Based on Left 4 Dead 2, Romero indicated that zombie games need to slow down and make room for humor player innovation.
Recently George A. Romero spoke with G4TV's fearnet.com in regards to his new zombie flick, Survival of the Dead. The interview talked about the benefits of using CGI rather than humans and props--this allows for more interesting zombie mutilations than when using the conventional hands-on special effects.
However the interview turned its focus to the popularity of zombies on the gaming front, highlighting Valve's popular zombie FPS, Left 4 Dead 2. Host Joe Lynch asked his thoughts after showing a few action-packed clips.
"It's so fast," Romero said with jumbled words. "You know, it's all splatter. There's no humor to it. I mean, you're really fighting... every split second, one of them is in your face." He goes on to talk about a sequence where the player plows through a sea of zombies with a machete, but noted that there was no time for dark humor, a trademark that has kept Romero's work original and above all the other zombie clones.
"I don't know if there's room for that kind of humor," he said. "I'd love to talk to a gaming company about it. Is there any way to slow this up and still make it cool for the fans who like to play these things? If you could slow it up and have a little more story and a little more humor and clever ways to kill. Could you do a different kind of strategy play?"
Apparently Romero would like to see multiple options for the player, the ability to pick up anything and use it as a weapon to maim and mutilate the undead, a pick and choose method of survival with unlimited killing possibilities. "I don't know if that kind of game would work with gamers today," he admitted. "I don't know enough about the mentality there... of the player, the people that fall in love with these things."
Lynch explained to him that Left 4 Dead 2 is more about the moment than the story, an environment built for friends to group together and have a gibfest with the undead. With that said, Romero may have been more impressed with the Resident Evil series, a slower-paced zombie-fest with a fraction of humor. There's also Siren: Blood Curse for the PlayStation 3, a new level of gritty, evil zombie madness that makes adult diapers seem standard.
Romero, creator the zombie genre, once collaborated with developer Kuju Entertainment and publisher Hip Interactive on a first-person shooter called City of the Dead. The game was slated for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PC, however development came to an abrupt halt in March 2006 due to financial problems.