6 Zombie RPG Suggestions You Must Try

6 Zombie RPG Suggestions You Must Try

Zombies are a pretty huge deal. Ever since the likes of Dawn of the Dead have started really popularizing the trope as what would soon become a classic horror genre, exposure has only grown even bigger. After all, one of the biggest TV shows currently airing is The Walking Dead, isn’t it? But as many great shows and movies featuring our favorite slow-walking undead brain eaters there are, is there even a zombie RPG that can match them?

The thing with a trope that’s been around for so long is that it’s been essentially overused. In order to really get the best out of it, you definitely need to work on twisting the genre and adding new and fresh elements. In this regard, zombie games are a hit or miss. There’s really no between.

So, because not all of us have enough time on our hands to test out every single zombie RPG that’s out there, we’ve decided to shorten the process by presenting six zombie RPG suggestions that are worth trying out.

#1 Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Zombie RPG
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Photo Courtesy of Telltale

The majority of zombie-related games heavily rely on the scenario of an apocalypse. In other words, a vast majority of them are survival games driven by mechanics that require the player to fight back and, well, survive.

The Walking Dead fits the apocalyptic bill, but it places a much heavier emphasis on storytelling. Despite the title, it has no connection to the characters of the comic or the TV show. Instead, players assume the role of a teacher named Lee who is seeking redemption amid the chaos by looking after an orphaned little girl.

This game has earned numerous accolades and was lauded for its insightful and unpredictable storyline, as well as for the depth of the characters. If you didn’t cry at the ending, you have no heart.

#2 Dying Light

Dying Light by Techland
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Photo Courtesy of Techland & Warner Bros.

Dying Light was a heavily anticipated release and in many senses, it managed to deliver. Unlike many other zombie RPG survival games, players are given some sort of upper hand by being given the option to travel via rooftops. Let’s just say that people that played Mirror’s Edge will definitely love the parkour mechanics of this game, one of the things that drew attention on it in the first place.

The keyword for Dying Light is immersion. In a style that’s reminiscent of map pursuing á la Assassin’s Creed, the first-person perspective sends players on scavenger hunts by leaping from one rooftop to another.

And because tension is what keeps all these zombie RPG products going, there’s nothing quite like that feeling when you accidentally miss-land and end up crashing in the middle of an angry horde.

#3 DayZ

DayZ
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Photo Courtesy of Bohemia Interactive

If this is your first time mingling with the zombie RPG genre, then you’ve probably never had a taste of the original survival experience. In this case, DayZ is your best starting point. The game has no script and no general direction, having players wake up with no provisions and being prompted to  survive for as long as possible.

The really nice aspect of this game is that it’s also a MMO, so you are likely going to encounter other people. Whether they’ll be benevolent or not is completely unknown, but it is recommended to always have a knife prepared just in case.

At the end of the day, DayZ is a post-apocalyptic open world zombie RPG experience. The graphics might not be extraordinary, we admit, but we reckon all it takes is a little bit of immersion to look beyond these little faults.

#4 Dead Island

Dead Island
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Photo Courtesy of Techland

Let it be noted: this refers to all the games in this franchise that have been released so far. After all, they sort of all fit into the same category with a few small variations. Just like there are all kinds of people amid the unleashing of the end of the world, there are kinds of types of games and atmospheres.

All it takes is one look at the trailer for Dead Island 2 to realize that this isn’t exactly a game that relies on a gritty atmosphere and intense hardcore mechanics. Rather, this is the game for all people who wish to cause mayhem among these undead suckers and leave bloodbaths behind them.

#5 Left 4 Dead 2

Zombie RPG - Left 4 Dead 2
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Photo Courtesy of Valve Corporation

Left 4 Dead might be one of the most famous zombie RPG products. Some may argue that time hasn’t been too flattering, however, as there are some aspects of the first game that haven’t exactly resisted the test of time.

As far as the sequel is concerned, a lot of the fans are torn. But for all the things that Valve made and turned out a bit questionable, we have just enough features to overshadow them and balance everything out. Unlike the games that take place years after the initial “explosion,” Left 4 Dead 2 is set really close to the time humanity ruled the Earth.

As such, the game has a particularly humane core which enhances all moments of touching humanity.

#6 State Of Decay

State Of Decay
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Photo Courtesy of Undead Labs

Just because it’s last, doesn’t mean that it’s least. State Of Decay may actually fit the “zombie RPG” bill the most accurately. Although it’s one of those releases that have more or less abused the Early Access feature, all the bugs and errors resulting from it have been forgiven thanks to its compelling gameplay mechanics.

In State Of Decay, players take control for one day of a different character that has just joined their camp as a survivor. Because of this roster of playable characters, the game introduced an element that can make any game instantly more thrilling – permadeath.

Honorable Mentions

Believe it or not, there are enough zombie-related games out there to be able to make even a Honorable Mentions section. Just because we can’t expand on them, that doesn’t mean they’re not fit to occupy your time.

  • Zombie Night Terror
  • Project Zomboid
  • 7 Days To Die

And just because we can, even though it doesn’t exactly fall under the category of traditional zombie genre like the ones above, give The Last Of Us a shot if you can help it. We can’t even begin with the reasons why.

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David Williams

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