Looking for something to do with that plastic guitar in the corner? You could use it to make zombies more dead in the campy Rock Of The Dead this spring.
You may be bored with killing zombies in videogames. You may even have grown tired of your fingers dancing across the frets of your Guitar Hero or Rock Band controller. But combine the two, adding the vocal talents of Neil Patrick Harris and Felicia Day, and you got yourself a clever little game called Rock of the Dead. Epicenter, the studio comprised of ex-Call of Duty designers that brought you Real Heroes: Firefighter, is putting the finishing touches on the game for the Wii and it’s due out late spring or early summer.
The gameplay is simple to describe. “Picture Typing of the Dead but with Guitar Hero guitars instead of a QWERTY keyboard,” the designers said. You use the guitars to strum a few licks and if you get it right, you take out the zombies coming at you. You can play by yourself or in co-op, with both players racing to get off their riffs first to get the kill. There is some branching of the plot to get to the end of the game, but Rock of the Dead aims to be a five hour playthrough with replayability through high scores.
The team is still awaiting confirmation from Nintendo to allow the guitar peripherals to be a requirement to play, but they have a contingency plan using the traditional controller just in case.
In order to get around licensing costs, Epicenter cleverly commissioned bands to create rock versions of classical music recordings in the public domain. During the boss battles though, when the gameplay turns a little more rhythm-based, you might recognize a few Rob Zombie tracks which the company licensed.
It appears that Rock of the Dead is attempting to deliver a campy horror game with an interesting gameplay gimmick. With the writer of The Witcher and Felicia Day playing the love interest for NPH’s protagonist, they might just have the talent assembled to pull it off. It might even be worth the budget price point of $30-$40.