A few weeks ago, Twitter was alight with news of a new trailer for Dead Island, a supposedly open world “terror” shooter which has been in development for years now but long since forgotten by many. After the initial wave of excitement from the first to view the emotive trailer came the latecomers who had possibly become a victim of the hype and who mostly declared the trailer “not all that”, and then finally came the predictable zombie backlash – “zombies are the new Nazis in games”, “oh, zombies, how original” etc. I am a zombie fan. I love killing them in games, I love being scared of them in films and I love traumatising my kids by pretending to be one in real life. I know this makes me biased but I don’t care. I wish the zombie-haters would put a sock in it, ideally with a decaying, putrefied foot still contained within.

Gamers moaned about Red Dead Redemption’s zombie DLC before even playing it yet it’s great fun! Others rolled their eyes at Black Ops having a zombie mode and, although I’m yet to try it, some friends say it’s their favourite part of the multiplayer. Left 4 Dead and it’s sequel have had tremendous success, Dead Nation got great reviews and Dead Rising 2, while flawed, is still incredibly amusing whenever I’ve delved into co-op mode. Zombie games sell because people like me adore them!

I agree that they shouldn’t be shoved into any old game for the sake of it, and the gameplay itself is incredibly important, but I don’t feel this has been the case yet. If there had been a spate of badly made, poorly selling zombie games then I would agree however they’ve been appearing with enough variety in gameplay and stories to keep fans happy.  If they don’t float your boat then fair enough but why begrudge others their enjoyment? There are thousands of other games out there for you to choose from. I’m never found tutting and making snide comments when yet another generic shooter appears on the shelves, as they obviously have their fans so please leave my beloved zombies alone! With that in mind I would like to celebrate my favourite video game brain-munchers with my personal top five zombies.

From Zombies Ate My Neighbors
I was only twelve or thirteen at the time and my memory of the game is hazy but it would have been my first experience with the pixelated undead. A bit like a Dead Rising for the 90s with numerous unusual items to use as weaponry against the hordes of zombies, vampires and demon babies.

From Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2
Picking one of the Special Infected was hard. I like the satisfaction of being a Spitter and hearing the “dingdingdingding” while my acid burns the Survivors, I like the power and panic caused by being a Tank, I like sneaking about and tonguing my victim as a Smoker but I think I have to plump (pun not intended) with the Boomer. He’s the first one I learnt to control properly and, oozing pustules aside, he’s cuddly, works well with Infected in messing up the other team, makes cute gurgling noises and lets me yell “I VOMMED, IN YOUR FACE, MWARHAHAA” to my friends. Not something I get to say much. The sequel introduced us to the Lady Boomer so I reckon Mr Boomer is the only Infected potentially getting some hot bedroom action. If a Left 4 Dead 3 doesn’t contain a duckling-like line of Baby Boomers I’ll be disappointed.

Buckethead Zombie
From Plants Vs Zombies
Popcap, I love you. This game has stolen chunks of my life and has, probably, the best end credits song from anything, ever. I find most of the zombies complete bastards, especially those bungee ones, however my favourite has to be the buckethead. Essentially a simple, gormless looking corpse but a little bit smarter than the idiot with the traffic cone, thanks to his makeshift armour.

The Zombies
Okay, I’ll confess, this game is too damn trippy for me to have bonded with any specific ‘character’ in it but I couldn’t celebrate zombies without giving it a mention. It was released in 2009 on the Xbox Live Indie Arcade and sold over 300,000 copies in the first year of release mostly thanks to word of mouth. It’s a fairly simple twin-stick shooter but incredibly addictive, costs about 50p and is worth it for the theme tune alone.

Sarah Reese
From Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Sarah is the latest zombie to enter my life. She is my chosen Red Dead multiplayer character; who wouldn’t want to play as a zombie hooker? She flashes a bit of breast, has one dangling eyeball, filthy knickers and communicates with unearthly moans. What’s not to love?

