The world is infatuated with zombies, be it in literature, film or video games, we cannot seem to get enough of the guttural growling, slow moving clutches of the walking dead. I am therefore dedicating this week’s favorite finds to an investigation into the most thrilling zombie apocalypse presentations for 2012, done through the mediums of video games, TV and film.
The Walking Dead from TellTale Games
This is by far my favorite zombie apocalypse experience. I am not a fan of the zombie genre it’s ugly and scary, and I am naturally repulsed by it. The Walking Dead by TellTale games places the focus on the inward journey of the characters, as opposed to the fight against zombies. This provides an entry point I feel comfortable exploring.
The Walking Dead is a five-part game series set in the same universe as Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book series. Moment to moment experiences influenced by your decisions changes this game from being just entertainment to a profound inner journey. You can read my review of episodes one and two, "Lessons in empathy from the walking dead" and episodes three and four, "A fate worse than death" to understand why it is a must play and hands down my game of the year.
The Walking Dead: Website | Facebook | Twitter
The DayZ phenomenon
This open world ARMA 2 zombie survival mod currently has 2 380 417 players, with an average life expectancy of only 1 hour, nine minutes. DayZ took the zombie genre into a whole new experience.
Players must survive in a 225 kilometer open world post-soviet state where you fight for your life against what is left of the indigenous population, now infected with the disease. You can choose to go solo, team up with friends or take on the world as you choose your path in this brutal and chilling landscape using whatever means you stumble upon to survive. There is no storyline, mission or goals in DayZ there is only survival. Players must outwit, outsmart and outplay their own teammates, the infected population as well as other players in order to survive.
DayZ: Website | Facebook| Twitter
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
This is probably the most anticipated first-person shooter (FPS) for 2012; fans all over the world are counting out the days until launch date, November 13.
The Call of Duty franchise has always succeeded in giving fans triple A games. Yes, it’s a very generic series, but it delivers everything you want from a shoot’em up. Black Ops II is the ninth instalment of the series and the first game with futuristic warfare technology and branching storylines driven by player choice. With the addition of zombies, what more could a fan want?
Black Ops II: Website | Facebook | Twitter
TV and Film
The Walking Dead TV series from AMC has been called, "the greatest thriller ever produced for television” by Entertainment Weekly. It is also the only zombie TV series I am willing to watch. The actors succeed in delivering top class performances that make this series rich with intrigue, suspense and drama. The TV series is also based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Kirkman revealed a change in the direction for the future of the series:
“Up until this point, this is a show about people struggling to survive in a world inhabited by zombies. The zombies are the central threat, the main thing that they worry about. As we approach the prison storyline, the introduction of Woodbury and the Governor and Michonne, and all these new elements that were thrown into the comic book series – it radically changed things, to the point where we did have a clear antagonist, and there was a villain in the world for the first time. We started to delve into the danger of humans, and how threatening and scary encountering humans in this world could be. Now that we're getting into that era in the show, it's dramatically altering the kind of stories we tell."
World War Z, the latest addition to the zombie madness is a film about an A.U.N employee (Brad Pitt), racing against time and fate as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic. It is based on the book, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks.
The film has been received with mixed feelings from fans and film critics alike. The main objection from fans is that the film portrays zombies as fast moving swarms of locusts, instead of the slow moving shuffling mobs that we’ve come to associate with the undead.
John Nelson, the film's visual effects supervisor had this to say about the changes in zombie behavior:
“They move like birds or school of fish, too, in reactive formations, and it’s not because they have a higher level of shared thinking or communication – it’s about their nature and the fact that their instinct to infect is so basic, efficient, and overpowering. They will go through anything. If they lose both legs, they will walk on their hands. They lock in and they’re like salmon going upstream or sperm swimming to be the first to egg.”
My fascination with the zombie genre lies with how it affects human behavior. Do you have a favorite zombie video game, TV series and film? Why do you think the world has become so obsessed with the zombie apocalypse? Do you think it is ever likely to happen? Drop us a comment on your experience with the genre.
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