Dead Nation is a game which was received when it arrived on PS3 and keeping with what seems to be a growing trend, the game is now arriving on PS4, except this time it's HD'd up to the eyeballs.
Going by the name of Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition, this version of the game not only looks better, but it also has some additional features which are sure to please fans, especially those who enjoy to stream their footage. We'll get to those features in a minute, but first let's talk about the game itself.
Dead Nation, for those who haven't played, is a top down zombie shooter. It won't win any awards for story, instead the emphasis is very much on the action and in this respect it's most definitely a winner. The main objective of the game is to get from point A to B without getting killed, something that's certainly not always easy. Thankfully you have and will acquire plenty of weapons along the way to help you out, be it the Assault Rifle, SMG, Shotgun or some of the more exotic weapons, such as the Flamethrower or Blade launcher.
The zombies in Dead Nation seem to hunt in packs, so it's always wise to stock up on ammo at the end of each checkpoint, because you'll definitely need it. At first zombies seem to be scattered around and will come at you slowly, however as you progress through the levels the zombies seem to grow in number, surrounding you from every angle before you have a chance to blink. To make matters worse, different types of zombies appear, be it large exploding 'Bombie' zombies, 'Convicts', 'Clowns' or axe wielding 'Fireman' zombies who are immune from fire.
Taking these hordes of zombies down is not always easy, even if you have a bucket load of ammo. There are other tricks to help you out though. You can throw a flare for instance, which will distract the zombies for long enough for you to take them out. You can also set off car alarms which has the same effect. Doing the latter gives you two options - to mow the zombies down with bullets or blow up the car and everything in the affected radius. Other options to kill zombies include grenades, molotov cocktails and land mines.
Playing solo in Dead Nation is very difficult and if you are streaming can be made even more so, since the audience is allowed to interact. Options within the game allow you to set how often the audience can trigger in-game events, which can be anything from helping you out with more health or strength, to adding in even more zombies. What's funny is that if someone does something to hinder you, they'll appear in the game as a named zombie so that you can shoot them down and get your own back. This is a new feature just for the PS4 version, which adds to other additions such as full 1080p HD visuals, improved textures, rendering, and effects. A little feature that I love is, much like in Resogun, when you change weapons you'll hear the Dualshock 4 speaker tell you which weapons you are currently wielding. Switching weapons has also been streamlined thanks to a new quick weapon select option which sees you simply press the D-Pad to get what you want, so these two changes combined make for a pleasing experience.
As far as game modes go, you can play through the main campaign solo, via online co-op or offline with a friend. I'd certainly recommend playing with someone if you can, as like I say, Dead Nation can be a difficult game. Other modes include Arcade and Endless options which were previously part of the Road to Devastation expansion pack.
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition is a featured pack version of this previously released game. It's an improvement in every way, both in terms of content, visuals and the neat little features, which while not groundbreaking are certainly worth having. If you are a PlayStation Plus subscriber then this is an absolutely fantastic game to add to your library and even if you are not, I've no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this game.
Words by Joe Anderson
_@wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta
(Version Tested: PS4)
+ Great Visuals
+ Plenty of content
+ Fantastic, challenging gameplay
+ Free with PlayStation Plus
- May not be worth playing again if you have played previously