Oh, Dead Frontier… It feels like I’ve been having an almost 10-year affair with this game since I found it. It started as a top-down browser based game with crappy graphics but with great game mechanics, great lore, great immersion and, an even better community (if you get into it enough to get to know the veteran players.)
The Story (Read this in Morgan Freeman’s voice):
It all began when Secronom, one of the major pharmaceutical players of the day, developed Nerotonin-3, a prototype virus designed to kill cancer. Now, Secronom was aware that the virus was highly unstable, at that time and despite several warnings from the company, the virus was used, tried and tested.
Well, no one anticipated that the virus would have an adverse and immediate reaction to a genetic mutation, much like an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction that can kill people (Which is somewhat normal) and bring them back to life (Yay!) As a violent, aggressive, flesh-eating, shell of a person that they once knew and loved (Nay!)
Presently, the virus has wiped out almost all of the world’s population (Except roaches, fuck roaches.)
Fairview City, back in the day:
Back then, you could make a custom ‘room’ for you and your friends. As in, you’d have the huge map entirely to yourselves. You could play solo or you could play in the multiplayer server. I didn’t really hang around the multiplayer server, it was hell having to deal with aggro that other n00blets caused.
You could also take multiple missions via the bulletin board, this made for easy money if you could survive the walk. You had two slots for weapons, an armor slot, slots for clothes (Which was and is still my favorite feature.) limited inventory space and, a shit ton of zombies.
Fairview City, Today:
No more custom rooms for friends, play solo or play multiplayer. No more multiple missions, instead you get one big mission every few hours and the mission has a time limit. Basically, it has become an actual survival game.
You can choose your profession upon character creation, each profession has a different stat boost. The nice thing is, you have profession skills that you can sell in the marketplace. For example, as a doctor, you can sell your medical services in the marketplace. Your character level is proportional to your profession skill. IF you have a profession skill that’s useful during a zombie apocalypse.
You don’t have bars, you have counters. Your HP counter, your armor counter, your stamina counter and your hunger counter. Stats drop as your HP and/or hunger drop, the armor is a big help but it gradually breaks as zombies smack you in the face.
In the game, you have different outposts. The higher your level, the tougher the area, in that area there’s one outpost that offers tougher missions and the marketplace offers better items and better professional services.
Inventory space is limited, but you have a bank, that’s even more limited BUT you can expand it with in-game currency. Also, it’s better to deposit the money you’ve gathered during your run in the bank. You will lose all your money if you don’t have a strong box in your inventory but the strongbox can only hold so much, maybe 10% depending on the rarity of it.
You can edit your stats, not only that! You also have skill stats. Your character stats are nicely tied with your skill stats. For example to use heavier weapons like better sniper rifles, you need more strength.
Noise matters in this game, the noisier you are the more aggro you generate, the more aggro you generate the more zombies come, the more zombies come the higher your chances of triggering their enraged mode. In enraged mode, you will most probably die unless you decide to runaway, which is like, the best course of action when you’re a lowly single target noobie.
Worry not, the game helps you in a very lore-friendly way. The game has an instance where the zombies will attack your base, you, along with NPCs and other players have to defend your base. It’s a timed instance and when it ends, you get tons of EXP of course, that’s also proportional to the number of zombies you’ve hit or killed.
The way you level up in this game is a little unique, you go out, get EXP, when it hits 100% you have to go back to your outpost and apply your stats. But if you find yourself far off from any hold out, you can carry nails, planks and a hammer in your inventory so you can turn a building into a temporary stronghold, where you can trade in the marketplace, heal-up, level-up etc.
In this game, you will die. A lot. Because of aggro caused by you or by someone else or because of carelessness (Like me.) At level 10 you start losing XP when you die, I try to make sure that when I die, I have more than enough XP so that when I resurrect, I instantly level-up, healing my HP to full, all I need to worry about is repairing my armor and filling my hunger.
What’s a zombie game without a number of even more horribly mutated mutant? This game has a lot of them, from a dude with a scythe for a hand to the three-headed bitch who likes to scream to something else entirely.
Dealing with these special snowflakes takes a lot of strategy, even more patience, and even more skill. I’m not going to lie. You will die.
The VIP mode:
In VIP mode, you’re lockout timer, for when you die, is shortened by a lot. Your drop rate for better items, increases by a lot. You get special currency every month, you can use these to buy rare items that has bonus stats. You can also sell your special currency in the marketplace for other players, who aren’t subbed, to buy.
So is subbing this game worth it? Sure, if you’re a dedicated player.
To wrap this all up, Dead Frontier is a fun little game that’s constantly being developed and changed. The customer support isn’t bad either, and it’s worth the time learning this. However, it gets old, tedious and frustrating during higher level game play but again, it’s still totally worth it. It’s my go to game, to wind-down. It’s great.
It also now comes with a nice little installer so you don’t have to play in the browser. Nice!
Peace out, peeps! -drops mic and flies away in a flurry of glitter-