Pitch-black night slowly crept in as you struggled to find sanctuary. The undead horde encroached on from the darkness, and the cold certainty of death became more of an absolute. Without a prayer for survival you fell, utterly defeated, as your shambling killers came to claim and later devour you. But you jumped right back on the server, because those zombies weren’t going to headshot themselves. Except this time, you were a little more careful, and a little more cautious, because all that was waiting for you otherwise was a swift and unmerciful death. That’s DayZ in a nutshell, the most realistic exercise in zombie apocalypse preparation you’ll ever take, save from actually living through one.
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When I was a young whippersnapper, Serious Sam meant a flurry of indomitable enemies, plenty of gunpower, and Sam’s bad attitude to keep things moving along. These days, or at least in the case of Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, part of the Serious Sam Indie Series, it means RPG mechanics, sprites, and old-school grinding.
If raunchy humor is your thing, then you’ll find plenty to enjoy in the Hector: Badge of Carnage series from Telltale Games. I’m not sure I should even begin to run down the list of completely inappropriate jokes that will fly your way from the start of the third and final episode of the series, but rest assured if you’re the type to offend easily, it certainly isn’t for you. Episode 3: Beyond Reasonable Doom is a fitting end to the story, however, and if you’ve been along for the ride the whole time, you’ll likely be satisfied here as well.
There are a few things I look for in shooters: visceral, riotous violence, superb visuals, and excellent storytelling. This trifecta is unbeatable by my standards, and something few shooters fail to possess. However, there’s a good mix of all three in most of my favorite FPS titles, so I can deal. When I can’t have all three, I’ll allow one or the other when selecting a new run-and-gun fest to add to my library. I hoped to find my Holy Trinity of Shooters in Hard Reset, a suspiciously low-key release with preview builds floating around the email accounts of video game writers everywhere. Hard Reset, with its tongue-in-cheek moniker, comic-book inspired narrative panels, and gorgeous neon hues, came out of nowhere. One day, I hadn’t even heard of Flying Wild Hog or anything about an upcoming shooter with such a memorable name, and the next I’m jetting through preview code.