Title of gamePlatforms: XBL Arcade, PSN (July 20th), PC (coming soon)

Developer: Candygun Games

Publisher: Digital Reality

Rating: “T” for Teen

Review by Slam’n

Platform Reviewed on: Xbox 360

“Are you good enough to survive a Zombie Armageddon? Don’t panic! Use your brain first and if necessary your sledgehammer. Dead Block is a 3rd person zombie themed arcade game with a unique mix of action, humor and strategy.” sited by Candygun Games website.

Dead Block is an interesting take on zombie survivor games in which the player has the options of not only killing zombies with various weapons but you can also create imaginative environment traps by finding objects in the environment in order to build the traps.

Finding an item is as easy as looking at fridge and pressing the search or destroy option. Regardless of what option you choose, the item will appear and you will be prompted to complete a random action that is pretty easy to complete or you have to complete a simple puzzle. Some puzzles are time based button presses that are similar to music games and other puzzles are self explanatory and very easy. The only problem with finding objects is the time it takes to gather the objects; the more time you use to search for objects, the closer the zombies will be to you.

Gameplay mechanic
This will slow them down!

Since there is a recommendation on using the environment to create roadblocks against the zombies, combat is dull. Hack and slash at it’s most basic is boring (unless you add combos like the Fable series”¦) when you are just pressing one button over and over again. Stick to using the environment if you want more enjoyment from the gameplay that Dead Block offers.

Character models are smooth and detailed enough that you get a sense that each character has their own personality and behavior (they also have their own preferred behavior actions when you are not using them).

The environments and every object within are detailed pretty well to support the look of the setting of the game. There are some awesome minor details. For example, occasionally, I saw bugs running around the floor and saw flies buzzing around.

Environments look awesome

What the demo gives us (or perhaps the game) is that there isn’t much of a story but rather, it is described as if it is a T.V. show from the “˜50s in which the characters are faced with a task to avoid the zombies that are attacking a certain area (garage and house) with music from Elvis playing in the background.

There isn’t an explanation as to why a repair man named Jack Foster and a boy scout named Mike Bacon happen to be in the same home together at a time of a zombie apocalypse but I would take the story rather lightly and play it for what it’s worth.

The sound in the game is filled with bass heavy rock and roll music that is similar to Elvis’ work. I have no idea how they fit in this game other than the setting is in the “˜50s. I don’t think it works but it doesn’t distract me when I’m playing. Having said that, I love how the music affects the zombies.

Besides the background music, the sounds are not amazing or new.

Overall Score: 7

 

Breakdown:

Music: 5: I like the affect that the music has on the zombies but I don’t feel like it should be playing in the background the entire time.

Storyline: N/A: There isn’t a story found in the demo even although it’s presented as if it’s a show that follows the survivors in a zombie apocalypse.

Graphics: 9: Great! The environments and character models are very detailed and look great for the style that Candygun Games was going for.

Gameplay: 7: It’s an interesting take on zombie survival games and it’s pretty satisfying although there are some issues with the companion’s AI that I think could have been improved.

Overall Fun Factor: 6: The game is pretty entertaining at a first because of the gameplay and graphics but the background music and your NPCs AI has it’s flaws that make you wonder why didn’t Candygun Games programed them to follow you like in every other game?

 

Final Thoughts

If you want to play a zombie game with a different take, try out the demo for yourself before you buy the game for 800 Microsoft Points. I enjoyed most of the gameplay mechanics in this demo but after the second level, I lost interested and wanted more variety and a bigger environment to explore. If the game was 400 Microsoft Points, I strongly recommend it and I would buy it.

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