The 2010 arcade zombie shooter is revamped for PS4.

Dead Nation AE

Developer(s): Housemarque

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Only on PlayStation 4

I'm a sucker for a good zombie game, even if it's a top-down arcade rendition of what would otherwise be a generic, apocalyptic hack and slash. Left 4 Dead 2 is a great example of a zombie survival that is anything but a bog-standard title - the same applies to the magnificent cel-shaded adventure, The Walking Dead: The Game, which brought so much new stuff to a genre that suffers from simple principals. Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition is the resurrection of an already good zombie shoot-'em-up. The original version of this game launched on the PS3 back in 2010, with a mixed to positive reception. Nevertheless, Housemarque (the developer of the brilliant Resogun) have brought something slightly different to the table, and it's majorly addictive.

The story mode in Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition runs by most other games, but sends you on a path to find the source of the cure to the zombie infection. Jack McReady (or Scarlet Blake) is sent to find this cure, mainly due to the fact that he/she is immune to the infection. But to finalise this cure, they will have to let scientists fuse their DNA with Patient Zero - the first known source. Because Zero is dead, they need an active, living cure. These two are the only ones who can fulfil this, so getting that body back is a must.

Dead Nation AE Shot 1

There's a wealth of helpful tools at your disposal throughout the game.

The first thing that struck me when I started playing Dead Nation was the gunplay. I really wasn't expecting much in that respect, but the default semi-auto rifle that you begin with is capable of unloading a barrage of powerful shots into zombies. Charging a shot means that an extremely tough round can pass through several zombies at once, popping their heads and increasing your score multiplier substantially. This can also earn you coins to use on weapon upgrades, or purchasing new weapons like your typical sub-machine gun or even a rocket launcher. All of these have their own style of play, and their own tactical advantages. Whilst your basic rifle is good for picking off straglers or having fun blasting heads, whereas the sub-machine is great for taking out fast-moving hordes (and trust me, there ARE fast-moving hordes) that the rifle wouldn't otherwise be able to deal with as easily. Alternatively, you could focus on gaining new armour pieces and protect yourself from an onslaught of vicious melee attacks. In fact, you'd be rather sorry if you didn't, because some of those things are nasty little buggers. These armour pieces are categorised into three different criteria: strength, endurance, and agility. Some may be a lot stronger than others, but sacrifice movement speed or dash capacity. Others may be the opposite, but majorly adverse in actual protection. It's majorly fun to find all of these different parts, though, and you can actually develop a set of armour that is manufactured by the same brand, or mix and match to balance out all three attributes. That'd be your best bet, because the number of varying enemies you'll come across require speed, as well as the ability to survive a few hits.

Take the cutter zombie - its skin is described as "hard as rock" by Jack McReady and has blades for arms that can easily saw you in half. Jumpers can leap from place to place, meaning you'll need decent evading skills. If you're in the vicinity when one lands, you'll lose a considerable amount of health. Co-op also adds interesting game modes and features, meaning you can enjoy surving the apocalypse with a friend, take for instance the arcade mode. You and a mate must choose your path and fend off the hordes, collecting weapons and upgrading them at the same time. This and an endless mode, which is pretty self-explanatory.

Overall, Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition is a good arcade shooter that balances fun with a surprising amount of depth.

Dead Nation AE Shot 2

The hardest part of any arcade mission is choosing your first path.

Me Love Cars - Founder of Motopedia, Gameopedia, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Wiki, Gran Turismo Wiki and TV and Film Wiki. 02:44, April 13, 2014 (UTC)

Positives +

Fun and addictive gunplay.

Surprisingly long-lasting; lots to do here.

Refreshing comic book appearance during cutscenes.

Decent story...

Negatives -

... Even if it's shallow at points.

Some environments can get boring.

Graphics: 75%

Lifespan: 80%

Gameplay: 82%

Features: 76%

Innovation: 75%

Plot: 70%



Even at its worst, Dead Nation: AE is a fun zombie shoot-'em-up.