I’m sick of Zombies.
The phrase “running it into the ground” is a perfectly apt one to go hand in diseased hand with Zombies, or should that be shuffling it into the ground? Over the past few years Zombies or creatively different named Zombies have been shoe-horned, flaunted and in some cases put on an ugly pedestal as the foe of choice for our protagonist with family and relationship problems. It’s boring, unimaginative and needs to be phased out of games design for a reasonably long time, along with the incessant fan-boys of the moaning antagonists.
Zombies first made their appearance in the ZX Spectrum game Zombie-Zombie in 1984, and enjoyed a relatively quiet twelve years before the behemoth that is Resident Evil appeared on the scene, making them an annoying permanent mainstay in the industry. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the Resident Evil series like the next brown stain panted child at the time, but that was when it was fresh, seemingly original for the gaming world, but most of all fun.
Fun is a word that gamers link synonymously with their electronic hobby, and recently this is an adjective that never makes the journey from my brain to my vocal chords once I witness or hear tell of Zombies or Zombie-esque life forms making an appearance in the latest release. The path is so well worn on Zombie style enemies that it has been trodden into a trench, one that has now been filled to the brim with slurry that Zombie lovers still seem to snorkel in with their thumbs up.
A few naming and shaming examples of games trying to side step the Zombie title for certain enemies for example are Mass Effect and its “Husk” Fallout and its “Feral Ghouls” Halo and “The Flood” Uncharted and its “Descendents” To quote a friend of mine, who finds Zombies as dull as I do, “Uncharted would be the perfect games series for me, if it wasn’t for the so called zombies ruining it, there was no need.” For those of you foaming at the mouth and wanting to inform me that these beings are a type of Zombie but from separate branches off the fleshy Zombie tree, say your name out loud, because you’re a type of idiot.
It doesn’t matter what original collective name is churned out or defending them as a type, because they are just Zombies. They are an easy boring way out for a developer to throw in a random section of the game to lengthen a story, or to just jump unashamedly on the bandwagon. I understand that Zombies and their types are inconsistent in their nature, but kettle lead for a tail, biscuits sellotaped to my face aside; they need to die from our games.
I remember when a nemesis’ evil motives was to determinedly halt the progression of the player, they had reasons, albeit some farfetched but at least it brought the character to life with a personality. Zombies do not possess this trait, rendering them boring entities wandering thoughtlessly around the game world just looking for their next fix, and this doesn’t do it for me at all. Each passing year gamers speak up about repetition and how we should boycott certain franchises as it’s just the same drivel shovelled into stores, well when will this outrage be directed towards developers and their Zombies? A normal zombie, an exploding zombie and a brute zombie, rinse and repeat! Oh wait I forgot about the sprinting zombies, animal Zombies and spitting Zombies.
Another annoyance is the human characters being so brainless themselves, despite some games being set in the modern day, or near future, questioning their first run in with the un-dead. “What is it, why are they eating human flesh, what’s going on?” The developers deserve a round of applause for setting their games in the real world but making their characters so completely oblivious to pop-culture, not knowing the faux existence of Zombies in the first place.
I want developers to bring back the thoughtful foes of old who can think for themselves, who shout cheesy or humorous dialogue in your direction. I hope I’m not the only one who has had enough of the hoards of brain-dead, thoughtless slack-jawed virtual meat bags that exist in some way in a shed load of games this generation. I won’t be stopping my disproval of such measly foes anytime soon, and plan to kill zero Zombies next year, if I can.