Microsoft slices out a piece of the zombie apocalypse pie

, | Games

Microsoft just announced the development of Class3, the working title of a zombie survival MMO for the Xbox 360.

[Class3] is designed to let zombie fans answer the ultimate question: What would you do in the face of the zombie apocalypse? The end is here. Human civilization has been annihilated. The few, scattered survivors must band together, rebuilding civilization in a third- person action game packed with sweet guns, fast cars, hand-to-hand combat, and copious amounts of zombie gore. Players choose where to make their stand, designing and fortifying their settlements, performing daring raids for valuable stores of food and ammunition, and rescuing other playable survivors. The open world develops in real-time, shaped by player actions, with content determined by their choices and the ever-increasing zombie threat.

Developer Undead Labs has a pretty cool blog, where you can find cool artwork like the above picture and lots of theoretical discussion about the game, including the following “high level picture”:

Zombie survival. We start with an unwavering focus on bringing the whole zombie survival experience to life. It’s not just combat. It’s about meeting survival needs. Food, water, shelter, ammo…You’ll need them all.

Amazing action. Absolutely zero compromise on the moment-to-moment look, feel, and fun factor of the game. You shouldn’t have to put up with unexciting mechanics just because they’re packaged in an addictive wrapper. The game must play like a great console action game.

An evolving, dynamic world. These sound like buzzwords you’ve heard so many times before, but for us it’s a real goal: creating a game where players’ choices and ability to build have permanent impact on the world. It informs everything we do design-wise.

Player choice and empowerment. Every one of the points above is tied to this. A survival situation is about making choices. Great action gameplay is about responsiveness and feel, but it’s also about freedom, and the way to have an evolving, dynamic world is to empower players to affect that world.

No word on a release date, but given that it’s an Xbox Live Arcade game likely to have a subscription fee, I’m going to guess this is the sort of thing they wouldn’t announce until it was within a year of release.