Dead Block, the first game from developer Candygun Games, is a Playstation Network title that is trying to cash in on the huge craze currently invading every game genre. I am speaking, of course, of zombies. Zombie games can be found nearly everywhere you look now and this title brings all the fun of Call of Duty zombies to the Playstation Network, or it seems that was thxboxe initial intention. Set in the 1950’s, this game shows the fictional effects of rock ‘n roll music as it has somehow turned nearly everyone into the living dead.
The single player part of the game has ten levels that increase in difficulty as you progress through what can barely be called a story. The story is presented like you are playing a TV show based on surviving waves of zombies. While fighting off a horde of zombies seems fun, the games plays out extremely boring. The multiplayer is basically the same as single player but just with a split screen since, for some reason, there is no online play. Online play would not be as big of a deal if it was harder to program but even PS Minis have online play now.
Each “episode” is finished by doing one of two tasks, either killing enough zombies to power up the Zomb-O-Matic to electrocute the remaining zombies or dig through items to find pieces of a guitar set-up. The Zomb-O-Matic levels are the most fun because the main focus is set on killing zombies while the guitar levels are all just searching and hoping you don’t die. The latter also includes a mini-game style of ending once you collect all 3 musical items by having you play a song in the style of Guitar Hero, sort of.
Your main defense against the legions of the undead are traps. Each character can build a barricade by default and get three other traps that they acquire through game play, the most useful being the concrete wall used by the construction worker. Traps range from nukes that the traffic cop builds to tanning bed lights used by the Boy Scout. Some of the traps can even make the zombies fight each other. All of the traps are very effective in slowing down, damaging, and weakening the evil undead threat.
The graphical style of this game tries to take the creepiness factor down by making everything very cartoony. While this is fine for kids, not a lot of older audiences want that in a zombie title. The characters all look uninspired, the construction worker looks very basic, the Boy Scout looks like the kid from Disney’s Up and the black lady is extremely stereotypical. The zombies range from being a standard looking zombie, to an old man and a giant tank-like character. The levels are all nicely designed and, if you are smart enough, are made so that you can route zombies to go in what paths you want them to.
The audio in Dead Block is pleasing to the ears but easily forgettable. The soundtrack consists of original rockabilly style songs that play during the levels and when you finish the guitar levels. While this is a nice touch and adds to the whole 50’s feel of the game, it is not really necessary to have. The sound effects are nicely done and are timed very well. All of the different traps that you set have their own sounds that go along with the overall feel of the game.
Dead Block is not a horrible PS3 game but definitely not the best that has come out recently. This title comes in at the average price of $9.99 but, quite frankly, is not worth that price. This is the developer’s first shot at making a game but it is not a very strong attempt. The god-awfully long levels and very boring game play will makes you want to shut it off soon after starting it up.