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Off To Eat Some Innards: American McGee's OZombies

He actually looks like he's doing quite well without a heart, all things considered.

I was really hoping American McGee’s OZombie would turn out to be an undead heavy metal odyssey starring Ozzy Osbourne on a trip of self-discovery/drugs in Australia. But instead, it’s fairytales. They’ve become McGee and Spicy Horse’s calling card as of late, always with a sooty spritz of macabre. Alice went goth, Little Red Riding Hood sliced and diced demons, and now Wizard of Oz is getting a double dose of zombies and steampunk. Played out trends, sure, but I have to admit that what little McGee and co have released so far looks somewhat intriguing. A few more details after the break.

The basic idea is that Scarecrow’s become Oz’s undead menace (Get it? Because he’s looking for brains), leaving Dorothy, Toto, the Lion, and the Tinman to deal with a world “not of our remembering.” The zombies, then, resemble possessed scarecrows more than they do traditional zombies, which is kind of neat I suppose. Dorothy, meanwhile, is heavily armed, lightly goggled, and Harry-Potter-ly scarred, making her the steam-est of punks.

Also worth noting: OZombie is being planned as a cross-platform to-do compatible with PC, Mac, Linux, and tablet, but Spicy Horse is tweaking its online tech to allow for offline single-player. “While I think this sort of [negative reaction to always online] ignores the general direction we’re heading with entertainment – and I do not think it’s necessarily bad thing (there’s nuance in my position on this) – we’re trying our best to listen and adjust our strategy in response to our customers,” wrote McGee.

OZombie is still in a very early phase of development, and Spicy Horse will either push it or a new Alice game (if it gets EA’s approval) onto Kickstarter depending on fan response. Apparently, though, McGee’s pulling for Oz.

“The more I think about it – and the more I see/hear feedback from you guys – the more I’m personally leaning towards Oz. There’s so much fun stuff to explore, so many interesting characters and locations to discover. Wonderland will also be there, if not today, if not the next project, then perhaps the one after that?”

For now, though, Spicy Horse’s next game is still up in the air. So then, the obvious question: what’s your take? Alice or scarecrow zombie steampunk mecha Oz?

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Nathan Grayson

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