A few days ago, I had an interesting discussion with a friend, with whom we tried to give an answer to a question that is cyclically re-presenting in the last period: can videogames be considered art? The answer is not at all obvious and, after much reflection, we have not arrived at a decision. What is certain is that cinema has always been considered art, and then we could perhaps also consider videogames in this way, or at least a part of them. After all, even in the world of cinema I would not feel like defining art just everything.
As a result of these thoughts, I decided to start a new column (some week ago for the Italian version), which will speak from time to time of the latest news in the field of videogame, and in particular those that most impressed me. Obviously, these are subjective considerations, and as such they are not necessarily shared by everyone… Not everything could be something artistic; however, I will take in my several factors in judging each day.
The title of which I will speak today is Dead Matter, a survival zombie of which you can find the trailer at this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R0fkYHOpzA). The trailer was released a few months ago, halfway through the product development phase, which will be published in Alpha as soon as possible; so, in the final version there could be some differences and improvements.
It is one of the many survival that, to be honest, are clogging the market in the last period. But the novelty lies in the way this game was born. A small Canadian software house without any previous experience has decided to develop a product with the intention of improving and correcting all the defects and limitations that games of this type have shown over the years. Thus, the Dead Matter project was born and, despite being a closed box, it collects a huge amount of money on the Kickstarter financing site. The goal declared by the developers, in fact, has immediately attracted the attention of many fans of the genre, conscious and fed up with the many problems of these titles.
In light of the money raised, the developers decided to postpone the publication of the product, expanding the team, and starting to reshape all those elements that were created using the predefined Unreal Engine 4 models. A huge job, but that has led to unexpected and amazing results, especially from the point of view of the effects of light and the integration of elements such as the dynamic weather and the cycle of the seasons.
The game that we will see presented in next months, then, will be a survival never seen before, with a map of 400 square kilometers, with dynamic weather, seasonal cycle and weather conditions that will affect the state of the player. Everything will be set in Canada, after a classic zombie apocalypse, and players will be able to interact with the environment almost completely. For example, if none of the teams or lone wolves in play will take care to keep the power plant running, the entire map will be left unattended; as well as if nobody will deal with the production of fuel, nobody will be able to use the vehicles. This element that will force a certain cooperation will be essential to avoid that the whole experience will be resolved in a PvP game, as in all other survival. Also, engaging a PvP will be very risky, because there will be hordes of zombies, which could be attracted by the slightest noise.
Each group can freely take possession of any building present in the game, settling in and barricating the area to keep away badly intentioned players, zombies or other dangers managed by artificial intelligence.
Finally, there will be a wide range of vehicles (cars, trucks, trains, helicopters…) and weapons. Each of these elements has been modelled manually and according to the community. An absolutely noteworthy element, in fact, is the constancy with which Shirk, the modeling chief, works by transmitting everything in live on Twitch.
You can find more information on Dead Matter on the dedicated Discord server (http://discord.gg/deadmatter) or on https://playdeadmatter.com/.
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