Zombies get a hard rap in popular culture. Shows like iZOMBiE and movies like Warm Bodies try to cast the lovable brain-eaters as human and complex, but there’s no getting around it: people like it when zombies are murdered en masse. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), we’re no different in the gaming world. Let’s take a look at the best games involving zombies available right now on PS4.
We know, we know; they’re not zombies per se. Functionally, though, the Cordyceps-infected monsters which hound Joel and Ellie through the ruins of America are identical to our snarling, shambling cousins. The Last Of Us is great because, like all good horror fiction, its monsters are a catalyst for characters to grow, change and interact with each other in different (and heartstring-tugging) ways. The story’s the main event, but The Last Of Us is also just a darn good third-person stealth shooter. If you’re a PS4 fanatic and you haven’t checked it out yet, shame on you.
Just like The Last Of Us, the zombies in The Walking Dead are a plot device rather than the focus of the story; if you’re looking for an explanation as to why the dead are indeed walking, you’re better off looking elsewhere. If, however, you’re looking for an emotional point-and-click adventure which uses zombies to tell a harrowing story of humanity, here’s where you start. Subsequent seasons arguably dipped in quality, but this one’s still a classic.
Whew, we started off a little heavy, didn’t we? Let’s take things back to basics. Resident Evil wasn’t the first survival horror game, but it codified the genre way back in 1996 for the original PlayStation. The remake, originally released for Nintendo’s GameCube, adds shinier graphics and new enemies to run away from screaming loudly, as well as revamping some of the puzzle mechanics. This is the O.G. of zombie games.
Dead Island was a curate’s egg, make no mistake. Although its idea of merging MMO-style quests and equipment upgrades with an open-world zombie game was an intriguing one, the two genres never quite meshed together. Enter Dying Light, in which developer Techland stepped up their game, providing a first-person zombie parkour-’em-up without equal.
For those of you hankering for a more traditional arcade-style experience, Dead Nation should suffice nicely. It’s a top-down twin-stick shooter reminiscent of Smash TV, crammed to the gills with power-ups, weaponry and inventive ways to dispatch your gurgling undead enemies. This one’s multiplayer, too, so it can be enjoyed with friends.
We’re starting to see a bit of an emerging trend with titles, aren’t we? Dying and dead things dominate this list, but Deadlight’s lively mix of cinematic platformer-style shenanigans, comic book-esque storytelling and inventive puzzles all go together to offset its slightly generic premise. It looks pretty snazzy, too.
This one’s a slightly more experimental pick. Not everything about Ubisoft’s Zombi quite works. The game was originally released on Nintendo’s Wii U, and despite a rudimentary graphical upgrade, it shows; the visuals aren’t amazing, and there are several moments which jar as they were clearly designed for the Wii U’s monolithic screen controller. Nonetheless, it’s got some truly tense moments as players search the ruins of London at the behest of none-more-Northern-English survival maestro the Prepper. Check it out if you don’t mind a little jankin’ with your zombie spankin’.
Specifically, the Zombies mode. Black Ops III’s Zombies mode was the first in the Call of Duty series to offer an XP progression bar, with which players could unlock temporary bonuses, aesthetic augmentations for weapons and more. Gameplay-wise, it’s the same mixture of frenzied base defence and good ol’ fashioned zombie-killin’ the Call of Duty franchise has been bringing since World at War.
Originally released for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console way back in 2006, the original Dead Rising was remastered for PS4 as part of the game’s tenth anniversary celebrations in 2016. Though a few sequels have since elaborated on some elements of the original formula, Dead Rising’s mixture of Pokémon Snap-style photography mechanics and zombie horde murder has never been better than in Frank West’s first outing.
Organ Trail -
Yes, the Oregon Trail pun is intentional. Organ Trail is a grisly zombie take on that classic edutainment title, and it apes the mechanics of its granddaddy rather admirably. Organ Trail began life as a free Flash game; if you’re after flashy (ahem) visuals or AAA-style storytelling, you’re out of luck. What Organ Trail does offer is oodles of procedurally-generated retro fun, as players seek to outrun a horde of zombies in an old station wagon (see what they did there?).