Metal Dead

Walk Thru Walls Studios

The Preamble: Zombies are everywhere, it seems you can't throw a stick without hitting some shambling undead nowadays; be it triple a's like Dead Island, indie games like Dead State or even established bohemoths like Call of Duty if you look hard enough there are zombies lurking. That is not necessarily a bad thing, Telltale's Walking Dead series were fantastic and people are creating fantastic stories in the DayZ mod but surely at some point were going to get tired of them. Well there is one place where zombies have feared to tred and that is adventure games (LeChuck is a ghost pirate right?). Well not anymore Aussie developers Walk Thru Walls Studios are on the case with Metal Dead, Let's take a look and see if zombies can make them jump to point and click successfully.

 OK this was kind of an adventure game but Metal Dead was here first alright...

 

The Plot: Metal Dead tells the story of two metal-heads - Malcolm and his best friend Ronnie - trying to survive in the midst of a zombie invasion. After being forced to leave their flat Ronnie drives the hapless pair towards the heart of the undead infestation where he hopes to solve the mystery once and for all. Unfortunately the crashe their car and end up trapped in the MediGeniTech building, a place where nefarious medical experiments are said to take place. Can they use their wits to puzzle their way to freedom or will they join the shambling horde? Let's take a look shall we?

 

 

The Review: Metal Dead was made using the Adventure Game Studio along with the likes of the rather spiffing Gemini Rue and a personal favourite of ours here at PictoPirate towers Time Gentlemen, Please! The former is probably the best comparison I have fun cartoony graphics, a hilarious script and a pair of really likable main characters; and that is pretty high praise coming from us because if you read the review (Ed: Cough... it's here, cough cough) you'll know we blooming loved it. 

This guy is pretty weird, I'll be honest; weird but still kinda likeable.

 

The game has you typical adventure games wheel of fun, right clicking cycles through Interact, Speak and Walk while left clicking executes the instruction. Like all the best games there's a whole heap of exciting dialogue and you'll go out of your way to touch everything to see Malcolm's fun comments. The puzzles are generally fun too and 99% of the time you can figure them out pretty quickly so there's no trying everything with everything or looking online for a walkthrough. If you do get stuck though you can always drag out Ronnie's decaying head and chat it out, he is full of useful suggestions on how to overcome the obstacles you'll encounter in the MediGeniTech building.

Along the way Malcolm will meet a host of odd-ball characters as he tried to battle his way to the roof of the building where salvation lies in the form of a shiny helecopter that is you're only hope for survival (Ed: Get to the Choppa!!!!). As well as varied characters there are a handful of different locations to visit from crazy labs and cryogenic freezing rooms to the more mundane basements and corporate offices. Some may lament the lack of voice acting but this is a perfect nod to the old school Sierra and Lucas Arts games and I'd rather have no voice acting than bad voice acting.

Ah stoners, so messy look at them drooling!

 

So on to the issues; the game did crash out on me once for no reason I could explain and if you're staying on one floor for a while the music can get a bit repetative but these are minor things in the shape of a fine product. You could also argue that the puzzles are too simple but there were still enough ah-ha moments to keep me entertained and I'd rather keep moving in a game if I can.

 

The Score: 8/10 - A fabulous debut from those fine fellows down at Walk Thru Walls Studios Metal Dead is confident, innovate and above all brilliantly written. Snap this up now and for the cost of a pint you'll get one of the best written adventure games of the last few years; you can't argue really.  If you're looking for a fun adventure game with zombies, mad-scientists and a disembodied talking head look no further; I for one can't wait for the next installment.