Let me take you back to October 2008, the month when Left4Dead, a zombie-themed first person shooter, took the PC gaming industry by storm with its coop-multiplayer feature.
Countless fragfest sessions left gamers with limited replay value. Since then, gamers have been hungry and thirsty for a much more immersive experience as the gaming industry’s arsenal only offered limited linear gameplay that lacked realism. Gamers demanded for a mix of a multiplayer zombie shooter and an open world video game from developers.
Who knew that they would be in for a treat in 2012 with these open-world multiplayer zombie shooter games?
DayZ, a multiplayer open world survival horror mod for Arma 2, was released for free in a public alpha version last May. Designed by Dean “Rocket” Hall, the mod was a viral hit as it took over the internet gaming media.
Featuring a 225 square kilometer open world map called Chernarus (http://dayzmap.info/), the game boasts 46 cities, towns, and complex terrain. The gameplay features survival necessities such as lootable items and weapons. Aside from this, the persistent world enables players to keep their inventory, location, and status.
With zombies designed to detect movement and noise, and a permanent death system, players easily get attached and immersed with their character. Cooperative gameplay is neither encouraged nor penalized, giving players the freedom to act according to their will. Additionally, an in-game proximity voice and text communication feature enables players to cooperate with ease.
The mod exceeded one million unique players on August 6, a notable milestone four months after its release. Eight days later, a standalone version to be developed by Bohemia Interactive was announced with Rocket as the project leader. The release date is targeted by the end of the year.
Check out DayZ for more information.
The War Z
Inspired by DayZ’s success, Hammerpoint Interactive launched The War Z. With varying package fees, the public alpha version was recently released last October 15. Featuring a 170 square kilometer open world map named Colorado, the game enables players to loot survival necessities.
The game also observes persistent world mechanics with additional features such as a marketplace and safe settlements, drawing criticisms as a “more accessible” type of game with less realism on the gameplay mechanics.
Check out The War Z for more information
State of Decay
Lastly, here is one game console owners will anticipate for. Last February 2011, Undead Labs announced that a singleplayer open world zombie game codenamed Class 3 would be made for the XBOX Live Arcade. A year and a half later, Class 3 was unveiled under a new name – State of Decay.
Led by Jeff Strain, Undead Labs showcased a demo in a recent gaming event called PAX Prime. The game features survival elements and comprehensive base building. Survival missions and decision points shape the persistent world, leaving the players with an immersive dynamic gameplay experience.
Check out http://undeadlabs.com/ for more information on State of Decay.
With the birth of this new video game genre, gamers are given the opportunity to live out the best possible zombie apocalypse experience yet to date. Let us see how humans struggle to survive in these gaming worlds before it all happens in ours.
Editor’s note: This post is contributed by Rei Magnaye with some slight revisions by the editor. Rei is our gaming love guru. His multiple relationships with video games made him a time-tested gamer on quality and experience. A former battle dancer and e-sports contender, he loves roaming around different competitive gaming worlds, fragging other players (or getting inevitably killed), and laughing about it.