This was one of my favourite games in the infancy of the 360, the premise was simple you get trapped in a shopping mall during a zombie virus outbreak, surrounded by thousands of zombies and you could use (what seemed like) everything as a weapon to bludgeon, cut or shoot your way through the zombie hordes. Which was great as never in any game could you see or ‘interact’ with so many zombies on screen without any slow down or graphical reduction (as the game was very pretty for its time)
As it happens you are not the only survivor in the mall, there are i think 50 which are optional to save, if you do save them you get extra XP as the game has a leveling up system that increased your health, new combat moves and increased inventory space which was very very useful, as more space=more weapons=lots of zombie kills!
I remember the save system being cumbersome and a tad annoying as you had to travel all the way back to the safehouse to save as there was no other way to save, other than i think save a checkpoint but i hate those as its never really certain at what point you go back to when you die. Which thankfully got rectified in the sequel, another glitch was the text, this was a famous one because at the time HD tvs werent quite so common as they are now so the text on SD tvs was really small and very hard to read whereas on a HD tv the text was alot clearer to read which never got fixed which while annoying wasnt a gamebreaker.
One of the parts i especially enjoyed about the game was being able to talk about it with friends and compare stories or notes about what we did in the game and possibly any secret areas or weapons etc, i really liked that as it felt like you were sharing in the experience in some way.
Now the story while not being particularly original was still quite absorbing. You play as a reporter called Frank (he’s covered wars y’know) investigating the zombie outbreak and subsequently getting trapped in a mall in the middle of the outbreak, you have 3 days before rescue comes to investigate why this happened and to bring the people responsible down. All the while saving random survivors and taking photos for special rewards and additional XP.
The game always gave you the sense that it had so much to give you, and finding different weapons and ways to kill zombies was tremendous fun.
This was the first game i remember that was the real must have in the new wave of games after the launch, at least from memory it was! It is out now on games on demand also pretty much so everyone who gets an xbox now will have the opportunity to play the classic and hopefully really enjoy it as much as i did.
Side note there was a mode where you got timed how long you could survive in the mall, and there was an achievement associated this that i always wanted to get but never could quite get it. it was survive for 7 days in the mall (yoru health slowly drains as time goes by so you couldnt just find a safe spot and leave the xbox on, i only ever got the survive for 4 days achievement, maybe ill go back one day to go for the 7 days one for the challenge..and the points 🙂
thanks for reading