Out for almost a year now, Dead Nation finally gets its first batch of DLC. No doubt trying to cash in on both the hardcore fans, and those that got the game for free with Playstation Network’s Welcome Back Program. Road of Devastation adds a new element to the arcade twin-stick shooter; the ever-popular horde mode-style mechanic.
Housemarque, the developers behind the title, drop you into the game with your standard equipment; your trusty rifle, an SMG, and some flares. From this point forward, the armor you get as well as weapons and supplies are provided one at a time, and with limited funds available. It adds a very deep layer of strategy to how you play, because your choices are important to how you are going to play the game.
After waking up from a daze, you are presented with three paths. Each path from there is split up into two more paths. So in all, you have six paths. Each is short, about 5-10 minutes, and very different in style. Your first set of choices is between Weapons and Supplies, Money and Health, and Score and Armor.
The most unique path is the Money and Health path. The other two look similar enough to levels in the original game, so there’s no need to mention them in detail. However the Money and Health path is very green. Something Housemarque has added to the game are plants, which can be destroyed via melee attack or bullet fire. This path is overgrown with plants, and even the zombies have been infected with the greenery. It quickly became my favorite path to take, as seeing the plants shakes as zombies shamble through them is actually very eerie.
After you pick your initial route, you rush through a few small hordes of zombies before getting to the second choice. Again, you pick your path and are presented with an upgrade machine with allows you to pick one weapon, one supply, OR one layer of armor. This money path is just littered with cash but the level itself is fairly standard ending with a giant horde that you have to clear.
One cool thing about all this though, is the “KPM” number; Kills per Minute. Right at the top of the screen it keeps track of your KPM, and the higher your KPM, the more rewards you earn. 10 KPM gets you a small health pack, 20 KPM gets you $10,000, 40 KPM gets you a score bonus, and while I have been close to 80 KPM, I haven’t gotten there yet. So in essence, you want to rush through and kill as many zombies as you can as quickly as you can in each round to generate the best possible bonuses. Sounds easy right?
Round One is easy. Every round after that, not so much. The enemies get stronger, having either more health or stronger attacks. So it is vitally important to pick your rounds wisely, especially since you can’t do a path more than once in a row.
All-in-all, if you enjoyed Dead Nation then this is a must buy. While I personally got frustrated easily and can’t play for hours like in the original game (mostly because I am rusty and hate that I am no longer as good at it as I once was) , Road of Devestation adds a really fun mode to sit down and burn half an hour or so.