Okay, here's your Classic
I want a very specific video game. I want a game about a rag-tag group of survivors in a zombie apocalypse. I want the characters to be diverse, interesting, well-designed and well-acted. I want the game to take a break from the action now and then. I want there to be uneasy quiet, time for contemplation, and conversation that reveals the inner weakness of these souls now dependent on each other. I want them to perhaps realize just how important they are to each other regardless of the circumstances. Essentially I want characters that I can care about.
I want it to be a slow-crawl, not unlike Silent Hill. I want it to be scary. I want tension and dread to build up. I want to be able to investigate abandoned houses and the fallen for food scraps and such. I want to never be sure if there is something waiting for me in the dark. I want levels that take place during the night, and a flashlight with a battery that can be depleted. I want batteries to be rare. I want moments where there isn’t a zombie in sight. I want moments where there are always more zombies than ammunition. I want to be able to clear a room and not have to worry about zombies spawning directly behind or in front of me.
I want an emphasis on team-work, but not have the game DEMAND it of me. I want to be able to “recruit” a team of survivors, and have to make decisions about whether to bring someone or leave them. I want there to be a reasonable balance of risk vs. reward. I want slow zombies at first, and then have them get faster and deadlier as the game moves forward. I want monsters, but I don’t want them to be silly or frustratingly cheap.
I don’t want an A.I. Director that’s supposed to balance the difficulty based on how hard a time you’ve already had, but actually just makes it ridiculously hard for you all of the time no matter what. I want randomized item drops. I want a mini-game where you clean and maintain your guns. I want an energy bar as well as a health bar, where food becomes the primary concern. I want to move slower and start aiming sluggishly if my character hasn’t had something to eat in a while. I want to make decisions about who gets to eat and when.
I want music that isn’t just irritating noise. I want boss battles where the boss isn’t the glitchiest, unfair, game-killing piece of shit in video game history. I want branching paths. In fact, I want a sprawling city, with several different methods to escape. I want a co-op campaign with up to four players. I want characters that die to STAY DEAD until you start the game again. Instead of having them spawn in a closet, you just find a different survivor.
In fact, I want survivors based on several categories, including Age, Gender, Race, level of Conformity, physical health and level of self-importance. There would be 9 pre-set allies, but you create your own lead character, ala Mass Effect. They’d be split into several categories that determine their effectiveness, personality and backstory:
“Veteran” or “Civilian”
“Rebel” or “Conformist”
“Selfish” or “Selfless”
I also want physical appearance modifiers, letting you choose your height and weight. I want to select varying levels of facial hair, even for the women. I want hats, HATS AND HATS BY THE BARREL-FOLD. I want sections where you may have to split your team up, or possibly leave one or two behind. I want there to be personal squabbles, sometimes forcing you to choose a member of the team to leave the group. I want to able to heal myself of my injuries, but make it so that the process goes by faster if you are healed by a friend, or if you heal that friend.
I want to always be considering how much ammo and food we have.
I want it to be possible to become infected, and I want the cure for infection to be very rare. I want a wide variety of zombies, old and young, fit and fat, instead of just putting different heads on the same 5 fit, young, 20’s zombies over and over again. I want checkpoints, or the ability to save my progress. I don’t want to have to start all the way at the beginning of a half-hour long stage, god damnit. I don’t want a “horde” to just randomly spawn and attack me for no reason, even though there’s nothing that could have possibly set them off or alerted our location to them.
And I want a type of quick, dumbed-down arcade mode without cutscenes, where your team-mates respawn and you can just play online for kicks. I’d never play it, but it’d be there just in case.
I want every playthrough to be different, and tell its own story. I want objects to behave the way they should, instead of this invisible wall bullshit. And most importantly, I want it to be fun.
WHO WOULD MAKE THIS GAME?
I used to think they’d be the ideal choice, until they decided they wanted to be George Lucas and crap all over their own legacy. I’m giving them one more chance with Portal 2.
Don’t make me laugh. Too much words and not enough lasers. They’d call it “gay”. And with the Activision leash, it would be picked clean of all creativity or entertainment value. And through super-villain levels of greed and stupidity, it would be whored out for sequel after sequel.
Hell, just look at how they treated Infinity Ward.
They’ve got enough zombie games as it is. And the last time they attempted something like this, we got Dead Rising. And it sucked. (I’m also not hearing good things about Lost Planet 2 either)
…You know what? That sounds about right. As long as it’s more Mass Effect 2 than Mass Effect 1. Game Developers? Consider this one a freebie. I expect the results on my desk by 2014.
END OF LINE