Has it actually been a year since the last post on here? Wow. That is a poor effort. In my defense, life has gotten...tricky...over the past twelve months. Anyway this is not therapy, this is An Important Announcement.
The last update was about how Undead Blackout was getting rebooted and would return in a blaze of glory, at least a million times better than before. Well guess what? UNDEAD BLACKOUT 2.0 IS HERE!
Mostly. Not quite all of it. But most of it.
Given I wanted to get the game done in time for the Steam Summer Sale, some corners have been cut and a few features I wanted to include have been left out but they will be coming in future updates. There are a few areas of the game that look a little sparse, the options menu is a mess right now so I have basically just removed most of it and there is currently no keyboard and mouse support. However all of these things are 100% coming over the next few weeks.
Enough about what isn't coming, what has actually changed in this shiny new version of the game? Here are the key points, a really in-depth post will follow at a later date! Preferably not in 12 months from now.
- Completely Rebuilt From The Ground Up
Undead Blackout: Reanimated Edition might as well be a new game. While assets have obviously been reused in a lot of places, much has been built completely from scratch for this game. Every system has been redesigned.
In fact I have managed to shave off over 1GB in terms of package size and expect to be able to reduce this further in time. The whole game is better optimised and just a heck of a lot more fun to play. Is it perfect? Of course not. But it will keep getting better.
The game takes advantage of the latest version of Unreal Engine 4 which brings with it some incredible optimisations, allowing the game to run smoother and on more machines than ever before.
- All New Gameplay
The previous version involved the player running around trying to find keys which unlock doors, eventually making their way to the end. It was fine, but not the most fun thing in the world.
That is now all changed. The game centres around Blackout Zones. Areas of the level that the player is trapped in and must power up a door in order to escape. Obviously during this time there is an unending stream of the Undead heading right for you. It is frantic, it is fun and it is dimly lit.
The rest of the level essentially connects the Blackout Zones together. There is a bit of branching in the paths but mostly it is fairly linear and enemies, while random in number, will appear in much the same spots.
The further into the game you get, the more Blackout Zones will appear within each level.
Similarly there has been more of an emphasis placed on the arcade style of gameplay, the game is now all about highscores and increasing your multiplayer. There will be further developments in this area moving forward.
- 10 Newly Designed Levels
Given the change in gameplay it will come as no surprise that the levels have had a massive revamp. They are much larger, better designed and have removed a lot of the annoying elements that plagued the last version of the game. Namely getting lost completely, not being able to find the key and the zombies doing weird stuff around doors. Solved that one by just removing all the doors.
The Blackout Zones are the only areas in total darkness now, everywhere else benefits from some forms of light to make it so that you really shouldn't get caught out here (although it can still happen).
And you may have noticed that there are now 10 levels. 4 more than previously so you are just getting a lot more zombie bashing for your buck.
- The Zombies Are So Much Dumber
This might come as a shock to you but the AI in the earlier version was actually pretty decent. Zombies would wander around and react to you running past or investigate gunshots. The problem was that this was actually no fun. A lot of the time they just wandered straight past you while in the next room.
So I have ditched the AI. These zombies can smell you a mile off and know exactly where you are so you had best reload that gun of yours. Which brings me too...
- Melee Weapons Are Out. Infinite Ammo Handgun Is In
I loved the idea of having melee weapons, but again, it just wasn't that fun. You could spend ages looking for a gun and getting annoyed that you died so the decision was made to scrap the axe and give players a pistol by default. A pistol with infinite ammo.
There are still Assault Rifles and Shotguns dotted about but you will at least be able to fend off the Undead with your trust pistol should you feel the urge. It has made the game more fun, more fast paced and actually more skill based seeing as you can one-shot kill the zombies when using the Aiming mode.
Right that is honestly the main stuff. Might not seem like a lot but a million different things went into making all that happen. There will be more regular updates going into the game over the rest of summer, the missing things I have highlighted will all be added and the game will continue to be optimised as we push forward with the Xbox One release.
Thanks to those who have bought the game so far (I know it is not all that many!) and hopefully Undead Blackout: Reanimated Edition gives the game a new lease of life.
Found & Creative Director of 4MB Interactive Ltd.