"The zombie genre has died. We're bringing it back from the dead."
That's not a situation you want to find yourself in!
The Dead Linger is a survival horror
game made by Sandswept Studios which is currently in its Alpha stage, but can already be bought and downloaded from the official website
. It is set in a place simply called "Everywhere, USA" during the zombie apocalypse
. You as the player assume the role of someone who was luckily spared by the virus
. But remember: You are not immune
! So, what do you have to do?Whatever the heck you want, of course!
Naturally, you're trying to survive the onslaught of undead and you're also going to have to find food. And guns. And shelter. Also, you have an almost endless, procedurally generated world in front of you to explore. A world filled with interesting places, potent weapons, dense forests, abandoned farms and hunting lodges...and zombies, of course. Lots and lots of zombies.
With the game still in Alpha, there are of course some limits to what one can do in the world of the lingering dead. But if the devs can implement all the things they're planning
, there's a very real possibility that it can achieve its goal of becoming the definitive zombie survival experience.
The Dead Linger contains examples of:
- An Interior Designer Is You: You can enter every building in the game - from a suburban one-story home to a prison - and, if you want to, turn it into your apocalypse headquarter. Not only can you barricade the entries to stop the undead horde, you can also find several things in the game world to make it more homely. From chairs, tables and sofas to refridgerators, microwaves and even pictures to hang on the wall - you can turn your undead protection bunker into the fanciest sanctuary this side of Bill Murray's house. You could even build your own home! From plywood, yes, but it's possible!
- Awesome, but Impractical: One of the usable melee weapons in the game is an electric guitar, which sounds kind of cool at first. What could be better than slaughtering walking corpses with The Power of Rock? Well, several things, as you'll find out once you realize that it is kind of a slow weapon, takes up quite some inventory space and deals less damage than other, faster and smaller weapons.
- Boring, but Practical: The fire axe still takes up some space in your backpack (but still less than the guitar), but is probably the best melee weapon currently in the game. Not only is it reasonably fast and takes out zombies with just two hits to the head, it can also be used to gather wood for barricades.
- Obvious Beta: Of all the many first-person survival games being sold for real cash under Steam's Early Access program, The Dead Linger is the one that's most in the very earliest phases of development. There's only one character model for the zombies, assets such as graphics, textures, and animations are extremely crude and in many cases seem to be placeholders, and overall it very much feels like a very early Alpha build. That said, the development team have promised regular updates.
- The Virus: The HNZ virus can be spread through bodily fluids and even simple physical contact and turns human beings into zombies, suffering from necrosis and severely reduced intelligence. Freshly converted zombies are still pretty vital and fast (that's why they're commonly called "runners" by players) but their speed decreases the longer they "live".
- Wide Open Sandbox: And how wide! The map is procedurally generated, resulting in a world that spans about 25,000 kilometers (~ 15,534 miles) and is different every time you load a new map. In this world, you can slaughter zombies (duh!), gather resources, enter every door and window you see, hack down trees and even telephone masts and use the wood to barricade these doors and windows (or even build your own makeshift hut!). Later updates promise things like the crafting of new tools and weapons, the possibility of hunting animals and roasting them above the campfire, the opportunity to find, commandeer and fortify several vehicles from bikes and cars to busses and houseboats to use as your own mobile base, picking locks, leveling up your character...
- Zombie Apocalypse: Well, duh.