Dead Nation Review


Well, I finished up Dead Nation on “Normal” difficulty in the single-player campaign, and played a little bit of local multi-player. The campaign took around 8-10 hours or so.

What was done well? Graphics, Controls, Multi-player, Number of zombies and mutants on screen, Sound, Stats, Weapons and Armour

The graphics are great. The amount of gore and zombies on screen at once can be impressive, considering that there’s generally no slow down (and if there is, it’s very little). Explosions and fire are done well, with excellent lighting. Body parts and bodies move as you walk over them. The only thing they could have added is a trail of bloody foot prints after you’re done walking through all the gore. The use of fog, and darkness set a good mood when you’re in a quiet spot. The flares and the flashlight are definitely required in some areas, and it can be a bit intense.

Controls are responsive and laid out well. Sometimes it feels like your character can’t move fast enough, but that is more so reliant on the armour you’re wearing, not the controls being sluggish.

I’ve only tried out the local multi-player so far, and it has potential to be a lot of fun. We played one level and it’s definitely fun to mow down zombies with a friend. I am sure you know the feeling if you’ve played Left 4 Dead, Zombie mode in CoD, or Zombie Apocalypse (or any of the other zombie games out there).

The sheer number of zombies on screen at once at certain points in the game can be a breath-taking sight. I am talking 100’s at once in some spots. In these moments, I tend to feel great satisfaction when I see the body parts flying all over the place, and depending on what weapons you use, sometimes parts take quite a while to hit the ground. It can be pure mayhem, and what else could you really ask for?

Zombies and mutants in this game make sounds, and it’s important to listen when you’re in a quiet area. Foot steps and growls can tell you what is hiding in the darkness, or around the next corner. Bangs from doors opening can give you the hint that a pile of undead cannibals are coming to eat you. With surround sounds, or a good set of head phones, you’ll have the advantage or knowing the direction they are coming from. Listen carefully.

When you play the game, and you’re signed in, you’ll be contributing to the country you live in on the global statistics, so make sure you’re logged in. Canada was in second for the first week or so, behind the US, but now it seems a lot of other counties are playing catch-up. We need more Canadian players out there! Join the fight!

Around the game, you’ll find areas off to the side where you can get armour (you’ll find them in large glowing containers). There are quite a few armour pieces, and they certainly are helpful, so don’t be afraid to explore, but be prepared to fight for whatever you find. On quite a few occasions, I found myself ambushed. Remember to listen for monsters and zombies. Otherwise, there are shops to purchase weapons at and as you kill zombies and explore containers (remember to pop the trunk of cars to find more points to buy weapons with). There is a wide selection, from the submachine gun, to a gun that fire electricity. My advice is to upgrade the rifle as fast as you can and then grenades and mines. Mind you, on harder difficulties, this tactic may change. The shotgun was very effective, as well as the launcher, but use the weapon that bests suits the situation. Don’t waste ammo on a single zombie. Just use your rifle in those situations, since it has infinite ammo. Common sense works here more so than anything. Test out the weapons and adapt accordingly.

What could be improved and what didn’t I like? Unlocking difficulty levels, a bit repetitive

The only thing that really annoyed me about this game was the fact that I finished the game on “Normal” difficulty and it didn’t unlock the two toughest difficulty levels (“Morbid” and “Undead”). Now I have to play through the game again on “Grim” difficulty to unlock one or both of the toughest difficulty levels. And then potentially play through it again to get the final difficulty level. If I had known that, I would have played through it on “Grim” first instead of “Normal”.

Once you’ve played through it by yourself, it does get a bit repetitive. The best way to beat that is to play multi-player. Hopefully they will make some DLC for this game and keep it going.

Overall

I am still playing this game, and will hopefully be contributing to Canada’s ongoing battle against the undead for quite a while. We need to get back up into the top 5 (currently, we’re 6th place). If you’re not tired of killing zombies and want a fun game for only $15, then you can’t go wrong with this game. It’s been in the making for quite a while, and you’re definitely getting great value here. If you’re a trophy hunter, you’ll be happy to know there are quite a few here (including a Platinum). Grab a friend and let the gory fun begin.

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