In the most leisurely definition of ‘weekend’ yet, gaming social network Playfire and digital retailer Green Man Gaming are offering a game for free every day from Friday to Monday. In chronological order, those games are: Zombies, an ungoogleable indie shooter; Ninja Blade, a hack and slash action thing from Dark Souls’ From Software; well-thought-of tower defence affair Unstoppable Gorg; and Milanese racing game Superstar V8 Next Challenge.
Friday, as the attentive among you will have noticed, is today. So we’d better get started.
A wizard visited me in a dream last night. We were sitting cross-legged in that infinitely long corridor out of The Matrix, idly rocking back and forth and trying not to make eye contact, both waiting for the other to speak first. "Have you--" I started, before the greying wizard silenced me by placing his gnarled wooden staff against my lips. "Steve," he spaketh. His voice was like that sound when Indiana Jones pushes a button in a tomb and the ceiling starts to move. "It is important that we carry out our work before you wake." He gestured to the old grandfather clock from my dead nan's house, how on earth did that get there!?
The wizard used two dusty fingers to slide a plain white card across the floor between us. I picked it up and turned it over. In gently embossed embossed Helvetica I saw written on the card a collection of gaming news stories. But not any gaming news stories: gaming news stories that had not yet come to pass. This week's upcoming gaming news stories.
Over the Christmas break, as we all took turns to sip gobfuls of sherry from the communal festive family bucket (as I can only assume all families do), Activision slipped out the first footage of its The Walking Dead FPS, which they've called The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Personally I think it looks like a big old undead stinker, but check it out yourself below and draw your own conclusions. Maybe you actually like Terminal Reality's vision of a zombie apocalypse run through a laminating machine.
I've written "kick a zombies [sic] head off" in my Dead Island: Riptide notes and I'm not entirely sure I remember why. The adjacent notes don't offer any clues: "improved physics, zombie fell over lolol" and "new enemy types, man with guts out". I can only assume that, at some point in the two-player co-op presentation of the Dead Island sequel, creative producer Sebastian Reichert kicked a zombie in the chest and its head came flying off. That feels right. Yes. That is probably what happened.
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So that's The Walking Dead finished. Telltale's zombie click adventure is, with the release of the final episode of season one, categorically the best thing the studio has ever produced. Better perhaps than Bone: Out of Boneville and CSI: Hard Evidence combined. A while ago, after a particularly stressful episode, I wrote spoilerlessly about just how excellent The Walking Dead is and why you should play it. Here, spoilerfully, are some thoughts about what's happened since then. That is, episodes four and five. With all that stuff that went on, and the ending that happened. So don't read this unless you've finished the thing and are now, for some reason, interested in a meandering and largely pointless essay about it.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Hammerpoint Interactive have all but constructed a shrine to Dean Hall. When I first sat down to play The War Z I resolved to not draw lazy comparisons between it and Hall’s DayZ. That didn’t last. The similarities are so striking that they’re impossible to ignore.
Open-world zombie-smusher sequel Dead Island: Riptide's been given a machete-sharp release date of April 26 on both PC and console. It's also been awarded a veritable cache of pre-order incentives: guns and unique character skins, that sort of thing. In the meantime, if you haven't already seen it, the game's CGI trailer is another wonderfully grim tableau of an Awfully Tragic Thing To Happen During A Zombie Outbreak™.
If you've ever wanted to become a hero train driver and save passengers from hordes of great green zombies, then Trains vs Zombies 2 is exactly the kind of game you need. It's available now on Steam and I have a feeling it might be a little bit silly.
In a recent post on the MineZ forums, developer Highlife explained the delays behind their forthcoming updates, in which the team are hoping to add wolves and give players the opportunity to build their own settlements.
The best thing that came out of Call of Duty: World at War was its zombie mode, that was then trumped by Black Ops's addition of dead presidents. Black Ops 2's change to the formula looks like it could be quite substantial, if the latest teaser trailer is anything to go by.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is definitely going to have a zombies mode. And, if you believe the internets, there's the possibility of an entire zombies campaign. Expect a reveal of what's actually going on very soon. Just not in the latest teaser released on the Call of Duty Youtube channel.
I am an emotionally complex creature, capable of filling my human lungs with pure gaseous melancholy, then breathing husky plumes of ennui from both nostrils before turning to face a window and shedding a single, 400lb tear. I have cried at this scene in Robocop, as well as at this poem by Jimmy Stewart. I enjoy feeling awful, so hooray for the raw, charged sadness of the Walking Dead episodes that Telltale are busily pushing through our digital letterboxes. They're among the most emotionally exhausting and distressing point and click adventures I've ever played. They've elicited the greatest physiological response I've ever had after clicking on a dialogue option.
The Walking Dead episodes are important. I love them, and I think you might love them too.
Episode Three of The Walking Dead will be upon us tomorrow, sinking its point and click adventure teeth into our soft, hot, supple necks before we can fire off any context-sensitive clicks to its forehead. IGN report that The Walking Dead: Episode Three - Long Road Ahead will launch on August 29 on PC. They've also got a trailer that, to hell with professionalism, I'm not watching because it's no doubt riddled with undead spoilers.
Only yesterday we were bringing the heart-pleasing news that PopCap are hard at work on Plants Versus Zombies 2 and that it'll be shuffling up our lawn next year, now we learn that they've laid off a number of staff and that they may have been doing it on the sly for the past few months. And, as confirmed in a blog post this morning, the future of the Dublin studio is looking in jeopardy as it is facing 'Exploratory Consulation'. Which sounds pretty terrifying.
After porting at the shore of every other platform on the Sea of Games, the good ship Zombie is set to return to PC in late Spring next year. The sequel is “germinating and advancing with rigor", say developer PopCap, apparently dropping their ‘mortis’.
Valve have been back-and-forth on the old development cup-and-string with plaguefest.com, and have managed to get Counter-Strike: Source’s Zombie Mod in fit state for updated release alongside Global Offensive in four days’ time.
Wizzing down the telegram wires in a series of frenetic beeps and whirrs, Tim’s just managed to get the transcript of a little conversation he had with Dean “Rocket" Hall, creator of the obscenely successful DayZ mod, and lead on the standalone version of the game, to be developed by Bohemia Interactive, makers of ArmA 2 and the upcoming ArmA 3. In between sharing awed gasps about quite how many people play DayZ every day (“175 thousand players every day, and it’s buggy as crap") they talked about the future of DayZ.
DayZ, the massively successful mod of Bohemia Interactive’s ArmA 2, is going to be definitely actually officially developed as a stand alone game, by both Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall, who will be project lead, and Bohemia Interactive themselves, who I’d imagine are going to be doing everything that he can’t do.