Zombie Night Terror isn't the generic FPS splatter fest you'd think it is. Instead of killing hordes of zombies in this Lemmings-inspired title from French studio No Clip, players control them. Players must create, manage and guide dozens of the undead through multi-tiered levels full of human targets and surprisingly complex objectives.
“There is a lot of zombie games, but not that many where you play as the zombies,” said Jerome Levet, co-founder at No Clip. “Zombies are dumb. You need to be their brain, you need to think for them. So we thought the Lemmings concept perfectly fit with zombies.”
I agree with Levet. I was a huge fan of Lemmings as a kid and the gameplay in Zombie Night Terror is a more streamlined, and more engaging, version. The handful of levels on hand for demoing at PAX East 2016 ranged from straightforward, kill all the humans objectives to a science lab full of zombie perils like vats of acid and bottomless pits. There will be 40 levels when the game launches this summer, divided across four chapters and each chapter headed by a powerful boss. No Clip has post-launch plans as well.
“We will add free DLC after release that will add 10 more levels and the in-game level editor so everyone will be able to create and share their levels through Steam workshop,” he said.
To guide the dimwitted undead through these levels players have a few options for what kind of zombies are in play and how many they have. First, players must create zombies either through the traditional method of zombie mauling or with a power-up that lets players pick human victims on the level and transform them nearly instantly. This sounds simple but considering that some humans are more dangerous to your horde than others, i.e. machine-gun packing gangsters for example, players need to pick and choose the threatening humans that need to be turned.
That’s just the start. There are also zombie classes tank, crawler and overlord. Tank is self-explanatory, a big hulking brute thats tough and powerful. Overlords can tell zombies which way to go, a useful tactical trait given that your normal zombies will just walk straight ahead no matter what new dangers may pop up. The overlord can turn a horde around if danger pops up, or simply direct it up a staircase towards more victims. Crawlers fit into narrow passageways standing zombies can’t fit through and can even clamber up walls. And each class has a different reaction to the skill mechanics - jump, run, explode or scream. It seems simple at a glance but once you start playing you get a sense of how much depth exists with just four classes and four actions.
With it's black-and-white ascetic and VHS-inspired clock mechanic that can pause and fast forward the game speed, Zombie Night Terror evokes a truly nostalgic horror movie feeling. But it's the innovative gameplay that will have me coming back for more, especially with the promise of a level editor on the horizon and the subsequent dearth of user created levels. It’s one of the most original indies I’ve seen at PAX East, and definitely a game to keep an eye out for when it launches this summer.
Original Article: iDigitalTimes - Mo Mozuch