Jagged Blade Games’ Dead Frontier, a free-to-play, browser-based, zombie apocolypse survival MMO, has just entered the open beta phase. The game is an action RPG set after the zombie menace has overrun the world. Players are tasked with trying to survive and grow stronger, despite the constant zombie attacks and threats. The open beta has just begun, and anyone who wants to play is free to sign up and give it a try. As a horror game fan with a day off, I decided to try spending my morning taking down some zombies.
The character creation process offers many different character options. After you’ve filled out the initial information, chosen a gender and agreed to follow the rules, you are allowed to create a survivor. You can customize the character’s appearance to some degree, changing his/her hair/face, shirt and pants.
There are many different jobs to choose from, each with specific bonuses. The open beta of Dead Frontier offered the following jobs: accountant, actor, architect, athlete, boxer, chef, doctor, engineer, entertainer, farmer, fireman, journalist, lawyer, police officer, priest, scientist, soldier, stock broker, student or teacher. I was tempted to go with a journalist, but thought a police officer had more to offer. You can’t argue with a class that offers instant skill boosts and comes with a weapon.
The game then takes you to a brief, voiced intro, introducing people to the zombie menace unleashed due to a pharmaceutical company called Secronom’s drug trials. After that, you find yourself in the Outpost, called Nastya’s Holdout. It’s basically a gathering area where you can buy or sell items from other players or NPCs, store items, look at records, talk with other players and regroup. Keep in mind, if you visit the Yard and want to customize weapons or armor, you may need to spend actual money on credits. Once you choose to leave and view the Inner City, the actual game begins.
I left Nastya’s Holdout and headed out into the city, expecting my newly discovered police talents to make me an adequate zombie killer. When you begin, you can choose to join or create a multiplayer game, or try venturing off on your own. I started off on my own, and discovered it was quite tricky to survive. (Two zombies decided my police officer was quite tasty.) I learned that pacing myself would be an even better solution.
I then joined a multiplayer game where the goal, as evidenced by the group’s title, was looting. Before heading out, I put all my cash into storage. When I joined the game, I decided to rely on my penknife, rather than my character’s gun, to help save bullets. Zombies quickly swarmed on myself and another player and, since my health was compromised to begin with, I found myself facing an untimely demise.
Death isn’t the end. No, I don’t mean you get to turn into a zombie. You temporarily “black out.” You have to wait a certain number of seconds to revive yourself, and then can awake again at Natsya’s Holdout. Unfortunately, when you awake you don’t awake at full health. My character’s condition was still Serious.
Controls are a mix of keyboard hot-keys and the mouse. You use the mouse and the left mouse button to aim and attack. All other actions are performed with pressing keys, like F to search, or the directional keys to move your character. There are also two icons constantly on the page, a radio and a sound button. The radio connects you to a chat, where you can talk with other players. The sound button lets you turn the sound on or off.
I’d recommend keeping track of where you are and how you got there. Since you can not only explore the streets, but also enter some buildings, it can be quite easy to get discombobulated. I had Notepad open while I was playing and I’d keep track of what directions I’d go by pausing the game and quick typing down references. If you decide to take a break and perform a safe logout with Shift+L, you won’t return to the game to find your character back in Nastya’s Holdout. Instead, you’ll be right where you left off, in the same condition. So be ready to save your note detailing how you got to where you are, so you can easily make a mad dash back to the Outpost.
Playing in multiplayer, until your character levels up and you become accustomed to the game, is also a good idea. Perhaps, try to make friends with people whose characters belong to other classes by visiting the chat room or message board. Farmers, chefs and doctors are particularly useful associates. This may only be the beta, but their assistance can be invaluable.
If you’re interested in a little free, browser-based zombie action, and you don’t mind that the game isn’t 100% complete yet, stop by and check out Jagged Blade Games’ Dead Frontier.
Site [Dead Frontier]