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8

Om-nom-Nombz!

There’s been a lot of indie zombie games recently – in fact, there’s at least another one I’m considering whether I should give a little shot to the head or not. But this isn’t about that – this is about Nombz is a neat little third-person action shooter, who released V1.1 of their demo recently. It involves shooting! Zombies! In the head!

The demo’s the first three levels, and it’s working off a vaguely Chaos Engine axis. That’s my shorthand for “You play by yourself, but have AI team-mates”. There’s three characters who end up in your mob in the demo (and two more in the full one), each with different abilities and you’re allowed to swap between them after you collect ’em. And I will now show you what it looks like via the media of Screen-a-shot.

You can see it in motion over here. It’s…. well, it’s okay. There’s just a general lack of viscerality to the weapons, but the Psychonauts-tinged retro-comedy atmosphere helps a lot. The AI’s probably the most noticeable failing – you can forgive it for the zombies, of course, as getting a car between you and them as they struggle to get around strikes me as a valid tactic. For team-mates, it’s less appealing – they have the prenatural awareness so they start shooting at anyone within range, which seems to include through walls. Surprise attacks from alleyways to the side lose their edge when your mate starts shooting in that direction. And since surprise is out of play, it’s a shame the minimap doesn’t display blips for all the zombies – it’d have added to the comic desperation of a situation when you can see you’re really surrounded by the shambling ones. But now I’m playing backseat designer, which isn’t ever fair.

I woke up this morning and had a little shoot. It served its purpose.

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Kieron Gillen

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Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.

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