Friday, 9 January 2015

Top 5 Zombie Studios Games

Image from Zombie's Google+ page
You may not know it, but Zombie Studios shut down yesterday: that's right, the Seattle developers that have been going since 1994 have closed their doors, after founders Mark Long and Joanna Alexander decided to retire. They're known for creating the Spec Ops series, as well as two Saw games and a couple of comics, one being the official comic of their most famous series: Blacklight. 

Still, don't worry, as a group of former Zombie Studios employees have founded a new studio called Builder Box will continue to support Blacklight Retribution (Along with Chinese MMO giants Perfect World) and, hopefully, continue the series onward.

Now that the tribute is out of the way, I'm going to count down my Top 5 Zombie Studios games!

5. Blacklight: Tango Down
Image from
The first Blacklight game in a series that spawned a sequel, a comic series and (maybe) a feature film, Tango Down was accused of being generic and uninspired, which I wholeheartedly disagree with. The cheap price, combined with the huge amount of multiplayer modes, made it popular with many people (Including me) when it released, and the future setting added innovation and cool ideas, with a visor that let you see enemies through walls and futuristic spins on present-day weapons. Maybe it wasn't the most memorable game, but it was a cheap, fun thrill nevertheless.

4. Saw
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Despite the disappointment of Daylight, I still know that Zombie Studios can make a good survival-horror game, and that's because of Saw. Sure, the combat wasn't too great, but the storytelling, cutscenes and, dare I say, QTEs were done beautifully, The multiple endings, the horrible environment, the life-appreciation storyline; it was a great example of story and character development done well in a game, and that's all because Saw's creators created a new story for the game. This is how movie games should be done, people!

3. Blacklight Retribution
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Now, I'm not one to enjoy a free-to-play game, since they're usually done terribly, but Retribution managed to strike the balance between payer's advantage and fairness. The renting system worked really well, and a lot of new modes were added (And continue to be added) that were great additions: Siege mode is tense, and the Onslaught mode is fast-paced and stressful. By far my favorite mechanic, though, is the weapon depot, which letsyou grab ultra-powerful weapons, health and ammo pickups with currency that you earn throughout the match.

2. Delta Force Task Force Dagger
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The best thing about Task Force Dagger was the 50-player, 4-teamed multiplayer that had tons of modes and literally endless streams of maps, thanks to an extensive map editor. It also added tons of new guns, 10 different, accurate Special Forces units, UAVs and 25 missions, which is insane for an expansion pack. Sure, it didn't look the best, but this was 2002, and as long as there were good, fun games with quantity and quality, people were happy. What is wrong you darn kids?

1. Spec Ops: Ranger Assault
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Ranger Assault (Or Rangers Lead The Way outside of the UK) was quite an accurate game for the its time: the weapon modeling was great, the sounds were accurate and clear, and the campaign kept you going for a long time thanks to its insane difficulty at the end and the stealth mechanics of the gameplay. Overall, it was Zombie's best, and it helped propell the series to the crescendo that was 2011's Spec Ops: The Line. 


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