The Awakening follows two sisters who "face off against one another just as a zombie uprising begins." This is actually the second zombie-centric TV series that the CW has worked on, but their first, entitled Babylon Fields, never made it past the pilot. Maybe they realized how awful the name was and scrapped it? Who knows, but what we do know is the interest in The Awakening is almost certainly thanks to the success of The Walking Dead.
The other series in development, this time from NBC, is Zombies Vs. Vampires, best described as a "fun buddy cop procedural" where, thanks to medication, zombies have become an accepted part of society. The two main characters are a couple of cops who focus on zombie crimes, but one of the cops is a vampire. Not much else has been revealed about the potential new series other than the fact that it's very campy, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
But this is a gaming site, and while I'm sure some of you are foaming at the mouth for some of this gory zombie action, most of the zombie headlines are coming from the gaming front. Thanks to Telltale Games, the aforementioned The Walking Dead is getting a video game that will focus on emotion and character, aiming for a release later this year. There's also Dead Island, a game that was announced way back in 2007 before going quiet for a few years, only to reveal itself again in what is quite possibly the best trailer I've ever seen. The game throws you and up to three friends in a beautiful island paradise torn apart by a zombie outbreak and mixes together brutal melee combat and RPG elements. If its quests, story, and characters are anywhere near as good as what was shown in the trailer, I have no doubt this game will be one of the must-haves this year.
If you want to slay zombies on an even larger scale, there's always Undead Labs' Class3 (working title), an open world zombie game coming to Xbox Live sometime in the near future. The game focuses on survival over horror—though the two tend to go hand in hand—and forces you to really think about how you'll survive in a zombie apocalypse where you have to conserve resources and make tough decisions. This game is merely a precursor to their follow-up, tentatively titled Class4, a massively multiplayer online game. Class3 is merely a test to see what works and what doesn't; Class4 is the real project, but it's also far, far away. It's a pretty huge leap, and could possibly be compared to Dead Rising's Case Zero DLC that had much of what the full game had but it was limited to playing alone with less weapons, a smaller world, etc.
While we're on the subject of the cheesy, zombie shenanigans of Dead Rising, let's jump right into Dead Rising 2: Off the Record. When this game was first unveiled, many fans were understandably a little confused. Is it an expansion, a sequel, or neither? It's actually a reimagining of the second game with photojournalist Frank West being the one to walk into Fortune City right before the outbreak. It's a budget game, launching with a $40 price tag instead of the usual $60, and will come with brand new weapon combos, new missions, and West's trademark camera. The best part? No more running to the safe room to give your daughter her medicine.
One of the granddaddies of the virtual zombie, the Resident Evil series, also has a few games coming up. These include Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City later this year and Resident Evil: Revelations, due out sometime next year. In a way, Operation Raccoon City is a sort of spiritual successor to the Outbreak series, only this time you and up to three friends play as the bad guys, hired by Umbrella to cover the incident at Raccoon City and kill anyone—or anything—that gets in your way. It's definitely strayed from the survival horror roots of the Outbreak series, where you had to conserve your resources and find items, keys, and so on. Now you're armed to the teeth and have substantial backup.
Revelations is being treated like a console release, and it's easy to see why once you've seen the game in action. It's beautiful, plays incredibly well, and has a story unique to the game. It also marks a glorious return to survival horror, with an emphasis on ammo conservation, exploration, and puzzle solving. It takes place between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5, shortly after the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) is established. Chris Redfield and his partner Jessica have gone missing, and it's up to Jill Valentine to find out what happened to them. You'll be able to switch between playing as Chris with the help of Jessica, or Jill with BSAA operative Parker Luciani as her support.
Proving that zombies can make their way into just about everything, Call of Duty: World At War included an intriguing new mode called Nazi Zombies back in 2008. Black Ops kept this tradition alive with its just-as-addictive Zombie mode that seems to have officially become a staple of Treyarch's Call of Duty games. Treyarch looks to be having quite a bit of fun with the mode, bringing in George Romero, Buffy, Danny Trejo, Freddy Krueger, and The Walking Dead's Michael Rooker. Until now, the downloadable map packs have included new competitive maps and a single zombie level, but the upcoming Rezurrection pack is all about the zombies. It will come with a brand spanking new zombie level called Moon, which takes the zombie survival to space, as well as re-mastered versions of Nacht der Üntoten, Verrückt, Shi No Numa, and Der Riese.
There is a lot happening with the zombie genre right now, across movies, television, video games, and even books. This is an incredibly exciting time for zombie fans, like myself, who just can't get enough. I'm not ashamed to say that I could watch zombies in movies and on television all day only to sit back and play a zombie game afterward. In fact, I'm sure I could do that still crave more. If previous generations are called X and Y, I think it's safe to say we can be called generation Z.
By Adam Dodd
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*