We’d previously covered the announcement of Dead Dozen, a tactical zombie shooter pitting an ever-dwindling team of humans against their former teammates, with each player lost being converted to the endlessly respawning undead faction.
At the time, all developers Fntastic had for us to pick apart was a very vague teaser trailer and a few dramatically staged screenshots. Now we’ve got our first look at the game in action, in some footage the developers hope will lead to players buying the current alpha build early.
It feels like zombie games have really fallen out of vogue, especially in the competitive FPS scene. There’s still plenty of them shambling around though – here’s some of the best.
The key problem the game faces is one that we’ve seen countless other studios struggle with. The competitive FPS space is astonishingly competitive, and even games with big names and huge marketing budgets behind them such as Lawbreakers or Evolve can struggle and fizzle out within months or even weeks of launch. Even sequels to popular titles – see Mirage, sequel to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare – can completely fall flat, and without active players, there’s effectively no game to be played anymore.
From what we can see in this footage, Dead Dozen just doesn’t look ready to compete in that market yet. While the fundamentals of the gameplay seem solid enough, they’re also not far divorced from free mods such as Zombie Panic Source, and the visuals so far – especially the animations – are rather stiff, and reactions to damage don’t look convincing. Nothing about the footage looks especially bad, but this game is going into a no-holds-barred brawl seemingly without preparation.
Still, if the footage above does tickle your fancy, the option is open to preorder the game at a discount, direct from the developers. Given the number of amazing shooters available right now though, perhaps it might be more prudent to pick one where finding a dozen players isn’t likely to be a challenge.