I sat down with Monochrome LLC to play a demo of their upcoming game, Contagion. Contagion is to be a spiritual successor to Monochrome’s wildly successful Half-Life 2 Modification, Zombie Panic: Source. Contagion is a cooperative survival horror FPS that will be using the Source Engine.
The story itself centers around a Zombie Apocalypse and the fallout thereafter. You will have the ability to play with up to 8 other people on your own server or through Monochrome’s servers. Upon release there will also be single player content.
The level we played involved extracting survivors from a neighborhood and getting them to a helicopter to whisk them away from a zombie infested hell. I played with four other PAX goers as we fought through the zombie horde in a suburban neighborhood. We were automatically provided with a few weapons and a cell phone that shows the way to the current objective. As we attempted to rescue a family I was surrounded by zombies and unfortunately, I succumbed to their attacks.
Then the fun began. In contrast to most multi-player games I didn’t respawn and rejoin my party to assist in the rescue, instead I was reconstituted as a member of the living dead. I then ran into what appeared to be a birthday party, complete with balloons. Did I enjoy running into this house to tear apart a police officer and former teammate while in full zombie brain lust? To put it simply… Hell yeah.
The game was fun and engaging and definitely set apart from most games in the Zombie Survival genre. The largest issue I experienced was the lack of hints and information during gameplay, one example of which was that a member of our party was able to find a nail gun but we did not know what to use it for other than to shoot Zombies in the face. Afterwards we were informed by the developers that you could use the nail gun to board up the doors to slow down the zombies.
According to the developers they are working on implementing a hint feature in the future as the playable demo at PAX was a very early Alpha build. Even with that being said this preview was fun and I cannot wait to play more.
Hopefully we will be seeing Contagion in Q1 2013.