As someone who has been raised on a pop culture diet of blood-spattering guts, gore, and brains, the zombie video game genre has fascinated me to no end. The prospect of a zombie apocalypse, the living dead overrunning the cities, the ensuing chaos, and the macabre stench of dread and decay pervading every aspect of human existence is an idea intriguing to behold. As a popular horror genre, zombies have done immensely well in movies, video games, and TV shows e.g. George Romero’s Living Dead saga, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead, the Resident Evil franchise, The Walking Dead and many more.
In the video game industry, the zombie video game genre has garnered a huge fan base, led by Capcom’s acclaimed Resident Evil series, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, and Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead (which is a zillion times better than the TV show). Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best upcoming zombie games in 2018 and beyond:
9. Infectonator 3: Apocalypse
In zombie games, usually, you play as the protagonist, staving off hordes of the undead and chalking your strategies to survive till the end. However, let’s not deny how much fun it would be to be on the other side i.e. play as the zombies and indulge in some gut-munching pleasures.
A delightful pixel apocalypse game, Infectonator 3 allows you to drop the zombie virus in different countries, ensuing in total chaos. The more you kill, the more rewards you get. But beware! The world will fight back as you progress, and you will have to counter riot squads, hazmat teams and what not. The game is expected to be available soon for play on Steam.
8. Dead Matter
A great thing about Kickstarter campaigns for video games is that the developers take cognizance of feedback and recommendations from gamers, and what all exciting additions they can make from pop culture lore etc.
Working on the same mantra, the developers of Dead Matter are creating an open survival zombie game that promises to be the ultimate experience in zombie gaming by presenting a seriously challenging and realistic post-apocalyptic world that will test your nerves and quench your visceral fantasies. The game is up for pre-order and should be available for delivery in the next few months.
7. Dead Island 2
An open-world zombie action role-playing game, Dead Island 2 takes place in California. A sequel to the critically praised 2011 game Dead Island, this game was stuck in development hell for quite some time until Sumo Digital took over the project. However, they still state it as a work-in-progress, and the release date has not been announced yet. We will have to wait and see. Maybe at E3 2018? Meanwhile, you can enjoy the ridiculously entertaining trailer.
6. Daymare: 1998
Daymare started as a passion project fan remake of Resident Evil 2, with Invader Studios developing it as a third-person survival horror game that seeks to reminisce gamers with the terror of the movies and games of the 90s. However, Daymare: 1998 is not merely a Resident Evil derivative, but goes way beyond that by incorporating advanced facial motion capture through the iClone Faceware plug-in in the Unreal Engine 4 to provide an authentic nightmarish experience. The game is expected to be available for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 in 2018.
5. Survive the Nights
Currently, in pre-alpha development, Survive the Nights is a work-in-progress by developer and publisher a2z interactive. The game is described as a ‘unique FPS survival game focusing on teamwork, fortification, creativity, and strategy’. The full-fledged public access release is expected to be done once the bugs testing and builds are dealt with. The gameplay trailer looks cool so far.
4. State of Decay 2
A zombie survival game that employs a third-person perspective, State of Decay 2 is the official sequel to the 2013 video game published by Microsoft and developed by Undead Games. It is set in an open world and will also have a cooperative multiplayer mode with up to three players. State of Decay 2 is slated for a May 22, 2018, release.
3. The Walking Dead: Final Season
TellTale’s The Walking Dead games are an anomaly in the ‘Walking Dead’ universe. Unlike the TV show that has lost both quality and viewers over time, the video game series has gone from one strength to another, with its excellent story-driven format, in-depth dialogue and the experience of making tough choices that personally affects your moral core. Though the first season remains the best reviewed so far, the later installments are equally absorbing. The final season is scheduled for a summer 2018 release, and it will be interesting to see where Clementine’s swansong takes her this time.
2. Days Gone
Since its announcement way back in 2016, this action-adventure survival horror game has now been pushed back for a 2019 release. Days Gone is set around in a post-apocalyptic world, where you play as Deacon St. John, a mercenary, and motorbike club officer, who has to a navigate a gorgeous, harsh terrain along the U.S. Pacific Northwest to survive against the rampaging zombies, known as Freakers. This is one of the most highly anticipated video games in recent times, and we can only wish that SIE Bend Studio gets done with the development as soon as possible.
1. The Last of Us: Part 2
One of the most critically acclaimed games of all time and the official devourer of most video game awards, The Last of Us was a magnificent experience both for its utterly satisfying gameplay and poignant take on relationships between fully-fleshed out, nuanced characters. According to Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckman, while the first movie was about ‘love and bonding’, the sequel will be based on dark malice and will be driven by hate. The trailers of The Last of Us 2 are quite harrowing to watch- Ellie now looks like a toughened, deadly assassin and Joel seems the same badass as before, but there is a lot of grisly violence that was not in the first game. An update on the game’s status is expected at E3 2018, with the launch date likely to be around late 2018- early 2019.