The Dead Linger (Preview)
“The Dead Linger”, a zombie survival horror game, more than doubled its Kickstarter goal. Needless to say, there is a huge market for all things zombie, especially when it comes to putting yourself smack dab into the middle of the action. Before we jump shotgun first into the preview, I’d like to thank Geoff Keene, the CEO of Sandswept Studios, for providing me with a free preview copy. It should be noted that the game is currently in an Alpha state, meaning that it is not done yet. All of the content and pictures below therefore shouldn’t be regarded as final.
The game currently has single and multiplayer functionality, along with a few gameplay options. Before you can get started with either, you’ll need to create a free Sandswept account. The process was painless, as I already had an account to comment on their forums regarding their previous game, “Detour.” I found it odd that I had to choose my rendering before the game booted up via a drop down menu. I did discover however that you can adjust things like screen resolution, vsync, and some other graphics settings from there. You can change your keybinds in the in-game settings menu, though they seemed to reset on me when I created a game. Luckily, the F1 key is available as a quick help / keybind guide at any time during the game.
The single player option is a nice touch, as it is an offline mode that allows you to explore the world on your own. Multiplayer allows the player to host a game, join an existing server, directly connect, and set profile name. Some of the multiplayer servers were laggy and unplayable, but I found a nice US East server that was fairly smooth. I didn’t run into anyone during my play session, but I did experience the game during a night cycle. Exploring houses in the dark was certainly a nerve-wracking experience.
In terms of gameplay, you’ll start out with nothing but your wits. Moving around is easy enough, as is interacting with objects in the environment. Some items can be picked up and placed in your inventory while others can be pushed or shoved around so that barricades can be built. Speaking of inventory, you’ll not only be able to manage what you carry, but also equip various items on your person in order to gain bonuses. I ran across two different pairs of pants that had different stats on them, one clearly made for defense while the other providing a bonus to resisting infection. I haven’t been infected yet to know what that means, but I’m assuming that it’s a bad thing. You’ll also need to find food in order to stave off death and what’s more, some food is perishable..
The weapons are plentiful. Within my first three minutes, I had to choose between a frying pan and an assault rifle. Guns require ammunition, so there are times where a good melee weapon like a sledgehammer wins out over a pistol with only three shots left in it. Inventory space is at a premium, at least it was for me until I picked up a teddy bear backpack and increased my holding capacity threefold. I ran into meat cleavers, plungers, pistols, katanas, tire irons, assault rifles, sledgehammers, and various objects that I could simply throw. Like pieces of clothing, they had a condition on them that determined how durable and effective they were.
Overall, I am really enjoying my experience thus far with the Alpha. The Beta promises a lot more things (see the official website below for a full list) and I can’t wait to see these features implemented. With the proper dev support, this game has the potential to go very far…here’s hoping that this is the case. You can pre-order now to gain access to the Alpha at a reduced cost of $19.99 (PC only, Mac and Linux versions are coming later). The full game will be going for $29.99, so feel free to jump on board the train now if you like what you see.
You can learn more about and purchase “The Dead Linger” by visiting the official site, here:
You can view video play sessions here: