There’s something strangely addictive in zombie slaughtering games. Yesterday I watched Dawn of the Dead movie, and while it’s very bloody (and perhaps not suitable for all ages) there’s still something strangely addictive and thrilling in that survival genre: there’s the atmosphere where you have to be on your toes all the time. Basically the movie plot is that undead zombies walk and try to attack (and eat) everybody they see… and the main characters have to survive.
Resident Evil game series use the survival theme to make the game enjoyable. While I’ve never played a lot of these games, I’ve always thought there’s something fun in shooting those zombies (and this opinion comes from somebody who also enjoys reading Dalai Lamas or Gandhi’s texts – I suppose I try to be pretty open to different things). I suppose there’s something similar with why Tetris is so addictive: more and more blocks come and you have to “survive” – and finally there will be so many blocks that the game ends.
Compare that to some zombie games: first there will be just a few zombies that you can shoot, then there will be more… and more. And finally there can be so many zombies that you might not be able to handle as you desperately try to shoot what you can. This comparison with Tetris is a slightly exaggerated, as these big budget games (such as Resident Evil) usually carry some sort of a plot. The gameplay is based around the survival, just like in Tetris.
Here’s a resent video of Resident Evil 5.
While the video might look like something that we could see in PC, it’s quite interesting that the horror survival genre is concentrated on the console side: Xbox and Playstation have these type of games… but if you look at the PC offerings: almost zero. Zombie themed survival horror games are for some reason published for the consoles.
I suppose the market decides what it can bear, but I’ve seen other survival games that have done quite well (not just Tetris, but even independently developed games such as Shadowgrounds). It’s bit of a surprise that there are no big survival game hits for PC – or at least not many that would have sold loads.
The zombie survival games have a lot of common with famous PC titles (like Tetris), yet for some reason these survival games are often published only for consoles.
Maybe that could be an open market opportunity for indie developers?