Think Dawn of the Dead gone interactive--courtesy of Valve, makers of Half-Life and Counter-Strike. Controlling hapless human survivors or a quartet of undead monstrosities, you wield assault rifle or shotgun, prehensile tongue or jagged-edged claw, to be the last living bull’s-eye. You join in a four-person team alongside fellow human players or with up to three computer-generated comrades to annihilate hordes of fast- and slow-moving zombies. But harrowing as B-movie themed solo encounters and online head-to-head team multiplayer match-ups prove, the most notable tech advancement is an artificially intelligent “Director” that inserts chilling sound effects and sudden surprise attacks to heighten tension, ensuring no two games play alike.
$50 (PC), $60 (Xbox 360)