Ever since 1996, when Resident Evil taught people that zombie is the main ingredient of fun in games, there was never a year where you would not see a video game with zombies as the main attraction released and there are many successful games that reinforced this idea of fun such as Left 4 Dead, House of the Dead, Silent Hill, Dead Rising etc. but today we are not talking about them we are talking about Dead Block.
Dead Block is an action-strategy survival game, developed by Candygun Games, released recently on the PC and most importantly it contains zombies as the main attraction because living people would be offended I guess. I didn’t pay too much attention to the story but one important thing that caught my eye was the fact that a zombie apocalypse started due to rock and roll. You see the game is set in 1950 with the idea that rock and roll is the devil’s music and it brought back people from the dead as zombies with the only survivors would be the people that hate rock and roll and those people are the teacher Foxy Jones, the construction worker Jack Foster and the boy scout Mike Bacon. The cherry on top comes with the fact the whole game is actually a TV show, since that’s how the game starts with a camera introducing the zombies or the survivors and it’s rather hilarious thinking that there is a population somewhere safe underground looking at a reality show with 3 rejects trying to survive the zombie apocalypse.
The game runs on the Unreal Engine 3 and since this game tries very hard to be funny you should know that the game looks just right, not awe inspiring or a cartoon mess, and the zombies look exactly as they should, decayed people with missing limbs, and i don’t really have anything else to say really its almost a decade old engine surely you can figure out its nothing special.
That entire graphical nonsense aside we look into the gameplay and it’s very limited and repetitive sadly since every level takes place in a building that always has an electric guitar in it as the goal with a guitar hero mini game to finish because even if rock and roll destroyed the world it can still make zombies dance until they drop apparently. The gimmick in every level is to find the 3 parts for your guitar but it’s not the easiest thing to do since you have to break everything in every room to find the parts plus there are the zombies trying to get in the house and there are a lot of them. The characters are not equipped to fight zombies face to face so they have scavenge the entire house destroying everything in their path in order to have the parts necessary to stop zombies from entering the house by placing blockades on the doors to delay or nasty traps to kill them. The game is pretty fast paced since you cannot even dare to sit around even for a second, unless it’s the A.I we are talking about, and I’m not sure if this is some cruel joke from the developers but there are 3 things that make this game rather depressing:
- First there is the thick A.I. that won’t do anything until you go to him/her and say “Hi” afterwards he/she can clear the room it’s in and simply reinforce blockades but for a game as faced paced as this you can’t afford mistakes like this so you have to constantly switch between characters so they won’t sit around the same room staring at the walls without even making traps to stop the zombies.
- Secondly running and swinging your weapon around to destroy furniture doesn’t work in a game like this oddly enough because you have to stop, position yourself just right for the action icon to appear, and click away like a madman because you wasted 3 seconds trying to put yourself just right to destroy a damn chair.
- Lastly the multiplayer is a joke since you can’t play online but more like the split screen type of multiplayer so good luck beating the game with the thick A.I if don’t have friends willing to play.
With all those problems in mind I really couldn’t finish the game especially since I played up until the school level where I had to deal with all 3 protagonists and that did it for me. I barely managed with one A.I and surely I died rather quickly with 2 of them since I couldn’t even reach the teacher to say “Hi”. Is this game good? Well I personally hate it for the reasons I mentioned but you might like it if you want something other than Left 4 Dead.