As Halloween came and went this past week it wasn’t entirely uncommon to see people playing games with horror content to it - the most common being a zombie mode of some sort. This weeks On the Download we’ll address themed DLC/downloadable games and how effective they are, focusing on the newest products first.
First up we’ll take a look at what the majority of our staff was playing for Halloween in our Weekend in Gaming: Trick or Treat edition. This edition was heavy in the zombie DLC pack for Red Dead Redemption titled Undead Nightmares. Something about zombies in the wild west setting really got people in the mood for candy - or whatever.
Undead Nightmares not only added to Red Dead Redemptions single player, but gave co-op gamers a bit more to bite in to, metaphorically speaking. Andrew “Cubninja” Gaskill went to great detail about the two new co-op modes in his impressions (Spoilers there) and they sound a bit like this:
The first, Land Grab, is a Free Roam affair that has players trying to maintain control of certain areas of the open world map for a set period of time. There are seven markers located throughout the world. Simply walk up to one and stake your claim.You can posse up and work together as a team to hold land against other players. The more players you defend against, the more experience is awarded after the match.
The second co-op game mode is the zombie-flavored Undead Overrun. Two to four players partner up in a lobby, similar to the co-op missions from the free Outlaws to the End DLC. Each game will take place in one of five graveyards found in the world. You can choose from four classes: Ravager, Overkill, Longshot, and Mauler. The game pits your team against progressive waves of the undead, each harder than the last.
Zombies in a horde mode style seem to be a match made in heaven, especially since the original concept of the stumbling undead is really only a threat in large waves. This DLC pack comes highly recommended, and you should be able to find some co-op buddies to help out with these, even after the Halloween festivities have ended.
Zombie modes have also become quite popular in games, likely started in the Call of Duty: World At War zombie survival mode, but living on in the way only the undead can. Previously grabbing a great zombie pack (and subsequently similar Robot Revolution pack) is the co-op favorite Boderlands.
Sure, this DLC pack isn’t exactly fresh off the press or anything, but it is without a doubt my favorite bit of Borderlands. The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned offeres a fresh take on the storytelling, a change from the bland desert landscape, and a lot of quirky Halloween references (like Pumpkinhead, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, etc).
Not satisfied with a simple zombie “mode” for a game? How about a handful of arcade titles for download and enjoyment in a co-op fashion? Zombie Apocalypse fits that bill, complete with top-down controls and a handful of varied zombies to take out (or, take you out as the waves get tougher to survive). Players on Xbox Live arcade and the Playstation network can both enjoy this title, but the next one is a PSN exclusive that we’re really looking forward to.
Dead Nation looks to take the arcade zombie and make it truly terrifying with clever use of light/dark, eerie sounds, and gory visuals in this new top-down shooter. The team behind it promises to be a different style of zombie game, but we’ll wait to judge for ourselves eventually.
So now that we've covered zombies, where are my werewolves, vampires, Silent Hill (could be co-op, maybe, eventually, don’t kill my dreams man), serial killers - other horror staples? The closest I’ve seen in co-op add-ons and downloadables is the Borderlands Zombie Island with references within the zombie DLC. Bring on the horror, devs - you’ve got a year to mix it up!
Oh yea, and because we’re all thinking the same thing about Halloween, the crew in charge of the Co-opticast had a Special Halloween edition of the podcast for your listening pleasure - it probably has a bit more detail and opinions than this On the Download, so go have a listen to see if you agree or wish to fight them on the forums.
New in Download and DLC
The arcade has started its holiday season full of new releases, complete with a lot of intriguing co-op titles to come. Games like the intriguingly simple The Underground by Atari, and DLC for Crackdown 2 called ‘deluge.’
The Underground is a physics based puzzle games for PSN and Xbox Live arcade in the vein of the Pixel Junk Shooter title exclusive to the PSN. Of course it won’t quite have the Pixel Junk name to it, but a casual style physics puzzler is always welcome to the co-op realm.
Also, I don’t know about you guys, but Crackdown 2 has been due for a bit of extra gameplay - or maybe it’s just that I need the rest of my orbs and such. The Diluge will give us a bit more action, new weapons and vehicles, and even a firefight style horde mode full of waves of mutants.
Free for You
Recently we had a few issues with Fable III’s co-op linked to a bit of DLC. Fortunately for all of us, that DLC full of weapons is absolutely free. Both players need the DLC to be allowed to play together, but the weapons are nice and shiny ones at least.