Dead Nation Review
Dead Nation Box Art
System: PS3
Dev: Housemarque
Pub: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release: November 30 2010
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 720p - 1080p Blood and Gore, Violence

Unfortunately, that basically sums up my entire experience with Dead Nation. Though there are opportunities for great gameplay, the best way to get through the game is often to just run through, which represents quite a missed opportunity. Though there are areas where you will be "locked in" until you defeat enemies, these areas weren't prevalent and didn't really satisfy, as the old "run in a circle and shoot" mechanic works a little too well in these cases.

Dead Nation Screenshot

The only real time where you are forced to play strategically is if you play the game online or with local co-op. The game's dynamic really changes when you have multiple players, and I have to say that it is much more enjoyable as such. There isn't as much pressure to stay alive through the run-and-gun mechanic, and being able to tackle a zombie horde from multiple sides certainly works to make the game more interesting.

Technically speaking, Dead Nation looks pretty good. The game puts an astonishing number of zombies on-screen at a time, and even though there are only a handful of zombie models, they come at you in such impressive numbers that it's hard to take notice of individual members of the walking dead. The animations are also good, although when the horde gets really thick it does seem that several zombies glide towards your hapless hero (or heroine). The biggest qualm I have with the visuals is the environments. As I mentioned before, there really isn't much to explore in the environments and the same thing goes for the aesthetics of the level design. We all know that the zombie apocalypse will bring rundown buildings and random fires, but it would be nice to see some new elements dotting the landscape every now and again.

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Dead Nation is a good arcade-style game for fans of the zombie franchise. Though the controls take a little getting used to and the gameplay suffers from being bland at times, the game makes for a very good online or local multiplayer title if you can find a friend to play with you. I wouldn't recommend this title to fans of the single-player experience, but if you like playing with others, you'll definitely have some fun shooting the hundreds of zombies that come rushing at you level after level.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.9
Graphics
Though the environments are bland, the amount of zombies that can be displayed on-screen is impressive
3.6
Control
Aiming controls could be a bit more precise, and an adjustable aiming speed mechanism would have been a nice touch.
2.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music and sound effects are bland, but inoffensive overall.
3.9
Play Value
The game makes for a great pick-up-and-play multiplayer experience. Though there's no real reason to play more than once if you are going solo, playing with friends over and over is where the real replay value lies.
3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Track your zombie kills with the daily online world map aggregating the scores of players from all around the globe.
  • HIGHLY ADVANCED ZOMBIE A.I.
  • The "smartest" zombies you've ever encountered. These zombies lurk in the shadows and perform surprise attacks, drop down from higher surroundings (buildings, balconies, etc.) right on top of you, and even try to grab you behind or through fences.
  • The most on-screen zombies in a video game to date. If you spot one wandering zombie, it's more than likely that thirty or more zombies are sure to follow.

  • Screenshots / Images
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