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Hands-on: Dead Nation for PS3

Sid Shuman's Avatar Posted by on Jul 30, 2010 // Director, SIEA Social Media

I’m a pathological fan of zombie movies. Night of the Living Dead. Return of the Living Dead. 28 Days Later, [REC], Dawn of the Dead — I count these films among my all-time favorites.

So I was obviously itching to get my mitts on Dead Nation, the upcoming PSN shooter from the creators of Super Stardust HD. Luckily, I got some extensive play time from last week’s NYC PlayStation media day. Here’s what I learned.

Dead Nation for PS3 (PSN) Dead Nation for PS3 (PSN)

You can upgrade your guns…a lot. Dead Nation’s environments are dotted with fenced-in “safe zones” that give you a chance to catch your breath and buy supplies from a nearby gun shop. In addition to buying health and ammo, you can purchase mods that will enhance your various weapons in different ways, depending on the gun. The mods upgrade stats such as damage, ammo capacity, firing rate, reload time, and range. While the most potent weapon upgrades are expensive, you can pop open car trunks and chests found through the environments in order to collect cash and other useful items.

The Shotgun is devastating. The Dead Nation build I played featured three weapons — the Shotgun, SMG, and Rifle — with more to come in the final version. Early on, I decided to pour my money into repeatedly upgrading the Shotgun’s damage and spread capability. The results were impressive: My buckshot blasts became massive cones of death, ripping through the ghoul hordes like a wet sneeze through a store-brand tissue. Sometimes I swapped to the SMG for its rapid firing rate, or the Rifle for its long-range capabilities. But come Dead Nation’s release date later this fall, I know what my go-to gun will be.

Dead Nation for PS3 (PSN)

There are many zombie types. After you shake off the initial shock of battling dozens and dozens of zombies, you’ll quickly learn that not every zombie is created equal. You’ll see fast, gangly zombies that rush up close but fall quickly to melee attacks. You’ll see big, tough zombies that take a licking but move more slowly. I even spotted a few zombie cops that wildly fired their service revolvers while they lunged at me.

Mobility = life. Housemarque’s previous game, twinstick PSN shooter Super Stardust HD, is clearly an influence on Dead Nation’s fast-paced gameplay. For example, rapid kills fill up your combo meter, which in turn sends your score into the stratosphere. As in Super Stardust HD, you’ll also realize the importance of staying mobile to avoid incoming enemies — to get cornered is to die. Luckily, you can throw mines and grenades to clear some temporary space, or use the “rush” move to push your way through a line of hungry flesh eaters.

Dead Nation will be released on PSN later this fall. Have any questions about its core gameplay, or zombies in general? Ask away in the comments!

//Add Your Own

83 Comments   33 Replies

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+ Pelt_Hunter on July 30th, 2010 at 12:04 pm said:

I feel like I’ve been waiting for this for years and now it’s finally coming out. Just in time before the ridiculous holiday rush as well. I held off on buying Zombie Apocalypse in hopes this would be a isometric version of L4D. Release it already and take my money.


+ crusher915 on July 30th, 2010 at 12:05 pm said:

A PSP version would be awesome


+ DZORMAGEN on July 30th, 2010 at 12:08 pm said:

Sid, Playstation was following me on twitter, now they are not, what gives?

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on July 30th, 2010 at 3:40 pm said:

    What’s your Twitter handle? We routinely pare down our follow list to keep our timeline in order.


+ Airwalkinman17 on July 30th, 2010 at 12:20 pm said:

I cannot wait until this game comes out. I know that its going to rock!


+ bukbom on July 30th, 2010 at 12:41 pm said:

im not sure if any1 has asked this question already but, how many does the game provides? and will there be any chance of “bonus games” like for instance a, “survivor mode” or such?

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    + Sid Shuman on July 30th, 2010 at 3:41 pm said:

    No word on this at the moment.


+ bukbom on July 30th, 2010 at 12:42 pm said:

i meant how many levels does the game provides*


+ jonathan_val on July 30th, 2010 at 12:43 pm said:

This game need’it


+ BerNardoMaN420 on July 30th, 2010 at 12:58 pm said:

How do the levels play? Is it like a sandbox level or different areas that you progress through?

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    + Sid Shuman on July 30th, 2010 at 3:41 pm said:

    Different levels, but there’s a sandbox feel to things — you can set off a car alarm to make the zombies pile around a car, then blow them all away with a grenade or mine.


+ xRedxViolence on July 30th, 2010 at 1:35 pm said:

looks ok.

What turns me off is the camera angle i want a 3rd person view.

And 2 if this game doesn’t have multiplayer then well….


+ smokey_vols on July 30th, 2010 at 1:46 pm said:

You’ve got my money!


