Zombies are something that the video game world will, very likely, never see the end of. By now, more zombies have been splattered, dismembered or otherwise destroyed in video games than demons, Nazis, aliens, demonic Nazis, and Nazi aliens combined. They are a ubiquitous enemy: an objective evil created by the reanimation of something foul but inert, and the kind of foe that most gamers don’t feel too many scruples about killing en masse.
It’s something of a wonder, then, that, for the innumerable zombie games on offer, there are surprisingly few games that could be considered proper zombie survival simulators. Whereas most games emphasize the mass murder of the undead hordes, only a small handful emphasize the survival aspects of the zombie apocalypse. Project Zomboid seemed fit to lead the charge on the indie front, as did the eminently popular ArmA 2 mod Day Z, and, most recently, the controversial The War Z. There is another contender, however; a first-person indie title that may have slipped under the radars of some, but one that has ambitions of being “the zombie game you and your friends have been waiting for”.
Currently in the alpha stage of its development, The Dead Linger, developed by Sandswept Studios, seeks to be the zombie game to end all zombie games. It already boasts an infinite, procedurally generated world and buildings, complete freedom of movement and exploration, a number of different environments and a fairly diverse selection of melee weapons, handguns and rifles with which to eviscerate any wayward walkers you may come across (and there will be many). It is, however, very much an alpha and appropriately rough around the edges. It’s encouraging, then, that one of the more positive aspects of The Dead Linger is its development team. They are an exceptionally open and communicative bunch; their Twitter feed is constantly used to answer questions from their followers, a number of the developers maintain an active forum presence to answer questions and help with issues and the development blog features a regular “Survivor Showcase” that includes fan art, fan fiction and 3-D models created by the devoted community. They have also announced a schedule of releasing an update every two weeks during the development process, to which they have largely managed to stick, with a massive world generation update having been released a couple of weeks ago.
So how does The Dead Linger set itself apart from its peers? Unlike Day Z and The War Z, The Dead Linger is not inherently competitive. Players are provided with a massive open world in which zombies will be the primary threat to their survival, as opposed to stray sniper bullets from unseen players. That said, Sandswept has every intention of including options for fully open PVP-style servers; however, open PVP will be just that — an option. The procedural world generation is another point unique to The Dead Linger. Sandswept has plans for just about every environment you can think of, from suburbs and rural acres of farmland to towns and vast urban sprawls, all teeming with shambling hordes eager to make meals of hapless players.
If your curiosity still isn’t piqued, here’s a list of proposed features that the developers intend to bring to the table:
- Vehicles with working trunks
- Freeform barricading
- Crafting system
- Cosmetic clothing items
- Player factions in multiplayer servers
- Crazed survivor NPCs
- Safehouse construction
The Dead Linger is currently $19.99 during alpha and purchase immediately gives you access to the current playable build.
For more information, visit http://www.thedeadlinger.com/info.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kitty Horrorshow (@kittythulhu) is a skittering digital bone-puppet composed chiefly of three passions: horror, video games, and creativity. He believes that creativity is the greatest gift and highest obligation of all human beings, and strives to encourage everyone around him to create. The stranger something is, the more he tends to like it.