Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies Playable For Free Via Steam


Nexon Europe had the pleasure to announce the Open Beta for the highly anticipated free-to-play zombie shooter, Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies, which is based on Valve’s classic action game, Counter-Strike. Nexon, a worldwide leader of free-to-play games, has once again teamed up with Valve to unleash a new zombie-themed version of everyone’s favourite first person shooter featuring new game modes, creatures, and more. Starting today, users with a Steam account may join the Open Beta for free and play a vital part in the finalisation of the game, which features unpredictable wild zombies and new game modes. Those who join the beta will be able to help influence the game and get a jump on the competition before the game is officially released in early October.

Nexon Europe’s Product Executive, Paul Lee, has added:

“As always, player feedback means a great deal to us, and is reflected in our games. We want to hear about which weapons players enjoy using, which modes they found the most fun, and what they would like to see more of in Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies.”

The Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies Open Beta is completely free to take part in, and the game will remain free-to-play when it launches in early October. It is available in English, German, French, Italian, Polish, and Russian. If you can’t wait to test the Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies Open Beta now, head on over to Steam Store to get your copy. In the meantime check out the Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies teaser out below.

E3 2014: Dead Island 2 Preview: “Cool and Kickass”


A New Direction for Dead Island

Set after the events of the original Dead Island and Riptide, the infection that started on the island of Banoi is now spreading all over the world. One such place that has fallen victim to this plague is California, and thus the United States Government has turned the state into a large quarantine zone.

They’ve also turned it into a ‘zombie filled playground’ for our new heroes to dive headfirst into. After the teaser trailer that premiered at Sony’s E3 presentation, we got to see that the new California is a much brighter and fun place than it’s darker predecessors. With Dead Island 2 the developers are opting for a tone described by them as “cool and kickass”; less dark and heavy than those before it but also not reaching the level of ridiculousness of Dead Rising 3.

This tone is mirrored by the goals of the main characters, each one being immune to the virus and heading into the quarantine zone to destroy zombies. This game isn’t so much about escape, this time it’s more about fighting back.

Players will be able to choose from four unique character classes, each with their own skills, abilities and fury attacks. If you purchase the game on Playstation 4 you’ll be able to select an exclusive additional class which has yet been unannounced. The four classes announced are the Hunter, the Berserker, the Speeder and the Bishop. The specifics of each class have not yet been announced, but from the images shown today we’ll have a speedy blade focussed class, a heavy weapon specialist, a ranged weapon class and a fourth class based around thrown weapons.

Deep Silver also announced a central character, ‘Max’, who drives the van featured in the trailer. He will be joined by his loyal pet cat, Rick Furry, in the adventure through California. This is the first time a real life cat has been motion captured in gaming, allowing Rick’s animations to be very realistic. The story behind this quirky duo is one of second chances. Upon seeing these ‘immune’ in California Max hops in his newly outfitted van to start a fresh life in California, hoping to help the immune and potentially find a cure for the spreading illness.

Besides zombies, our characters won’t be the only humans in the quarantine zone. The game will also focus on the human factions gaining power in the zone such as the raiders, escaped prisoners and even deserting military forces. These forces will challenge the player in new ways, often outfitted with powerful weapons and vehicles.

On top of introducing all these new classes, factions and characters, we’ll also be getting new ‘motorised’ weapons like hedge trimmers and hand saws. While this new type of weapon will be very powerful, they will all be powered by fuel, a resource you’ll have to collect, and will make a lot of noise, attracting nearby zombies. These are probably best saved for when you have no choice to fight loud and fast against the horde, unless of course you enjoy being swarmed by the undead! The developers also noted you will be able to dual wield in Dead Island 2, rushing in to fight off zombies with a sawn off shotgun and machete at the same time.

We’ll also see a whole host of new zombie bosses and types, and the developer, Yager, claims to have a new system implemented into the final build that will ensure no two zombies look exactly alike, adding to the immersion of the game. It will be very interesting to see just how different the variety in zombie design will be.

After being presented with all this new information we were treated to a live gameplay demo from a 2013 prototype build of the game. We were also shown in engine renderings of scenery and zombies taken from the most recent build. The graphics are looking quite good at this stage, but I expect we’ll see much more of the actual graphics in the lead up to Dead Island 2’s 2015 release.

The demo opened with us driving in Max’s van into suburban California, and then leads through houses and backyards in the area. This allowed the developers to really show off what is at the core of Dead Island games, the melee combat.

Dead Island 2 adopts the same combat style of it’s predecessors; that is to say it’s full of slicing and dicing zombies up close, lopping limbs and heads clean in gruesome slow motion. Not a lot has changed on the melee side apart from adding more moves and animations, as well as some cool abilities that will have you smashing zombies into the sky with you sledgehammer. It all looked very fun.

Ranged weapons seem to perform better in this game, especially with Yager at the helm. Their previous title, Spec Ops: The Line, was a third person shooter and you can see aspects of that in Dead Island 2’s presentation. New crossbows and guns can be used to devastating effect against zombies and humans alike. You’ll also be able to mod and upgrade your weapons on the go this time round instead of having to find a weapon bench, which is a nice new change.

