Shooting hordes of zombies has become quite the past time and guilty pleasure for many over the past 10 years. Producing some excellent multiplayer experiences from games such as the Left 4 Dead series, the Killing Floor series and what is arguably just as big as the base game, Call of Duty Zombies mode. So it isn’t surprising that there would be plenty of games developed that copied that same formula in hopes to amass the same fan base and success that others have received in the past. Although the theory may be straight forward, putting it into practice doesn’t always come through with the same results. Dead Purge: Outbreak is just one of those titles. Developed by Microlith Games, a small indie studio out of Budapest, Hungary, I don’t fault them for choosing such a popular genre. Unfortunately I believe that this game will turn out to be more of a learning experience than it will be a hit.
From the release trailer the game shows potential, even from a small studio like Microlith. Visuals were solid, and gameplay looked fun enough. Though as it is with most trailers, we see the best small slices of a game and the bigger picture usually isn’t as compelling. From the menu screen it is easy to see that the game doesn’t have the same polish that others of its ilk do. Only two modes are offered, Horde Mode and Survival Mode. The former is basically a set number of rounds for each map with the horde count increasing each round. Survival mode is just that, survive on the map as long as you can without dying. Gameplay wise all the mechanics were very run of the mill and added nothing new to the genre that set itself apart from the herd. After connecting on multiple head shot kills time slows down to continue that streak and wreak more precision havoc upon the living dead. Even this showing of slo mo bloody mayhem grew tiring after the first couple rounds. It’s obvious that Killing Floor 2 is a big inspiration as this is a mechanic used successfully as well as the shop interface present in Dead Purge is very similar. When it comes to maps there are in reality only 3 available to play. With different times of the day variations to choose from to make the map list seem larger. Inside those maps the diversity of zombies were limited to two. Zombies that walked upright and others that crawled on the ground. Without any deviation from these two enemy types and the cookie cutter design of the maps gameplay gets very stale rather quickly. Lending itself to be a game that kept the interest level very low and forced the player to quit or simply choose a game that did the job better. Dead Purge: Outbreak walked that line of mediocrity in all areas. Nothing to persuade anyone to keep playing through and advancing, especially without leaderboards available. There has to be some element done well among all of the run of the mill to make a game such as this stand out. But alas shooting zombies in the face has never felt so bland.
I believe that Dead Purge will be a good learning experience for Microlith Games. In terms of developing games and finding out what players want. Every great developer has a terrible game in their catalogue, and the thing is, this isn’t a terrible game. It’s just a game that is decent for what it is and glaringly shows off how superior other games it is pulling inspiration from are. Is there fun to be had? Sure there is, but it unfortunately isn’t lasting and doesn’t warrant the price of admission.