Zombies, love them or hate them, you have to admit, as a universal baddie they are in great demand. Being an agent for a zombie must be one of the most lucrative gigs going. Film, TV, comics, books and computer games, the list is quite extensive, but has it reached a point where another zombie game is, quite frankly, a little too much?
Headup Games certainly don’t think so, and what’s more, they are going to unleash a very nice looking tactical RTS called Trapped Dead onto the poor, unsuspecting, game playing public.
Set in the early 80’s in a small American town called Hedge Hill, a mutated virus has broken out created from genetically modified corn. A single dog bite set off a chain of events that has decimated the population and turned those left into mindless zombies, with an unsavoury taste for human flesh. We start with two friends, on their way to college. Their car runs out of petrol and it’s a frantic fight for survival from there on.
The story is played out via graphic novel-esque cut scenes and help prompts, which adds to the dark genre and makes you feel a little creeped out. The graphics take on a 3D ‘Commandos’ look and feel with extremely well drawn backdrops and buildings. The character animations are fluid and control, via the mouse and keyboard, is responsive enough to get you out of a tight situation, like when you’re surrounded by zombies with only a few rounds left and there’s more of them puring out of a nearby doorway. Not that I was worried at all… Arrrgghhh. The music and sound effects are very George A. Romero (in fact that’s the name of the hospital in the game) with the ‘uurrrggghhh’ of the undead and a satisfying squelch when a zombie meets a baseball bat.
You get to control various survivors during the game, each has their own particular traits and abilities: better shots, faster runner, better at healing others – you get the picture. Combining the different characters to different situations is the key to survival, just running in with guns blazing will only turn you into zombie fodder, so be warned. A very cool feature of the game is the addition of carefully laid traps, one for each level. If you can work out how to lure the zombies into range, you can then trigger off the trap and watch as your handy work annihilates the undead. For example, an electric chair has a pool of water by it, lure the suckers in, then get out and throw the switch to watch them fry!
The single player missions are easy to get into and you are lead by the hand from the start by a helpful tutorial system which details movement, combat and item interactions. Completing the first couple of missions will unlock the multiplayer mode, where several of you can unleash hell upon the zombie infestation.
I liked what I saw and the game played very smoothly, it was fun and had me hooked for a good while. Trapped Dead has all the makings of a great game, check out the website, and let’s hope the gamers out there are ready for one more zombie bash. The retail release date is set for 25th February, so keep an eye out for it.
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