Yager have worked well so far to implement noise into combat scenarios, as well as using the zombies to attack and distract enemies. By simply shooting cars with a crossbow to get the alarm going or causing an explosion you can draw a whole load of zombies, perfect to take out enemies deep in cover or to set up a dangerous trap.

Fire is another aspect of the title that has an interesting new implementation. In much the same way as we saw in Far Cry 3, grass and foliage can be lit on fire, causing damage to the environment and enemies. It’s a cool little feature that means you have to be more thoughtful in where you lob that molotov, making sure not to find yourself in a dangerous spot!

In terms of multiplayer, the game will offer the full open world and story experience to up to eight players at once. You’ll be able to ‘compete, cooperate or coexist’ in a social open world, but you’ll still be able to play completely solo or offline too.

It will be very interesting to see how this game turns out when we see more footage, and all the way up to release. For now, I’m optimistic. The game has a good studio at the helm and a solid foundation, I only hope that we see a better narrative in this title than in previous entries, and that it will do enough to really make it stand out as a new and improved Dead Island title. The game will be playable at Gamescom and PAX later this year and I’m very interested to see how it differs from and improves upon what was shown to us at E3 2014.

Dead Island 2 is coming to PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4 later in 2015. You can check out the official box art below!

The Apocalypse And Food Poisoning – DayZ Alpha Impressions


dayzThe smash hit zombie mod finally releases its standalone version

I like to think of myself an old hand at DayZ, which rose to fame as a mod for the military simulator ARMA II and its expansions.

For the later half of 2012 and the vast majority of 2013, in my spare time you’d most likely find me in Chernarus, where a group of friends and I would have all sorts of adventures. From defending an area against large organised clans, to spending three hours looking for some scrap metal to finally repair a vehicle, DayZ always produced something different. The thing that allowed DayZ to capture gamers’ imaginations was leaving the gameplay up to them. Rocket and the rest of the DayZ mod team gave players the tools, but it was up to them to do something with it.

In a time where blockbuster AAA titles were being released left, right and centre, I always found it hard to pull away from DayZ. Even if I managed to, it wouldn’t be too long before I’d be back in the wilderness of Chernarus with my friends. Hell, I stopped playing Bioshock: Infinite half way through because I had way more enjoyment in DayZ, and still do.

Read On Here!

Dying Light Preview: A Zombie Game To Actually Get Excited For?


DyingLight Header

Dying Light Preview: A Zombie Game To Actually Get Excited For?

Scariest zombies, ever

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2013 Arthur Kotsopoulos

It’s really tough to get excited for another zombie game, especially when they’re are so many currently flooding the market.

From Treyarch and their zombies in each Call of Duty they develop to Dead Rising 1, Dead Rising 2 and the Resident Evil  franchise to name a few and so much more.

Anything that’s announced now, needs to have some feature that alone is worth the price of admission.

Thankfully Dying Light, the new open world first person survival game does away with all the technical issue of previous Techland games and introduces new gameplay features which makes the game more intense and faster paced.

From fluid character movement to some of the deadliest zombies I have ever witnessed, Dying Light which is set for release on current and next generation consoles is actually quite intriguing to witness.

From Dusk to Dawn

DL_EBGames_Screenshot_01You might sit there and say “But it’s another zombie game”, well technically it is but it’s a zombie game which blends what you love about zombie games and the free running movement that made Mirrors Edge such a fresh experience.

Traversing the open world environment in Dead Island was a chore. Players were sluggish, stamina was extremely short compared to other games and combating zombies whilst brutal just wasn’t fun for the 10+ hours the game took to finish.

Thankfully for Techland they’ve listened to fans criticism of previous games and decided that they need to put the Dead Island franchise to rest and start fresh.

Dying Light which is touted as a survival horror action game, is set in the vast and open environment of the Quaratined City and from the beginning of the game the whole map which is divided into separate areas like Dead Island, is accessible to the player.

The player can upgrade and customise either of the 4 characters they can choose from and traverse the environment at their will on top of finding weapons, upgrading and creating new ones.

Just as easily as you can slice through a zombie with your axe, players can free run to either escape from zombies or move from place to place with ease to complete objectives.

The environment was designed with a huge emphasis on vertical gameplay, because you don’t want to continually have to fun around zombies on the street when you can by pass them via the rooftops.

What I am most excited about with Dying Light is the day/night cycle.

When the developers showed off the night cycle portion of the game, things really heated up and the free running was integral to the players survival. Taking a page from Night of the Living Dead 3 (Which I presume HAS to be Return of the Living Dead 3, right?) as huge inspiration for the zombies, at night these predators become nasty and much deadlier.

They’re not sluggish, they can smell you and easily match you with where you go.

Some zombies can run after you, climb up car rooftops and even buildings as you progress through the game.

