Monday, November 24, 2008

ZG: Day 23 - Research and Relaxation

In celebration of my tiny success, I decided to take a day off writing yesterday for some fun. Not that writing isn't fun for me, but I needed a little time to deflate. I did set up my combined document, verified my word count and readied my new tracking spreadsheet. Then I printed out what I have done to give myself the much desired once over.

Then I played zombie games. For research purposes, of course.

I actually played some of Dead Rising under Erik's watchful eye on Friday. The premise is that you're a freelance photographer going to get the scoop on crazy zombie action in a random town in Colorado. You get dumped on the roof of a shopping mall and have 72 hours to get back to the helicopter. It's a third person game, and the nifty gimmick is that you can pick up nearly anything and use it as a weapon. Baseball bats, steel pipes, umbrellas, gems, golf balls, chairs, CDs. Just about anything can be used. And if it can't be used, it can be worn. Basically, you can walk into a number of stores and change your characters appearance as you continue through your zombie laden adventures.

So, being all curious, I run into the first store on the map, which happens to be a toy store. Sweet. I see an icon for "change clothes." So I do. And I put on a big smiley face head for a hat. The kicker is that I looked exactly the same way in the cut scenes. My next step was getting a fantastic track suit and knee high socks with white sneakers from the sporting goods store. Now, you tell me if you could take the end of the world seriously if you looked like this?



Needless to say, we laughed hysterically and the immersion was completely ruined. It was hard to be scared when I looked like that.

On a more awesome note, we picked up Left 4 Dead on Saturday. Now this is a scary, heart pounding, exciting game. And also a first person shooter, which I suck at. The best part is that the game is co-op, so Erik and I can destroy zombies together, when I'm not accidentally shooting him in the back of the head.

We've played through three of the four campaigns, and I've had dreams about zombies the last two nights in a row. It's intense, the controls are great, and the action never stops. The variety of monster types keeps it interesting (five different "special" zombies with unique traits and behaviors) and the horde is comprised of fast, sprinting zombies, not your slow moving pansy zombies - so watch out! You always have a total of four characters (in our case, us and two NPCs) and keeping each other alive is important. It takes good teamwork to be successful, and the AI of the NPCs is remarkable. I love the fact that they heal you, save you and cover the rear, instead of picking their noses and walking into walls. Great game. Can't wait to play it more.

However, I'm hoping at some point I'll stop spinning in circles while shooting the wall and my teammates with my machine gun when the shit hits the fan.

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