There’s a theory as to why zombies are so massive in pop culture right now. The Resident Evil games made a significant impression on a generation that then went on to make books, comics, films and TV about something that seared into their young minds. And now new zombie games reflect that culture back. The circle of (undead) life.
Dying Light has the scent of The Walking Dead about it, but only the merest whiff. The game’s title points to one of its excellent original ideas: that gameplay alters radically when night falls. As long as the sun’s out, you, playing as a plague survivor, scavenge a city for weapons and supplies under the noses of fellow desperates, to use after dark to stay alive while fighting off plague-infected creatures. You can go all out and attack, or lay traps and defend your ground. Upgrading weapons “realistically,” with lighters and barbed wire, is a neat touch.
The other innovative element here is “Be the Zombie” mode. Playing online, you can flip the game on its head, become prey-turned-hunter and rid the city of pesky humans. There’s also a four-player co-op online mode. Plenty to sink your teeth into, then; just be careful what—or who —you bite. Dying Light is unleashed worldwide January 27.
FOUR MORE ZOMBIE GAMES FOR 2015:
Eye on iPad
HIDDEN-GEM GAMES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
THE SILENT AGE: EPISODE 2
Adventure game with riddles to be unraveled, in the 1970s and today, by its time- traveling hero. Go back yourself and play Episode One first.
Another in the stream of addictive and fiendish puzzle games, with 180 brain-boggling tasks. Simple graphics but you’ll think deep.
Old-school sci-fi in which you lead a team of planetary explorers in the sort of game —text-heavy, sense of humor— they don’t make anymore.