No one is more afraid of zombies than I am, but the more zombie-centric games, movies, and television shows that are released, the less afraid I become. Psychologists call it over-exposure, but I call it zombie boredom.
But this year, it seems like the zombies might be taking a little breather. Granted, Telltale Games released The Walking Dead, but that game is practically in a class of it's own, which is why we selected it as our game of the year.
Now, I'm sure it'll be a while before the zombie fad completely wears off, especially considering that World War Z, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Zombieland 2 are all primed for the theaters. Plus, AMC's The Walking Dead is still incredibly popular. But I'm wondering if we've passed the tipping point of haphazard, zombie-related entertainment.
God, I hope so.
The thing is, I typically love the idea of a zombie-filled universe, but it's not enough to stock a game with zombies. You have to actually write a storyline and dialog, and give the audience a reason to care for the characters. And those things are usually missing from a zombie title (which is why The Walking Dead was so brilliant). Games like Black Ops 2 barely get away with it because they're dressed up as survival modes, but even that's getting a little long in the tooth.
Today, while you were probably working, I was counting the number of zombie games that have hit the market over the past few years. I'm sure this list is somewhat incomplete, but it might be showing the initial stages of a downward trend in zombie games. Obviously we can't be entirely sure, but the fact that 2012 had the fewest zombie games since 2007 is definitely enough evidence to speculate.
Now, don't get me wrong, I definitely don't want zombie games to get wiped off the face of the earth. I just want developers to start putting more thought into them. And, I'm hoping that fewer games means more development time is being spent.
Either way, we'll have to wait until the end of 2013 to draw a more definite conclusion.
Date: December 18, 2012