The Victimization of Zombie Levels, And Why It's the Creators' Fault, Not the Genre's
by, 06-28-2012 at 10:03 PM (211 Views)
Let's face it: Any sane person will avoid any level upon their discovery that it has zombies in it. Zombie Shooters shouldn't be avoided simply because "Zombie" is in the name, however. The genre itself isn't a bad genre, it's the people behind it that are giving these levels a bad rap.
Lack of originality of these shooters causes a huge problem. Creating the basics of zombie shooters are easy. Plop some zombies, give the player a gun, have the zombies spawn at set locations, and make them die when the player shoots the zombie. Finally, make the player die when the zombies hit them. A series from wlchrbandit on how to make a top-down shooter, although it uses some outdated techniques, makes creating the basics even easier. All that's left to create a fantastic level is to add on to this formula and include a unique touch. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done, and some levels never do add that unique touch. The basics are created, and suddenly, without much polish, the level is published. The end result is a significant amount of creators creating a basic zombie shooter, and not knowing what to do next, publishing their level, resulting in a lot of bland and stale shooters. LuCa_XmA's level ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE Day1 Top Down Shooter 1Player. is a good example of this. The level uses logic from wlchrbandit's tutorial, and, it doesn't improve on it in any way. Even the health meter looks the same as in wlchrbandit's tutorials! A lack of uniqueness in zombie shooters degrades their quality.
Some creators of zombie shooters don't even care about how good their level is and look for easy plays from the 10-year olds who like these kinds of levels. This lack of desire to create a great level stems from the fact that naturally, any little kid that plays LBP2 wil play anything with "Zombie" slapped on it regardless of quality, and contributes to the number of bad zombie shooters in LBP2. DeKa1357's Zombie Island: The Lost Island suffers from a lack of effort, noticeable in the gameplay. There's only one gun, all zombies die in one hit, and the player doesn't even rotate in the direction that he/she is shooting in, nor does he/she appear to be holding a gun. The creator himself even admitted to creating the level "for those little noobs who like that kind of lvls." Sometimes, the creators themselves don't even want to create a great level.
The genre itself isn't bad, however. The genre of zombie survival levels has seen some significant successes which show that a great level can be made involving zombies. Solid_snake-38's Apocalypse: Top-Down Freeroam Adventure, despite being an unfinished level, sports a remarkable amount of depth with a huge amount of exploration, exciting scenery, and different guns that deal varying amounts of damage. SolidNInja2020's Bloody Zombie Massacre series has some issues, but creates an experience where it's flat-out fun and satisfying to kill zombies. These levels added their unique touch to the genre of zombie shooters, and demonstrate just how awesome zombie shooters can be.
The awfulness of zombie shooters shouldn't be blamed on the genre itself, it's really the creators that have destroyed this genre.