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2012 – The Year of Zombie Games Part 1

Posted on December 12, 2012 AT 09:24am

Playing through the games that have come out this year, I’ve noticed a very interesting pattern to the ones I’ve enjoyed the most.  Several of my personal favorites throughout the year have featured zombie, or zombie-like, creatures.  As such, in lieu of a standard game-of-the-year-type countdown, this year I’d like to recount each of my favorite titles from the last 365 days with undead creatures.  The first game on the docket to discuss technically does not have zombies in it, but you’d have to admit that the creatures found within were at least heavily inspired by brain-chomping ghouls.

The world you find yourself in when jumping into Dishonored has certainly seen better days.  Ravaged by a horrible plague spread by rats, the city of Dunwall is filled with desperate citizens, brutal law enforcement and one wickedly crazy lady.  Perhaps that scariest thing you’ll come across as you sneak and teleport throughout the city are the citizens that have succumbed to the plague to the point of going mad.  The weepers, as they’re called, are a walking dead of a different sort.  While they were never reanimated, the way these characters, who are carriers of the plague that are driven mad and close to death, carry themselves very much like shambling undead.

Several situations in the game put you in the position to make difficult decisions regarding these people.  There is one situation where you can purposefully infect a group with the plague, which nets you with an upgrade item, but makes that area significantly more difficult to traverse.  Weepers are a constant threat and make the game a lot more difficult if you’re looking to avoid a high death-count.  Simply taking one of them out is easy enough, but if you want to avoid killing them, it usually ends in wasting one of your precious sleep arrows on them.  Being grabbed by them is equally terrifying, because of the grotesque look of their face and their tendency towards aggression.  I’m not sure I, to this day, remember the button combination for getting them off me; I usually just mashed buttons like a madman until something worked.

Dishonored is a game that’s all about choice.  From the get-go, it lets you decide exactly how you’d like to approach everything, from travel to combat, and open encourages you to explore your options.  I did feel a slight nudge in the direction of stealth, but having tried it in a few different ways, it is an extremely satisfying game no matter how you decide to approach it.  The world that has been created around this game is very well fleshed out and I’d love to see another title in the series sometime down the line.  For these and many other reasons, this is one of my favorite games of this, 2012, the year of awesome zombie games.

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