Every week it feels like another soldier-based FPS is released. Gaming shop shelves heave under the weight of racers. Numerous fighting games are regularly being developed. However, I wouldn’t dream of complaining and often enjoy dabbling with different genres. When you look at the massive variety of games released each year on all the consoles and PC you’ll realise what a small percentage involves any zombies. I have no idea yet whether Dead Island will be a good game or not but I’m excited by the idea of it.  So hey, gamer, leave them ghouls alone.

Last five articles by Kat



  1. Edward Edward says:


    I have to admit, I’ve seen a friend play that Indie game and it killed my eyes after 5 minutes. I couldn’t keep up with that forever. Other than that, I’ve only played a few games where Zombies massively feature and when one of my best friends asked me for good zombie games or games featuring zombies I could only recommend a few to her. Yeah, they’re seemingly getting shoehorned a bit nowadays, but the problem’s nowhere near as bad as the influx of shooters, which get boring quicker.

    Besides, our Left 4 Dead games are nothing but awesome. ;)

  2. Jo Jo says:

    <3 I Loevs teh Zombeeez! What would the world be without the opportunity for us regular people to shoot the undead? How are we supposed to prepare for the oncoming zombie apocalypse without these fun and educational games? I love shooting zombies, just as much as I love shooting people and giant mutant ants!

    Totally agree with you Kat! But I'm more of a Witch lover myself ;p

  3. Ben Ben says:

    “Best end credits song from anything, ever”

    Woah woah woah! Hang on a minute now! I bring shame upon myself in that I’ve not played Plants vs Zombies for more than 5minutes but a better ending credit song than Portal, strong words!

    As for Zombies on the whole, I’m not fussed either way really. I’m rotting corpse neutral if you will.

    Reminds me though, really must play the Red Dead DLC, bought it ages ago and still not fired it up.

  4. Ste says:

    Oh noes, not another article with Zombies in it. I thought someone told you about this Kat? STOP IT! Your saturating the interwebs with your unoriginal drivel!! :p

    Personally I don’t see the big deal with zombies, if you don’t like zombies then don’t buy the game. Simples.

    @Ben – The song at the end of PvZ is pretty epic, I’d say it was on par with the one from Portal. You should google it if you cant be arsed to play. Totally worth it!

    Nice article Kat. No more zombies though please.

  5. Kat says:

    @Ed OMG L4D FTW :D

    @Jo I had you pegged as a Witch lover, you minx.

    @Ben I haven’t reached the end of Portal *shame* and I’ve dodged hearing the song in case I ever do finish it.

    @Ste Your face is drivel.

  6. Richie rich says:

    This was fun to read even though I’m completely jaded by zombies.

    I completed PvZ on the iPOD and XBLA. Awesome game.

  7. Pete Pete says:

    I quite like zombies :) they were the only thing that made World At War even half way original! ;)

  8. SimonJK says:

    Personally I’m a Zombie FILM lover and along side my vampyre film collection there are quite a few zombie films, from the classics and remakes to the obscure stuff like Wasting Away and where as I think the upcoming game Dead Island may be differant in ways to stuff we have seen before, I think it is beginning to show ‘overkill’ on the theme. Okay we get it, game developers, you can add a zombie mode or theme into any game and some Pain in the Ass isn’t gonna wave the biase flag and claim discrimination and not stock the game on sensitve store shelves. Please actually think up some new, innovative ideas before the more moronic gamer starts to expect Zombies in every game, much like achievements!

    ‘Zombies are People Too!’ – (Wasting Away)

  9. Lorna Lorna says:

    I’m with the haters I’m afraid, I’m getting tired of the constant Zombie stuff. Not so bad in their own games, that’s fair enough as they are a genre almost to themselves which is cool, but when they come over here, stealing our benefits and hijacking our normal games, something should be done.

    “I’m not deadist, nah, not deadist, but I think they should be sent back to the where they came from (the grave) and stop taking flesh out of the average game villain’s mouth. Vote GNP (Gaming National Party).”

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