Published Apr. 7
Contagion is a new FPS survival (First Person Shooter) from indie game developer and publisher Monochrome. When they contacted us to do a review of their beta product, they wanted to stress above all, that this was more than a twitch game. So I enlisted the skill-set of an expert in this field, and his cohorts to play the still-beta version of Contagion, and give me their thoughts.
Review by Logan Marks:
[My] Favorite types of games are Strategy games, shooters, rogue-like and survival games, plus any of these with multiplayer is a big bonus. Contagion would fall under the survival shooter category (and multiplayer as well). It was originally explained to me that it was a game similar to Left 4 Dead which I have also enjoyed [Editor Note: Contagion uses a heavily modified version of the L4D 3D/Game engine]. Upon actually playing it, I would also compare it with Arma 2 (and now 3)’s mod DayZ as well. I’ll try to compare Contagion with these 2 games as they’re both fairly successful (and both games I have played and enjoyed). Keep in mind Contagion is currently in beta [at the time of this review], available through early access on Steam, which means anything I have to say about it here is [likely] subject to change before the game’s release.
To start, Contagion has three Game modes.
The first is Escape. In the Escape game mode players are tasked to work together to complete a certain set of objectives in order to “escape” the area. In one of the missions I had run through with a friend, we were tasked to grab mission specific tools and gear up to fight our way through a parking lot to an escape vehicle. As far as I could tell the objectives remained the same each play-through, but the location for important items were randomized. This made the game a little more fresh every time you play it. Some rooms were filled with zombies you had to fight through in order to get the mission critical item. The missions usually build up to a climactic zombie shootout in the end after scrounging for the necessary supplies needed to carve your way through the zombie horde.
In this game mode, if you die you come back as a zombie and try to stop the players from escaping
. You look like any other zombie, so players won’t be able to tell, but you have the ability to run and also infect players from behind. Frontal assaults don’t work well as players have guns, and guns hurt pretty bad. So it’s very satisfying to creep up on an unsuspecting player and turn them into one of you. The second game mode which I played quite a bit was Extraction.
In this game mode you’re guided to various houses where survivors are located. You need to make your way to these houses all the while avoiding zombies in the streets. When you finally make it there, you need to defend the house from zombies breaking in every possible entrance.
Players are capable of boarding up windows and doors to help keep the zombies at bay.
When extraction is ready, you need to break through the horde to lead survivors to the extraction zone. Ammunition is hard to come by in this game mode, so players must make every shot count. This game mode is the one I started playing with, and it got me used to how the game controlled. I personally found it got a bit repetitive, but I’m assuming when the game is complete there will be a much larger map selection. The last game mode is one I would like to have played more, but was fun nonetheless. It’s called Hunted.
In this game mode it’s every player for themselves. I would compare this mode with DayZ
, maybe even a DayZ lite.
Players can attempt to work together to complete objectives, but most of the time they’re just another threat for you to avoid. This game mode gives you the means to locate other players using your smartphone (at the same time revealing yourself). It’s one of the more unique modes to try!
The game’s combat highlights realistic movements– it feels like your body has a momentum to it. While this type of movement wouldn’t fit a high octane game like Left 4 Dead, it fits very well with this survival shooter. Aiming is more difficult as the game does not give you aiming reticles as with most shooters. Instead you must use the iron sites of your weapons in order to accurately put a bullet in a zombie’s brain, which is effectively the only way to put a zombie down. Because ammo is scarce, you need to make every shot count and hope it hits the head, as zombies mostly ignore body shots.
Every head-shot is rewarded with a satisfying bone breaking noise followed by zombie brains exploding out of the skull! It’s pretty gruesome, but it very much adds to the games gloomy atmosphere.
- High’s: – Very immersive zombie shooter – Rewarding team-play, a great game to play with friends
- Low’s: – The game can at times feel a little too slow – Still a few bugs which need to be ironed out
Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys DayZ and/or Left 4 Dead. Contagion combines the best parts of DayZ and Left4Dead in an enjoyable way. My friend and I did run into a few issues, but it can be expected during a beta. The game makes it easy to hop in and play with random players, but as with most games in my opinion, it is much better to play with friends.
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