Project Zomboid – Preview

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This is a vague preview for the tech demo of Project Zomboid.  A zombie survival game being developed by The Indie Stone.  The opening sequence is very bleak and clear about the nature of the game.  This is how you died.  There’s a great joy in seeing a game like this finally get underway because, as far as my own experience goes, most so-called survival games are really combat-based games.  Obviously you won’t survive if you get torn up by a Hunter in Left 4 Dead, but by that definition I can say Call of Juarez is a survival game.  Here you have to really survive! You have to eat, you have to sleep, you have to seal up the doors, you have to NOT PANIC!  Oh, and the zombies are proper zombies; none of that “I can run really fast” nonsense!

That’s something that’s been rather irksome to me.  The terror of a zombie apocalypse isn’t in the fact that you’re going to get bitten and infected within two seconds of seeing one of them, hearing an almighty scream as they charge at you.  No.  The terror is in the inevitability of it. It is an unstoppable wave of death, slowly consuming everything you know and love.  It’s in the issue of your dwindling resources, your food stores will only keep you for so long, even less if someone else should steal them by force!  The horror is the fact that while your old neighbours and friends are decaying slowly right outside your window, banging gently, your mental state is deteriorating faster.  Hunger, loneliness, depression and panic are the real enemies, and worst of all, time.

So on that positively uplifting note, let’s find out how I perished in the zombie apocalypse!

 

A few spatters of blood cover the leather bound diary, on the first page inside it simply reads: ‘James’ Journal’

28th February

Woke up.  Searched this odd new house I crashed in for useful things.  Managed to find a hammer in the shed, as well as a few nails and scrap wood, so that’s something!

Found a deserted diner so I smashed open the vending machines at the entrance and the one inside and grabbed everything.  Clearly I attracted some attention, so I went through the diner and boarded up the door as I left.  Pretty certain I gave those slow buggers the slip.

I came across a small storehouse later in the day, managed to reach into a crate through the window.  Of all the glorious things to find I pulled a shotgun out! Survival seems possible now.  Definitely possible.  I’ve set up a safehouse above some empty store.  Looks like it could’ve been a hardware store.  I suppose it doesn’t matter really now, does it?  Either way I’m heading out to look for more supplies, there’s nothing here and that mess of junk food won’t last forever, or even for a week.

It’s 3pm now.  Scoped out a nearby residence, saw there was plenty of food in the kitchen so I checked the rest of the building to make sure it was empty.  Got scratched on my foot after I hammered a pair of zombies to the floor in the bathroom.

S***! I got bit on my leg and it’s bleeding!  I’ve patched it up but from what I’ve heard this is a sure-fire way of coming down with necrosis and an acute hunger for candy floss of the skull.  I found an axe in the kitchen, so I hacked down a door and boarded up the entrance.  There’s no windows on the ground floor so nothing is going to see me.  Fingers crossed I haven’t attracted too much noise, because I need my leg to get better, get some rest and make it back to my own safehouse.  All this blood will eventually attract them.

1st March

Woke up at 4am in pain.  Found painkillers in the bathroom.  A few murmurs outside.

Lounged around ’til sunrise before pulling the boards off of the door.  There were 6 of them waiting there for me.  That corridor is an absolute blood bath.  And most of it isn’t even mine! Hah!

4pm and I reached the safehouse.  Stocked up the food I’d looted and the other useful pieces.  Absolutely exhausted.

2nd March

4am again… All over my body aches.  I figure it’s from how hard I’ve been pushing myself.  After all, it’s been a bloody stressful few days.

This day is dragging on.  And I’m starting to feel sick.  The thumping on the lower barricades is getting too much.  Time to find that shotgun…

Purged the store-front of the shuffling abominations, but it got too dark to do more so I’ve bolted it back up tight.

3rd March

Took out the half dozen on the backdoor.  Still feeling queasy.  Time to rest.

Had a quick nap, after blowing them away it’s so much easier to get some peace and quiet.  Finished off the last of the soup and I’m hoping it’ll help.  Always used to have soup when I was ill.  Pains in my chest and my left arm.  I wonder if zombification feels like a really, really slow heart attack…

4th March

Paced around the apartment to keep a little active.  Felt worse after it.  Popped a load of sleeping pills.  I figure sleep will h_-..

5th March

The noise outside is getting louder, but at least there’s no thumping on the doors.

6th March

The thuds started again.  Feeling properly sick now.  Tried to clear the back, but they overpowered my aim.  I got scratched all up my right arm and one of them bit m**Smeared with blood**king groin!  There’s blood everywhere down there.  I just about nailed it back up and tore up some bedsheets for bandages.  Had a nice cocktail of painkillers and sle–_.

7th March

Bed is covered in blood.  Seriously need to take it easy and keep real quiet.  No thudding outside at least.

WHY CAN’T THEY JUST LEAVE ME ALONE?!?!?

I couldn’t sit and do nothing.  I broke down the bedroom door to reinforce the upper entry.  Sleeping with my shotgun tonight.

8th March

Sunrise.  Full on fever.  Heard something break outside.

Must have fallen asleep… It’s 4pm.  My groin hurts.

 

The final note for this preview is that, aside from dying an hour after I noted that my groin hurt and becoming a zombie, there is a lot in store for this gem, demonstrated by the long, long, long list of planned features on the forum.  It truly is a diamond in the rough and I thoroughly recommend checking it out.  The tech demo is free to anyone and the download link (which is a torrent file) is available here.  This is definitely a title to watch if you like your zombies slow and your survival games about surviving!