Zombies as weapons? How might that work, you ask? To be honest, it can work out well but zombies are fickle beings… this is certainly evidenced in a game developed by Christian Cantamessa (was the lead designer of Red Dead Redemption) called Moving Hazard. In this competitive team-based FPS, mankind has mostly fallen and become various factions. Featuring realistic weapons and a full arsenal of tactical equipment, including military-grade assault weapons, classic fragmentation and smoke grenades, and claymores, Moving Hazard is a full-fledged military shooter.
Players will also need to take advantage, however, of technology specifically evolved in this post-apocalyptic hell that allow them to control the mindless zombie shamblers by attracting, repelling, sedating, angering, or even booby-trapping them. A few examples of this enhanced arsenal include:
- The Pheromone Attractor Molotov (aka The PAM): turns any infected frenzied and hunt down enemies for a short period of time;
- The Chaos Grenade: which stuns enemies while frenzying nearby zombies;
- The Templar: broadcasts a signal that repels zombies, forcing the horde to turn in their tracks to head away as fast as possible.
The game currently features six different maps, a variety of game modes like Team Deathmatch, Scavenger, King of the Hill, and a few others. There will also be a single-player campaign and a cooperative horde-like mode in the finished version of Moving Hazard. I got the chance to get my hands on the game at Psyop’s booth during PAX South and I had an undead blast. Some first impressions/thoughts below:
The Goods – It is amazingly fun to use zombies as a weapon. In a gaming world full of zombie-killers and zombie-shooters, Moving Hazard is a fresh new take on the genres and employs an element that has not been used before. And corralling a group of zombies to your side is not incredibly difficult in Moving Hazard, which is good because it keeps the FPS gameplay element running smoothly. All you’ll need to do is throw a pheromone-laced grenade (the PAM) on the zombie(s) you wish to take over. You won’t necessarily control them, but they will be on your side and are often a great asset in helping you find enemies, as they’ll run straight toward enemy players after the grenade hits. Follow them there and help them take out your foes!
The Bads – The demo from PAX South may be a bit too limited to really say there was anything bad about this game… but that’s good (because I’ve certainly played some games that are even terrible in 10-minute-demo form)! If there was one slight nitpick I had, it’s that sometimes it was a bit annoying to continuously dodge zombies. They’re just about everywhere you turn, so not many places on the demo level were safe. Most would tell me “That adds to the challenge, and it’s what makes Moving Hazard what it is,” but I think it would be nice if there were some times where you could be free from zombies for a moment or two. This is only a minor gripe, and not something that should be confused: I love the zombies, and it’s good that they’re plentiful; it was just that I couldn’t often get a moment where I actually got to set up a shot or reload in peace.
Moving Hazard is expected to release for PC in 2016. It has my vote for one of the Top 3 games at PAX South 2016!