Time To Spread This Contagion Trailer Around

REady, Bob? Ready mop and bucket? Let's wipe the floor with these guys!
The handsome writer clicks on the Steam Store and types the word “zombie” into the search bar. Too many. He reorganises them by game only. Still too many. They’re everywhere. Surrounding us. An outbreak. It’s only a matter of time before — wait, what’s that groaning? Where is it coming from? He moves to his browser and checks his tabs. That wasn’t there before. He starts closing tabs down, isolating the infected tab: move Gmail, get away Reddit Aww, flee Katy Perry vs Aha. Just one more tab sits, keeping the outbreak from spreading. Slowly, uncertainly he clicks the ‘x’ on the Apple store tab and reveals the source: it’s the Contagion GDC trailer.

Contagion is the first full game from the team behind the Zombie Panic Source mod, and it’s being pitched as a spiritual successor by the team of modders gone pro. It has zombies, it’s co-op, and uses the Source Engine, so comparisons with Left 4 Dead are obviously going to be made. I think I just did. But it’s slower, and there’s a bigger focus on survival horror through ammo conservation, and the paths through the levels are randomly generated, so you’re never sure where you’re going or what you’ll find. Well, apart from the undead, or your old team-mate who’s been resurrected as one of the shuffling brain nommers.

Contagion has no release date, but it’s coming for you.


  1. USER47 says:

    btw: It is Contagion, not Contagian:).

  2. StevoIRL says:

    Looks and feels out dated and hell I haven’t even played it. To me the source engine really suffers in being a catch all engine in regards to FPS game and the above video seems to confirm that I have played that game already a thousand times under various different names, why should I pay money for something that won’t be a new experience.

    • Kyrius says:

      The zombies do feel weird, but it doesn’t look like it’s source engine’s fault… more like alpha symptom, like @Alexander Norris said…

    • bear912 says:

      Complaints about the Source engine look and feel outdated.

      … I guess it’s possible I woke up on the snarky side of the bed this morning.

    • cunningmunki says:

      You said it, bear912. I wondered how far down the thread I’d have to get before the Source-Trolls appeared. Good gameplay is good gameplay, regardless of the engine. The age of a game, or it’s engine, is no indication of it’s quality.

      You don’t hear TF2, Counterstrike and L4D players complaining about using an eight-year old engine, and Portal 2 sold a handful of copies last year, I believe.

      Not to mention a critically acclaimed, ground-breaking, indie title recently released that uses Source, which was praised for (and relies heavily on) it’s visuals.

      As you said, StevoIRL, you haven’t even played it, so how do you know that it’s not a new experience?

  3. Alexander Norris says:

    For a game that allegedly focuses more on survival horror, that trailer sure is just three and a half minutes of shooting. :(

    Hopefully the janky animations are a symptom of alpha and not a symptom of Source. It’s nice seeing modders go pro, though (*cough*).

    • Dowr says:

      When they say survival horror, they really mean a lot of shooting with slightly more limited ammo than the average FPS. And Zombies.

    • Jnx says:

      When you take a zombie survival horror game to online enviroment it becomes apparent that it’s survival horror only for the zombies. Instead of running away from them you usually end up competing who gets to actually kill something.

      I’m interested though. I got too many level 6 perks on Killing Floor already, and I never liked L4D2 that much.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Something this article seems to miss is that the gameplay and dynamic of Zombie Panic is completely different to L4D, and was around long before. It’s not just the survival horror aspect, it’s the ‘last man standing’ approach that makes it different.

      Check out how the game works: link to zombiepanic.org

      I’m guessing Contagion will work in the same way.

    • Bassem says:

      Janky animations are definitely not a symptom of Source. Not with the character animation in Half-Life 2 and episodes.

    • LJFHutch says:

      Yeah I don’t see much horror. If you’re bored and close the trailer less than halfway through something is wrong, especially when it’s what essentially looks like an action game with zombies sprinkled on top (I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but if action is boring you’re doing it wrong).

  4. MrCraigL says:

    Now I’m going to be stuck listening to Katy Perry Vs Aha all day. Cheers. I think.

    • atticus says:

      Exactly right.

      Damn you Craig Pearson! And…. and…. take on me. Take me on. I’ll be gone.

    • RogB says:

      omg it works O_o

    • Bob_Bobson says:

      I just spent the last 2 hours of my life on that website. Some awesome mashups on there.

    • PJMendes says:

      I was just about to post to say that. Thanks for linking the excellent mashup, Son of Pear.

      I should write something about the game. Er, I’d prefer my zombie survival game without guns nor corridors, KThanks, bye.

  5. Kyrius says:

    Kinda interesting… Gotta see how it will work out in the end. There are some elements that seems to bring something new to the genre, like finding keys, putting out fire to make your way, etc… As always: Soon!

  6. Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

    Seeing the stiff animation of those zombies really makes me wish someone would put the Euphoria Engine to good zombie shambling use.

    I want to see zombies with one arm and 1¾ legs ploughing their way towards me; moving more and more awkwardly and disturbingly as body parts get fewer.

    Surely I can’t be the only one?

    • ceson says:

      Nope, you’re not. Ever since GTA IV I’ve been hoping for either a Bloodlines sequel or a Survival Zombiepocalypse Simulator using that technology. They could even re-use Liberty City for all I care.

  7. Bhazor says:

    “Greater focus on ammo conversion”
    See trailer.

