continued relating his own personal experience and interest in the Zombie genre, and emphasized that "We want to create the definitive zombie survival experience . . . It hasn't been done yet, and we think that there's a tremendous game there to be made, and we want to be the ones to make it."
Undead Labs aims to do what most game developers and companies who have released Zombie-related games have not yet managed to pull off: creating the actual experience of surviving a zombie apocalypse. Zombies could be seen as a subgenre of the survival-horror genre, but can stand as its own genre, since Zombie films, books and games do not always incorporate a theme of survival, mostly depicting undead massacres, creative murders of rotting dead corpses, and escape. Looking back at the Resident Evil game series, in particular the earlier games, such as the first, second, and third games. Those games stood mostly as the survival-horror genre: they scattered ammo so it was sparse, made every enemy a potential threat, and created a startling experience, not knowing where the next enemy could strike by using fixed/static camera angled environments. You could say the games were Zombie games, which was true for the most part; however, classifying the game, it would fall under survival-horror. Most would wonder why, and it's because, primarily, the game uses few zombies. Other creatures included lickers, hunters, giant creatures (shark, crocodile, snake, plants, etc), and a number of other mutating creatures. It isn't a zombie apocalypse, but a massive biohazard outbreak, that doesn't always primarily create zombies, but other beings. Sure, there are a number of films that originate the cause of a zombie outbreak to be a biohazard of some sort, but those perspectives usually aim to create a main focus on zombies, lots and lots of them.
In the case of Undead Labs, I certainly hope they are true to what they say. The game, if focused on the key aspect of surviving a zombie outbreak, not tearing through it by massacring the slaughters, but feeling helpless if you were surrounded by hundreds, would prove to be an innovative game to say the least. I'm certainly going to pick this one up to see if it can man up to the hype provided by Undead Labs.
I'm out for the weekend, so I probably won't update for a bit. But to give you a taste of what's coming up in the future, this is what I plan on reviewing:
The Dead Series, George A. Romero's (Night, Dawk, Day, Land, Diary, Survival)
Return of the Living Dead Series (5 films)
Satircal/Comical Zombie Films (Shaun of the Living Dead, Zombieland, a few others)
28 Days Later versus 28 Weeks Later
If anyone can suggest any films that I should cover, games or books (will be some time, a lot of reading for uni to do), feel free to comment and follow! I love 'em all the same!