Coming right off of Halloween, this one seemed appropriate for a quick Monday morning article.
I am not someone who was ever really smitten with the zombie craze of the last few years. There are a few exceptions in both movies or games, but generally speaking zombies make for boring, mindless antagonists that gleefully shamble about like rotting Lemmings.
Dead Nation was one of the earlier PlayStation Plus free games I picked up a while ago. I did not bother playing it at first, but eventually got around to picking it up and giving it a go. I would then put it down and forget about it for about a month. Then I would happen upon it in my downloadable games and fire it up again. This continued for several months.
Mindless waves of zombies actually work here, because you are blasting them away by the truckload. The are generally stupid, but have strength in numbers. You can arm your character with a variety of upgradable weapons that let you slay their masses in different ways, but the whole process is a somewhat repetitive affair. That is not to say there is no fun to be had here, but it is shallow, accessible, short-lived fun. I was able to pick Dead Nation up and immediately dive in. However, I was able to put it down and not give it a thought for weeks at a time. Then I could pick the controller back up and the learning curve was so low I was almost immediately back into the swing of things.
Watching my son play, his experience was very similar. He played Dead Nation more than I did initially, but again never felt compelled to just plow through the content. The graphics are actually pretty cool, as there is a fair amount of movement, excellent lighting effects and a decent amount of environmental detail. Music and sound hold up pretty well also, giving you pretty good bang on your weapons while the music fits the mood very well.
Unfortunately the basic gameplay itself just is not all that terribly exciting. It is fun upgrading weapons, and for a short time mowing down the zombies can be fairly entertaining, but it is a lot of the same thing over and over again. It just never really stuck with me the way a good game should. Entertaining in bursts, this title was worth my time because it was free – but I really would not recommend purchasing it. I would probably score this about a 6.5 out of 10. Adequate, but your money can be spent better elsewhere.