    Personally I’d much rather play containment. Mainly because it plays nothing like the horde of zombie games out there.

    link to store.steampowered.com

    • JB says:

      I was looking at Containment only last night. It does look fun.

    • Chris D says:

      I picked up containment but couldn’t get into it.

      For me the problem was that the zombies attack based on time rather than on whether you make a move or not and there’s no penalty for bad moves which leads to the whole thing degenerating into frenzied clicking rather than any kind of meaningful strategy.

      It’s an interesting concept but there just doesn’t seem to be any depth to it.

  8. Stevostin says:

    “and the paths through the levels are randomly generated”

    Yay ! \i/

  9. Mattressi says:

    I’m reasonably interested in this, despite having been extremely disappointed by L4D. Trailers often show mindless action (especially early alpha trailers), because most people don’t seem to want to watch someone hobbling around for 10 minutes looking for a bit of food and something to brace their broken leg with.

    I guess I have faith that no one would be stupid enough to recreate L4D using the same engine and try to sell it. And that, surely, after seeing so many people demanding a true SURVIVAL zombie game, someone might actually make one (well, an FPS version, since Project Zomboid is survival zombie in isometric).

  10. Davee says:

    The levels look pretty bland and uninteresting, but I can see some improvement over the mod here and there. Hopefully they can better this before release.

    As for the gameplay: while I loved the mod, I hope they put some more focus on the survival bits so it stands out a bit more from the rest of the horde of zombie shooters (cough). Yes, it has objectives and dynamic routes, but will it be enough?

  11. Secundus says:

    left 4 dead with ironsights and less enemies? is there anything im missing here? whats with bright spark indie developers and being more derivative and unoriginal than even some AAA studios

    • trigonometryhappy says:

      Yes, A fuck tonne actually. You should play Zombie Panic: Source (to which this is a psuedo-sequel) before you judge this game from the alpha video (which yes, I agree, was very shooty).

      Zombie Panic: Source is the pinnacle of multiplayer survival fps design. With weapon/ammo weight restrictions – slowing your character, lack of ammo in general, emphasis on sharing, building barricades, stamina meter, hidden infections turning players to the other side and one life per round etc. etc.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      No More Room in Hell is more the pinnacle than ZP:S.

    • Terragot says:

      Zombie Panic : Source is possibly the polar opposite of pinnacle game design. It’s a take turns to hold the gun game design, which is easily remedied by giving the zombies an equal fighting chance.

      • trigonometryhappy says:

        @Secundus Haven’t played NMRIH actually, looked pretty similar and therefore my kind of thing. Though A friend of played it and said the zombies can only be controlled by AI and that the wait times after you die to actually play the game again was boring as hell, which made me lose interest. Might still give it a go soon.

        Me and my friends often choose to play zombie from the get go. Incredibly fun cornering those puny humans and then turning them against each other, unless of course the server rolls one of those terrible imbalanced garish novelty custom maps where the humans are given 4 million revolvers.

        To be honest It sounds to me like you’re just not very good at playing as a zombie. Hell, 90% of the time, the zombies win. (But that’s part of the fun for a survivor) You can’t play this game like another fps, there’s quite a bit of depth to it.

  12. CorruptBadger says:

    The game play actually looks pretty fun, only problem is the stiff animations, RNG Levels sounds like a cool idea, but from the trailer it looks less like survival and more about strafe in the right direction and don’t get hit

  13. deadly.by.design says:

    I can see this having potential, considering where the alpha is at. To be honest, as long as I’m not *playing* all of those zombie games, the market over-saturation doesn’t bother me.

    Iron sights look really funny in the Source engine, though. On the other hand, maybe it’s just because I’ve been seeing them in so many low-FOV shooter engines. (where you’re basically sticking your nose on the gun)

  14. DarkFenix says:

    Poor trailer, makes the game look like L4D with lower production values. Still, I’ll keep half an eye on it, if it successfully delivers on the whole ‘survival’ aspect it ought to be fun. What I don’t want to see is just another amusement park ride I just stroll through shooting all the zombies.

  15. SirKicksalot says:

    But this looks nothing like the movie!

  16. Brothabear says:

    oh look another fucking zombie game..

  17. Nadante says:

    What kind of hospital has so much ammo and guns laying around?

  18. AiRDog says:

    I don’t know. To me, aesthetics are a huge part of having a good gameplay experience. Valve nailed the aesthetics side of things in L4D1, everything from the animations, to the models, to the effects. L4D2, however, I was highly let down by poor animations, not so good infected models, poor voice acting, and a huge lack of the special effects that were in L4D1 (example: being able to see your own legs and feet). Also, simple game mechanics like: The A.I. knowing how to ‘shift’ walk, instead of running all the time, like in L4D2. Just shows laziness in the developer. I miss L4D1. I really do. I loved that game. But, after playing L4D2, it’s very bland without the improved gore effects.

    My point is, everything looks aesthetically wrong here…like CS:GO. It really saddens me that game developers don’t want to take their time, spend a little extra money to find skilled animators and modelers to make their game as aesthetically sound as possible.

    One more note. The reason things went from the way they did in L4D1 to L4D2, is because Valve lost or got rid of their Turtle Rock team; the people who converted CS to CS:S. The people who made L4D1 and TF2. So now, we see games like L4D2 and CS:GO, with very poor aesthetics and just poor quality in general. Aka: companies spending as little money as possible, instead of spending as much is need to make a good game.