I have mentioned once or twice that I love the post-apocalyptic genre. Fallout, Left 4 Dead, Metro 2033, Gears of War, Rage, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. are all examples of games that have a deep and lasting impact on me, simply because they are set in a desperate world with humanity’s survival is very much at stake. But even within this genre, games like Fallout, Gears of War and Metro 2033 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. don’t carry the same weight because you are in control of a trained soldier, someone with the means and weaponry to make short work of anything in his or her path.
The sub-genre I particularly enjoy is more along the lines of the Left 4 Dead series, because you can relate to it better. The characters weren’t space marines on steroids, or genetically cultured to be superior, or armed to the teeth with the latest fancy weaponry and equipment. They were ordinary people, armed with ordinary weapons, and an extraordinary willpower to survive the madness that had consumed their world. Recently I logged into both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 servers, and I was sorely disappointed to see that a very limited number of people (1,647 at peak hours) were playing the game, and finding a new game was an exercise in futility.
For sometime now, I have been following the paper-thin trail of information crumbs that keeps coming out of UndeadLabs and their upcoming zombie world. Dubbed Class3 and Class4, the two are respectively a single-player game and an MMO based in a world that has been overrun by zombies. The game (series?) has a very particular Left 4 Dead vibe to it, with a few additional twists.
First, the game focuses on four key elements in the survival game: food, water, shelter and ammo. You will need to ransack stores, houses and other locations for supplies. Patching yourself with a medical kit will not be all you need to survive. You will need nourishment. Walking around in the open-world (and yes it is an open world) all the time is ill-advised and you should always have some form of a shelter. Said shelter can be fairly flimsy or very well-defended, and you can take steps to further improve its standing, such as board up windows etc. Ammo will also be rare, and you will need plenty of it to survive the copious amounts of zombies that the game will relentlessly throw at you.
Second, the action is supposed to be very fluid and dynamic. You can jump over fences, skid, dodge, slide, jump onto cars, drive the same car to mow down some zombies. The gameplay is highly action oriented, so don’t expect to comp in a corner, cover your 90-degree arc and fire away until kingdom come. It just won’t work.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, both Class3 and Class4 feature a “dynamic” world. I say this with a word of caution and advise you to take this with a grain of salt, because this claim has been made countless times, but never fully realized. A dynamic world in which your actions will affect how the world responds to you. New challenges may emerge, or emerging threats may be nipped in the bud, depending on your actions. We’ll see about that.
Just today, I also came across a new set of Q&A for the game. And it has some interesting pieces of information:
- There are no loading screens anywhere in the open world, all indoor environments can be entered and seamlessly so.
- There is a barricading-your-shelter component that can help increase your chances for surviving.
- There is no split-screen in Class3.
- They are working on some crazy-hard achievements. I think.
- Vehicles are very precious assets, maintaining them and using them to your advantage can be critical (or critically fatal).
- They are using CryEngine3, oooooh, pretty.
- There are no “mutated” zombies. They used to be people, and in their infected form, they are still recognizably so, without gaining supernatural abilities.
- It will be out when it’s done. Bitch.