Game On: Dead Alliance brings a horror vibe to military gameplay

Just when you thought we had the whole zombie apocalypse thing figured out, along comes Dead Alliance to get in on the undead action. But does this new entry in the crowded genre bring anything new to the table, or does it simply fall flat like a worn-out zombie?

Mixing Call of Duty military-style gameplay with a George Romero-esque horror movie vibe, Maximum Games’ Dead Alliance is a first-person shooter that takes those two worlds and mashes them together. Players of games like COD and other shoot-’em-ups should find the approach instantly recognizable, thanks to its familiar setup. What makes it unique is the addition of zombies everywhere and an extra anxiety-filled paranoia. Dead Alliance isn’t an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek zombie game like Left 4 Dead. Instead, it is all business and deadly serious, sometimes to a fault.

In Dead Alliance, you find yourself as part of a military group in a post-apocalyptic world (of course) at war with another military faction for power and resources. This may sound like the same old stuff you’re used to, but by dropping zombies into the fray, Dead Alliance is something completely different. COD may have dabbled with zombie-type play, but nothing as extensive as what’s here. The zombies, in fact, become a type of strategic weapon for you to use against your opponents. You still have to watch out for them, as they are as dangerous to you as they are to the humans you’re fighting. But if you maneuver yourself and set gameplay situations up right, they can work to your benefit. The zombies themselves are of the highly mobile variety for the most part. They linger a bit, but once they get their sights on you, they’ll run right for you.

There are plenty of different gameplay modes to experiment with in Dead Alliance. It sells itself on multiplayer competition, but single player can be just as fun. In Solo Survival, you have to run from safe zone to safe zone as you fight off a swarm of zombies and try not to let the deadly gas that has been dropped to exterminate them kill you, too. You have barely any time to run to each safety bubble, and once you’re there, it quickly disappears and the clock starts ticking down for you to race to the next one. It’s actually pretty challenging, and the fact that the map is basically useless in showing you the surrounding dead makes it even harder. Other modes of play include King of The Hill, Capture the Flag and Team Death Match, to name a few. The best ones are those that pit you against other humans, allowing you to use the zombies as weapons against them. Of course, big guns like M60s and other military-grade artillery can lay waste to a zombie horde, too.

Dead Alliance may not be the first of its kind from top to bottom, but if you’re tired of the typical military war games that come out around this time each year, it is a nice change of pace that certainly spices things up.

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– Jason SAVIO