Dead Nation is a new zombie game by Housemarque and while a new zombie game is hardly noteworthy the developer is. Their other big game was Super Stardust HD, an excellent title and my first purchase on my PS3. It is a game I still play years later and they have brought the same addictive magic to the excellent Dead Nation.
The game starts with an interesting opening cinematic that sets the tone of the zombie apocolypse and then you are given a choice to select a male or female hero. Their names are laughably bad (Jack McReady and Scarlett Blake) but they have an interesting twist when it is revealed that they are immune to the virus. Both characters have the same story path which is to find survivors a safe haven and if possible a cure. The story is told through well done images and voiceovers, and while the story is thin, it is engaging enough to advance you from scenario to scenario.
Putting the story aside, Dead Nation is a game all about killing hordes of zombies as you move from area to area. Thankfully Housemarque has taken their established control scheme from Super Stardust HD to this game to great effect. You move with the left stick, aim with the right and shoot with the L1 shoulder button. Other moves like a quick run, melee and throw items of mayhem are mapped to the other shoulder buttons. The controls work very well and once you really get used to looking in a different direction then you are moving you will be killing and evading zombies on a grand scale.
The game is presented in an isometric overhead view, pulled out quite far making this a game that needs to be played on a decent sized HD television to be appreciated. The graphics are amazing with light used in a very effective manner. Your hero has a flashlight that is always on and the permanently darkened areas have sporadic lighting that at times gutters out. The constant panning of light and noises coming from all around add a very intense feeling of danger at all times. No matter how tough my armor or powerful my weapons I always felt nervous if a light blinked out or if a loud growl was heard.