Last month we reported on an incredibly exciting idea: an open world zombie-survival game called Class3 where your goal is to survive in a world overrun by the undead. Reinforcing your base, saving fellow survivors and maintaining a strong supply of the necessities (like food and water) are necessary for survival. But what’s even more exciting than that is how your choices play an important role in the game.
I recently had the opportunity to ask Undead Labs’ producer Emily Diehl a few questions regarding the hugely ambitious project. We talk about the combat, what types of zombies we’ll come across and when we can expect the game to release. Head past the break to get in the know about this upcoming game, exclusive to the Xbox Live Arcade. There are a plethora of zombie games out there with more on the way, what’s this game about and what makes it stand apart?
The main thing that sets Class3 apart from other zombie titles is its focus on survival. You know that whole “what would you do if you woke up tomorrow and the world were filled with zombies” question that horror fans like to debate? Playing our game will give you the chance to actually live out your answer. It’s all about surviving in a world that’s been completely wrecked by the zombie apocalypse. Rather than just running around and killing zombies, you’ll be doing things like finding and fortifying a home base, going out into infested areas to scavenge for supplies, and rescuing other survivors and bringing them back to your community.
So this is an open world post-apocalyptic game, will its story follow suit or is it more of a linear experience?
Our core mission is to create a game that gives you the ability to answer the question, “How would I survive the zombie apocalypse?” Keeping that goal in mind, we’re creating a true open world that gives you the freedom to explore your surroundings and take on enemies at your own pace. Of course, just like in the real world, there will be plenty of stories just waiting to be told, but how and when those stories unfold will be based on your actions and the choices you make while you play.
Speaking of the story, is there anything you can tell us about the world we’ll be exploring or the characters we’ll control? Like what caused the outbreak in the first place?
Since exploring and learning about your surroundings is half the fun, I don’t want to give too much away, but I can tell you that our game’s world is similar to the real world…except for the fact that that there’s been a massive zombie outbreak bad enough to destroy society as we know it.
Looking at the setting, Class3 takes place in a small town located in an area that feels a lot like eastern Washington. If you check out the details in our environment concepts and read the notes that our art director Doug Williams puts on some of them, you’ll be able to get a good feel for the world we’re building.
As for the origins of the outbreak? I don’t want to spoil the mystery! Most survivors of a zombie apocalypse wouldn’t know exactly what caused the disaster, so we feel that players shouldn’t know a lot about that right at the start, either. Part of the fun is going to be trying to figure that out along the way!
What’s the combat like in this game, can we expect to be well-armed or fighting to survive with limited resources?
We’re still working through the exact details of combat, but I can say that it wouldn’t be much of a survival game if everyone started out with M-16s and unlimited ammo. While you’ll have access to a wide variety of melee and ranged weapons, it’s likely that you’ll need to go out and find them first. Really want that high powered hunting rifle? You’d better find a sporting goods store and look for one. Oh, it’s completely surrounded by zombies? Looks like you’ll need to figure out how to get inside. Physically going out and discovering useful and cool items, especially when they can help you stay alive, provides a level of realism that we feel is important in a survival game.
What about the zombies? Are we looking at the classic Dawn of the Dead, shambling, flesh falling off the bones sort, the more modern agile type found in 28 Days Later and Left 4 Dead, or possibly something else?
It’s pretty well-known that the whole “fast vs. slow” debate is a hot topic with any zombie fan — everyone has their own take on what kind is better, scarier, or more authentic (and why). We think that having a diverse set of zombie behaviors makes for a better game, so expect to see a mix of types. You’ll run into shamblers, crawlers, sprinters, and a variety of other kinds as well.
Any word on a release date or even a window we can expect the game to come out in? If not, will it be out this year?
A big part of determining whether a game is fun is getting it out there and into the hands of the people that will be playing it, then listening to what they like and don’t like. Releasing the smaller scale Class3 first will allow us to get our core gameplay mechanics in place and deliver a tight game experience before we move forward with building the fully online world of Class4. This approach will allow our player community to guide our efforts as we move forward into the full online world experience, and it will also let us put out a great game far sooner than if we’d focused on developing Class4 from the beginning.
With that being said, we’re serious about getting Class3 into your hands as soon as possible, so our entire disciplined development process is focused on that goal. We’re working on an ambitious schedule and have been making great progress, but it’s still too early to commit to any dates right now. I can say that it will NOT be this year, though.
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