It changes the whole dynamic of the game and whilst during the day you had the advantage, at night you’re weak and prone to the horrors of the undead.

DL_EBGames_Screenshot_02

 

As with many other open world titles on the market though, the players need content to be immersed in the environment. You can throw dozens of enemies at the and give them things to find but apart from that it doesn’t create a unique experience.

Techland surely haven’t failed in this department, if the demo is anything to by.

In the game at any given moment, a player will encounter a random interaction with NPC’s that a player can either choose to help or leave behind to get slaughtered by zombies.

Whilst this won’t affect the outcome of the game or any type of morale choice, it does grant the player a significant amount of assistance whether it’d be from experience points to upgrade the skill tree or items for crafting weapons or getting out of sticky situations.

Various kinds of traps throughout the game world can be set. From car alarms that attract zombies and blow up within seconds to electrical fences that shocks and kills any zombies that walk over them.

DL_EBGames_Screenshot_03During our 10 minute hands off demonstration followed by an informative 20 minute Q&A plenty of questions were asked with equally great answers that revealed hindsight to the game, its development and what players can expect.

On current gen consoles Dying Light is an extremely polished title, running of the Chrome Engine 6 which was built from the ground up for this new IP. You can instantly notice from this alone that with the help of a new engine Dying Light has already done away with any technical difficulties Dead Island had before it.

This advanced tech will allow Techland to show greater player emotion. Whilst it is limited on current gen I’m eager to see what it looks like on the Xbox One and PS4.

©2013 Arthur Kotsopoulos

Patient 0: A Real Life Zombie Slaying Experience


ARTICLE_Patient 0

Patient 0: A Real Life Zombie Slaying Experience

Training for the eventual apocalypse

by Daniel Geikowski

©2012 Daniel Geikowski

Patient 0Zombies. Everybody loves them.

Zombies are one of gaming’s favourite enemies. More often than not, they just shuffle around, waiting for us players to kindly blow them away. Zombies are a safe choice of enemy when developing a game, as most people won’t think twice about mowing down a walking corpse.

Zombie games are really popular with players, and are seemingly everywhere nowadays. Players have many apocalypses to choose from, such as Resident Evil, Dead Rising, ZombiU, House of the Dead, Left 4 Dead, etc.

Titles usually pit players against hordes of undead (obviously), testing them to survive and escape the apocalypse.

Do you have what it takes to survive the zombie apocalypse?

OXCGN’s Dead Rising 2 Review: Pure Zombified Kill-Fest


Dead Rising 2: Pure Zombified Kill-fest

I came, I saw, I drank, I gambled- oh & I kicked some zombie butt!

by : GrathiusXR

©2010 Arthur Kotsopoulos

Another day, another pack of zombies that must be dealt with by any means necessary. I love this job.

Seriously if you’re a zombie fan what’s NOT to love about Dead Rising 2. Sure, some of the conventional methods of combining two weapons to make one are a bit far fetched, but Chuck Greene moves at an agonizingly slow pace and there are more zombies on screen than what you know to do with at times, but for a title that doesn’t try to break new ground, it’s one gory offering of pure mayhem and fun.

Continue reading OXCGN’s Dead Rising 2 Review: Pure Zombified Kill-Fest

In-Hospital-able Gaming: When places of healing become places of horror


betho's twitterby Betheo

© 2009 Beth Sasagi

fear 2 oxcgnThere is just something about hospital levels in games that send shivers down the spine.

Many games, from the recently released Wolfenstein, to Max Payne 2, to Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway, to Left4Dead, make us nervous spending time in these ominous dens of sickness, madness and death.

In the gaming world hospitals are often atmospheric places where demons lurk in the basement, or gown wearing zombies charge from every corner, or mad torturing doctors await, or we are confronted by ghosts of our past.

Yet, in real life, people do indeed fear hospitals and the gown clad attendants which run them.

• Hospitals in Games

Fear and death await . . . ?!

Valve Speaks out on Left 4 Dead 2 with OXCGN-pt 2


Valve Speaks out on Left 4 Dead 2 with OXCGN-pt 2

“C’mon, c’mon, trust us on this one!”

ab twiter avatarby Aaron Bertinetti – News Editor ©2009.

Aaron & peter e3 09In Part 1 of my interview with Chet “Mr. Awesome” Faliszek, Writer on Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, we discussed why Valve was so keen on a quick sequel along with the smorgasbord of new features coming this November including weapons, items, enemies, maps, weather, characters, and of course the vastly enhanced AI Director 2.0. You can read all about it right here.

In Part 2, we explore what Valve thinks that people like the boycotters should be doing and why Valve’s confident they can convince them to change their minds. I also probe for hints about Left 4 Dead 2’s beginning, the characters, the storytelling, marketing, and why Valve are so confident about releasing a week after Modern Warfare 2!

There’s also some talk about beers, bets and keeping secret projects, well, secret!

• E3 Left 4 Dead 2 Official Trailer

Part 2 – “C’mon, c’mon, trust us on this one!”

Full part 2 right here . . . >