Blood, brains, and guts. Zombies are a huge phenomenon in today’s pop culture and especially so with video games. 2012 showed there was no slowing down the undead horde. An abundance of Resident Evil games (three to be precise), a Wii U launch title that brought back survival horror, and developer Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead exemplified how zombies were once again front and center in gaming. With all this being said, it seems fitting that zombies would have their own category when it comes to the “End of the Year” awards.
With characters that are deserving of their own hashtag on Twitter (just look at the hashtag tweets #ForClementine), emotions running rampant throughout every episode, thought provoking decisions, and zombies galore, it goes without saying that The Walking Dead is the best zombie game of 2012. You’ll play as Lee, a man with a mysterious past that comes into play numerous times throughout the course of the game. But Lee is not the main character in the game, Clementine is.
Small, sweet, innocent Clementine who, all alone, decided to hide in her tree house when her babysitter just happened to turn into a zombie, who also gave Lee a weapon when the babysitter tried to eat Lee. How could you not like and adore her? Early on in the game, you’ll come to realize Clementine is the main focus and then you have to decide how far you are willing to go to save her.
TellTale Games does an amazing job of making you feel something for the characters. I literally had to pause the game, let go of the controller, pick my jaw up off the floor, and just think for a second when a favorite character of mine got her head blown off. I didn’t like one character to the extent that I just refused to save him when a zombie had a hold of him. It’s the zombie apocalypse, people! Survival of the fittest! Of course, some characters would fall off the deep end and go bat shit insane while others will stay strong in order to survive. It’s up to you to decide who lives and who dies in your adventure to keep Lee and Clementine alive.
Corpse eating zombies, Clementine, and did I mention zombies? It is hard to give this award to any other zombie game. Good job TellTale Games, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I can’t wait until the second season comes out. Keep up the good work!
-Megan Salisbury, Community Manager
Remember how you could run through hordes of zombies in Dead Rising or just mow them down with a vehicle (or a lawn mower)? Remember how in Resident Evil 6 you had plenty of guns and ammo, but half the time you could just kick a zombie’s head off with the press of a button? None of those shenanigans happen in ZombiU, a Wii U launch title from developer Ubisoft Montepelier, and runner-up for best zombie game of the year. In ZombiU, you respect every zombie and shit your pants if you see more than one at once. These zombies will instantly kill you if you let them get too close, and unfortunately, resources are scarce, so you better hope you’re good with a cricket bat. Worse, if you die, your character turns into a zombie, and you wake up as a new survivor who must kill that zombie if you want your supplies back. With a truly intense and high-stakes survival horror experience, ZombiU does its best to make zombies scary again.
-Jeff Derrickson, Podcast Host