Release Date: 11/30/2010
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The Good: Great atmosphere, very tense, great weapon upgrade system, fun co-op, cool weapons
The Bad: Can be extremely tough, unfair checkpoint placement, can die way too easy, uninteresting story
Zombie shooters are very popular these days, but surprisingly, not a lot are bad. Dead Nation is a top down shooter that has you blasting zombies away as a lone survivor during a zombie apocalypse. The story isn’t anything original, but the action will test your endurance with waves that come in the hundreds.
All your weapons are equipped with a flashlight and this is the only thing that allows you to see what’s coming up on you. Zombies range from different sizes as well as really large ones that can kill you in a couple of hits and take a lot of bullets. The levels are very linear with rubble blocking your way, but the whole point is to score high and get as much gold as you can to upgrade your weapons. You can find this in containers, backs of cars, and even find armor in large chests. You will need to upgrade your weapons often or you will never make it through the game. There are a lot of upgrades and you won’t buy them all in one playthrough.
The levels are broken up into checkpoints and in these safe areas you can upgrade your weapons and swap armor that you find. You can upgrade the ammo capacity, clip capacity, damage, reload speed, firing rate and other things. Each upgrade costs more, but it is necessary to upgrade as much as you can. You have items that you can throw such as dynamite, grenades, flares, molotovs, and mines. The zombies become attracted to bright lights and loud noises so these items can give you a lot of breathing room. Even shooting cars that have alarms can wipe out dozens in an instant. Same goes for barrels, and other items that explode.
Enemies get tougher as you go on, but there are also “arenas” in some levels that can be really tough. Hitting a switch to wait for an elevator or a large bridge to expand can be very noisy so you will have hordes on you while you wait. These can be the toughest areas because you need to use your weapons wisely. Use your rifle to pick off zombies when numbers are low. Use your shotgun when you have zombies filtering through a choke point. The blade launcher will slice through enemies until it hits a wall which can take out entire hordes. The game is extremely fun with lots of gore and great graphics that make the whole game tense.
Of course this game was designed for co-op in mind which is the most fun and the easiest. Going through solo is really tough and levels tend to stretch on a bit too long. Dying really sucks because you can very easily and you get set back to the last checkpoint meaning you hae to fight through the same hordes over again to get to where you died. This is probably the worst thing about the game, but once you play enough you will get good and learn what weapons are best to use.
Overall, Dead Nation is a fun PSN game that will give you a few hours of tense zombie shooting. This game will really test your endurance because it never lets up. Once you think you are safe hordes of zombies come at you from all directions. Grab a friend and play this during a long night and you are bound to have a lot of fun.