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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Zombie Media Cliches

I've been playing State of Decay on PC for a while now and its easily become one of my favorite zombie games. Though as I was playing, I began to notice a few things that seemed obvious from an outside perspective on the Zed genre. This list is in particular order, just a list.

1: Its never just a simple cold/disease.
When someone gets the common cold, its not a big deal. In the zombie world, however, immediately that person is the subject of paranoia and is most likely to be killed or create a rift between the survivors: the sane ones who wish to do everything possible and the insane 'kill em fore they kill us!' Where this is the least bad of the cliches, its easy to see why it stays. It separates the animals and those still clinging to their humanity hoping for the best.
On to the disease portion, the zombie plague can never be simplified. "Its just a plague, that's all you need to know," isn't a satisfying answer for most people, characters in the media or the reader/watcher/player. With the exception of Zombieland or some older zombie movies, there's never any moment where every character just doesn't care why there are zombies. Answers are fine to search for but in the end people are getting killed. The problem is not how this is happening but how to stop it for good. In some points I find the search for answers acceptable like in The Walking Dead television series where a character is trying to find how to reverse it and for good reason. I'll also be pushing my thoughts about the television series later as well. Any fanboys/girls probably won't like what I have to say.

2: "We have unlimited ammo, go nuts!"
During the apocalypse, I really doubt there are people still mass producing guns and ammunition as well as distributing it. There's always that point where "Its all or nothing" and they have seemingly limitless ammo for a certain period. For a bad ass factor, this isn't terrible. For a realism factor, this is insanely frustrating. Yes, ammo is limited and you should be aware of this and take strides to limiting your usage. Around the point I stopped liking The Walking Dead show was around the time The Governor came around. Killing a whole slew of characters, some of which I really liked. During the beginning of the third season, shots! Shots! Shots galore! And after all that talk/repercussions of the previous season? You'd think the characters would be a bit smarter. I am surprised how often this happens and how inept all of the characters involved are being. In the case of the rage zombies of 28 Days/Weeks Later, yes that makes sense for their speed but apart from that, the slow moving ones need only that for dire situations.

3: Any media with variant zombies is never fully appreciated/taken seriously.
First off, what are variant zombies? Variant is a zombie that diverts from the normal walking zombie. If you've ever played Left 4 Dead (or the second game), the game is rife with variants. Boomers, Smokers, Spitters, Jockeys, Tanks, Chargers and Witches. Each is unique and requires a different tactic. So why are these never taken really seriously or fully appreciated? Despite what people may tell you, they like a set rules with these universes. Adding a new element in is usually considered cheap, over used or under used. Variants offer a bounty of tactics to use against and offer up a new and dangerous challenge. The media that introduces this isn't usually panned or seen as bad, just seen as being less in quality to something like The Walking Dead.

4: The Last Stand
Cliche? Yes. Bad ass? Most often. The Last Stand is when a character is about to die and they know it. Knowing this, they send the rest of the group off to do something like an explosion or simply be bait. I personally think this is over used seeing as how most every single media does this at least once during it's length/run time. Used well it can be cool despite being cliche. In terms of Walking Dead, I wish every single one of my favorite characters got this. Sadly, most of them died like the others.

5: Limited supplies if only for plot convenience
Yes in the apocalypse there will be a lack of supplies but it always seems to come at the most inopportune time to either make the group make big decisions, have a member leave entirely or even have a character killed off. Back to The Walking Dead's use of ammunition in the last episode I cared to watch, I have not watched any episode past the 10th episode of season 3, but I can guarantee you there was a time when ammo was an issue. Realistically speaking, the group would have been dead by the forth season.

Thanks for reading this. Sorry if you're a Walking Dead fan. I wish you well with the continuing series.

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