Sunday, May 16, 2010

PC Game Review - Nation Red

Nation Red developed by DiezelPower last August is an isometric Zombie Shooter. I will be reviewing the version seen with the latest patch (1.66) which was released last week. Nation Red can be purchased on Steam for $9.99

The Story would only be apparent if you read the write up on Steam. Now to make things simple. Zombies appear in the Midwest in the 1970s, the last one is thought to be shot and killed. Thirty Years later it turns out there were more and now the area is being overrun yet again. Now it's up to you to kill them all.

To start with, the gameplay is very simple. It's in an isometric view (see screenshot below), and you play it like any old arcade top down shooter. Move (and roll), and of course kill everything that moves while confined in a small area. It's very much like SmashTV in this respect. What makes it stand out though is the Perk System. For every X amount of points you unlock a perk. You are given a set of 5 random perks to choose from every time you level up. These range from a perk that will give you a grenade every 30 seconds to bombs that will drop over areas of the map every 30 seconds killing around 5-6 zombies with them. In addition to the zombies there are also Zombie Bosses, think special infected in Left 4 Dead except these bosses will take clip after clip and are absolutely deadly. Some of these bosses have guns, some have chainsaws and others throw grenades and are covered in riot gear. The bosses in this game are no joke. That along with the huge variety of weapons to take these zombies and bosses down (Melee weapons like Axes, Regular Guns like M16s and even special weapons such as Steam Hammers/Flame Throwers!) make for a lot of varied fun gameplay assuring that no two games are the same. You never know what you are going to get so you have to make your strategies on the spot as well. To say that Nation Red's gameplay is fun and addictive would not be enough to describe how brilliant it really is.

The game is split up into a variety of modes. First you have Mission Mode, in here are all the story based missions. There are 18 in total that get progressively harder and harder. Very fun mode and while the levels may not be that long, trying to figure out how to go about them will result in several retries once you get around mission 5. The second mode is Free Play. Here you are put into an area and have unlimited time to kill as many zombies as you wish (well until you die). So just keep shooting and have fun. The Third Mode is survival where you are given a Sub Machine gun as your only weapon and you have to survive as long as possible. The last mode available was added with the recent patch, it is called Barricade. Here you will have to defend an area like all the other modes but the catch is that at the southern most part of the area is a barricade, if the zombies break through there it's game over. This is in my opinion the best mode. In addition to this there is Local Co-Op Play, however I have yet to test this out.

The graphics in Nation Red are flawless. The game just looks so dark, gritty and real. This can be thanked in part to the setting. The desert, very gloomy and dark. Even in the light it still looks dark. The zombie models are fantastic looking. Blood splatters, ripped clothes and amazing animations makes the hundreds of zombies that will fill your screen at one time make this game an absolute beauty. The sound, I wish I could say was flawless but I do have one minor grip with it. While it does feature a lot of awesome instrumental work (which is pretty much all Guitar Solos and blast beats) and accurate gun sounds, the sound effects aren't quite up to par, I don't like the grunts made when either you or a zombie get hit. There only seems to be about 3 separate sounds for that which is disappointing. It can really kill the vibe of the game quickly

What else can be said. Nation Red is a phenomenal game on almost every front. The only thing I would like to see outside of more sound effects are more areas to play in (there seems to only be about 4 distinct locations). Other than that everything that you could ever really want is in this $9.99 package. DiezelPower is currently readying up Online Co-op for that matter! This game will soon have almost everything fans of this genre could want. A pure arcade type of shooter fun in short or long sessions. I highly recommend this game.

Overall: 9.5/10

+Great Graphics
+Amazing Gameplay
+Extremely Challenging yet rewarding at Parts
+Very Nifty Music

-Not a good amount of sound effects
-A few more areas to play in would be nice

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