Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand! …but before it arrives, you must fight off hordes of zombies in Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition. Try to stay alive in this fast-paced, action-packed, top-down shooter. Following in the vein of Housemarque’s other hits like Super Stardust and Resogun, Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition brings this style of combat as a fresh approach to the zombie apocalypse genre which is spreading like a virus, becoming more and more undead by the day!
What Is It?
Dead Nation first came out for the PlayStation 3 in 2010 and while it was not a huge hit, it was recognized as a well-crafted game of its kind. Using both analogue sticks, one to move and one to aim in a 360 degrees, you run around literally tearing apart zombies in hordes. There is enemy variety and many guns to choose from, but ultimately the fast-paced action is really what will draw you in. Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition now comes to the PlayStation 4 as a free-pick for anyone who is a member of PlayStation Plus. If you haven’t got a membership to that, the $14.99 asking price is still mild given the amount you’ll have to do in this version of Dead Nation.
The plot takes place immediately following societal collapse. Complete and utter chaos sweeps the street as the world’s citizens have become brain-dead zombies. Jack McReady and Scarlett Blake are your two character choices and they are inexplicably immune to the virus itself. That does not keep them safe, however. The zombies that rule the city streets still have a violent tendency and want to kill McReady or Blake at any point they can. Really, the story isn’t much to speak of, but it does have one and there are a few instances that’ll keep you interested in “what’s next.” But ultimately this is not the selling point for the game.
Why Should I Care?
There are some interesting new features in the Apocalypse Edition of Dead Nation. An example of this is a rather unique trait where online viewers can decide the fate of your circumstances. So, if they vote for you to have zombies more aggressive or ammunition more sparse, it’s going to be quite the challenge! Generally speaking, where the game shines in its difference to past iterations of Dead Nation is its graphics. While it certainly isn’t a beauty, the Apocalypse Edition is crisp and fits well with the HD library of the PlayStation 4.
Aside from presentation and production values, the game plays very well. It has excellent controls which mirror the previous version of Dead Nation as well as Resogun and Super Stardust. Neither of these two games is similar in content to Dead Nation, but if you have played them then you understand what that means. They’re essentially like classic R-Type shooters, but Dead Nation takes a top-down approach and allows you to scale the map with a little more freedom. As you get more guns and start to upgrade your armor and arsenal, you’ll really appreciate the freedom in the gameplay that allows you to be strategic in your zombie hunting.
What Makes It Worth My Time and Money?
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition is free if you are a PlayStation Plus member. So, provided you’re a member, you may as well download it and give it a shot. For that matter, so is Resogun. They’re both worth trying and are different enough from each other. But if you’re not a member it’s hard to say whether or not you should buy it. It’s not exactly like other zombie apocalypse games in how it plays, but the story is ultimately derivative and won’t really impress you or stay with you. That said, the gameplay is tight and it controls well so it can be a lot of fun even if you are sick of the zombie tropes.
Regardless of anything else, if you like slaying zombies and ruling over the undead as a brain-abled human, this is a fun romp and offers good cooperative play as well as interesting online features. The combat is well designed and so are the levels, so it is indeed a solid endeavor overall. The Apocalypse may be at hand, but Blake and McReady aren’t afraid of a Dead Nation. They can handle it and so can you. It’s true, you’ve seen stories like this before, but so what. You like killing the undead, don’t you? We all do. Those brain-dead zombies can’t hold you back, especially when you’ve got the guns and will to withstand the Apocalypse and stay alive, holding out for the Kingdom.