+ plaztiksyke on July 30th, 2010 at 2:06 pm said:

This looks really cool. I really liked Super Stardust (but personally preferred Blast Factor even more). The skeletal models must be really detailed; the way the bodies lurch backward when getting shot is very realistic looking. Coupled with the lighting and shadows, it looks like a knockout visually. (It would be cool if the blood droplets also cast realistic shadows as well, right now it looks like a cheap overlay trick.)

Playing through the regular story as co-op would be great. My husband and I loved X-Men Legends, for instance. Team-up attacks as in Penny Arcade Adventures and X-Men Legends 2 would be a welcome addition!

I hope to hear more of the same amazing dynamic range explosions afforded by 24-bit HD audio like Blast Factor has.


+ JGP_2094 on July 30th, 2010 at 2:14 pm said:

will there be DLC after it comes out?


+ DELMQR2 on July 30th, 2010 at 3:06 pm said:

looks fun cant wait to buy it =)


+ VIDEOgameDROME on July 30th, 2010 at 4:50 pm said:

yeah this is looking awesome but first I need Castle Crashers! Behemoth told us it’s in Sony’s hands now… so hopefully we get an update on that sometime soon from you guys.


+ Stoffinator on July 30th, 2010 at 4:58 pm said:

This game HAS to have online co op. Come on guys, a game like this begs for it. Don’t disappoint!


+ fuzzyclutter on July 30th, 2010 at 5:47 pm said:

and we are talking LOTS of zombies with lots of AMMO too ???? love Zombie themes myself but have found alot of games lack one of the two… looking for a good one that will leave me on the edge of my seat Screaming ” Im gonna die !!!! oops… no im not “

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on July 31st, 2010 at 12:37 am said:

    Tons and tons of zombies with tons of shooting.


+ mew_frenger on July 30th, 2010 at 5:56 pm said:

im not rly into the whole zombie thing, but this game looks good + its a downloadble game; a perfect match for me. rly looking forward to this one and pixeljunk shooter2.


+ DZORMAGEN on July 30th, 2010 at 6:26 pm said:

@ Sid Shuman,

My twitter handle is YouTwittface14, please add me and add me on yours too! I had a few question about ModNation Racers Patch (which I am sure I can find out on ModNation Mondays), and I wanted to do ask you in the appropriate place.


+ ZekeXenu on July 30th, 2010 at 7:07 pm said:

As has been noted by others in this comment thread, I feel like online co-op is a must for this kind of game. It’s too bad that more PSN titles DON’T have online co-op.

I hope Housemarque can deliver on that front because the rest of the game looks spectacular.


+ DaMoffitt on July 30th, 2010 at 9:07 pm said:

What about us Playstation Plus subscribers, will we be getting anything special related to this title?


+ jvasq on July 30th, 2010 at 9:45 pm said:

wow i really impressed with the amount of feedback on the blog. thank you sid. I dont think i see this many comments and/or replies. many thanks.

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on July 31st, 2010 at 12:38 am said:

    Sure thing! Sometimes I’m busier than not, had plenty of time to chat today.


+ wareLORD on July 30th, 2010 at 11:12 pm said:

this game looks sweet will it have a co-op or online co-op?? also will this game be short? cus i have deathspank, joe danger and other psn games and there all really short will this be longer or have add-ons??


+ undeadlegion on July 31st, 2010 at 12:21 am said:

@42 Leave him alone. People are asking the same questions that he doesn’t have the answers to.

Totally agree with @71. Sid you’re awesome =)

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on July 31st, 2010 at 12:39 am said:

    Glad you like it (^__^)


+ undeadlegion on July 31st, 2010 at 12:23 am said:

And this game looks like it’s going to be awesome too =)


+ Berae on July 31st, 2010 at 6:31 am said:

Cant wait for this game! get us a release date


+ DZORMAGEN on July 31st, 2010 at 6:56 am said:

Thanks for the add Sid, this game is looking sick!!


+ Deathwish88 on July 31st, 2010 at 8:01 am said:

do you have to travel from point A-B or do they drop you in aroom and you gotta kill as many as possible?


+ Chase167 on July 31st, 2010 at 8:46 am said:

custom soundtracks ???

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on July 31st, 2010 at 10:18 pm said:

    I did ask, but no word yet here.


+ atone1382 on July 31st, 2010 at 8:49 am said:

Man oh man the DLC days are getting better and brighter. Between this and shank coming up as well as a few others already announced I am soooooo glad I got myself a big brand new hard drive. Now to put that space to work!


+ Ali5645 on July 31st, 2010 at 9:52 am said:

nice XD


+ T3mpr1x on July 31st, 2010 at 5:14 pm said:

I played this at E3 at Sony’s semi-private media lounge, and was really impressed. Even got a tour by one of the developers, had a great time!


+ Gitaroo on July 31st, 2010 at 11:59 pm said:

please tell the dev this game must have new game +. Let you keep your weapons upgrades after you are done.


+ Havoc_Black on August 1st, 2010 at 8:03 am said:

Kinda seems like Zombie Apocalypse with a flash light

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