Do zombies still have bite?

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The walking dead have been trampling over our games for decades. Are the flesh eating parasites still wanted or do they need a shotgun to the head? Two of our editors go head-to-head to fight it out on how relevant zombies are in today’s gaming.

Jacob | Case Against

Zombie games have become a largely growing fad with video games over the past few years. Games like Left4Dead, Left4Dead 2, Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, ZombiU, WarZ, Dead Island, the Call of Duty Zombie series hit the industry like a ton of bricks, Plants Vs. Zombies, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare DLC, Borderlands: Zombie Island of Dr. Ned DLC, Dead Space, Dead Space 2, and not to mention the mobile android and iOS based games that are simply flooded with zombie games. Search the Xbox arcade for Zombies and see an unlimited amount of zombie themed games. At least, you will discover that zombie based games or games featuring some form of zombie-like material are more abundant than other themes such as superheroes, vampires, sea monsters, ghosts, outer space, aliens, underwater, animal, or dinosaurs to name a few.

Now there is a reason why games like Resident Evil, Medieval, House of the Dead, Silent Hill, Half-Life, Stubbs the Zombie, as well as other 90′s and early 2000′s zombie based games were not mentioned. Series like these were established before zombie games took off like they did a few years ago. You know a theme took off when you start seeing DLC’s in each game based after it. Does anyone remember the last DLC or add-on for a superhero or werewolf themed game play.

The point here being, zombies have invaded everything gaming wise and will lose their fervency at some point only to be replaced by another theme…or will it? It is not a matter of being a good or bad game, and yes zombies are a very flammable and plausible concept when considering game writing and development. What will the next fad be? Will there even be a next fad? Could zombies have their pick at what game they wish to theme in for all gaming time to come?

Andre | Case For

Good zombie fiction has never been about the zombies themselves. Whether it’s Romero’s social commentary on consumerism and racial tension with his flicks, or Kirkman’s take on survival and responsibility in the media empire The Walking Dead has become, zombies take a back seat to more core themes, sometimes they are underlying and sometimes they are blatant, but they’re always there.

Sure there are many exceptions to that, particularly in gaming where bashing skulls and epic combos takes the forefront, but TWD: The Game has opened the medium up to the more mature take on the zombie apocalypse. I mean, why did you play and continue playing The Walking Dead? Not because you enjoy getting head shots on the undead, but because like all good zombie fiction characters are stripped down to their very core, and put in unimaginable worlds where governments have crumbled and frivolous goods have vanished, to be replaced by the most barest of necessities and human nature. The most unsuspecting people of the previous world are now forced to commit uncountable gruesome acts, and the lowest in the pecking order of the society that was now emerge as leaders. The zombies are just a catalyst to a story so much fundamentally deeper than most; The Walking Dead likes to put it like this:

“In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.”

The mature aspect of the genre has finally entered our medium in a meaningful way, and hopefully it ignites some real passion and creativity in the creators of the future genre head-liners.

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