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Zombie King George Romero Speaks on L4D2

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 25 comments

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.

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  • 17 Hide
    bogcotton , May 27, 2010 1:37 AM
    Someone actually suggesting making awesome games again!

    Kind of like the people who thought outside of the box and brought us games like gta3.

    Games are getting a little bit stagnant, I want this kind of realism in a game. See a lamp? Rip it from the wall and smash it on someones head.
    See bug spray? Spray it in their eyes.

    This man should direct a new zombie game, doesn't even need to be big budget, I'll bet it would be fun.
  • 11 Hide
    Yuka , May 27, 2010 1:38 AM
    Present him "Dead Rising".

    Cheers!
  • 10 Hide
    icepick314 , May 27, 2010 1:40 AM
    L4D and L4D2 got humor...

    but you have to pause and listen to the dialogues...

    and PLEASE someone pick up City of the Dead!!!

    a zombie game with Romero's direction would be THE zombie game of the decade....
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    bogcotton , May 27, 2010 1:37 AM
    Someone actually suggesting making awesome games again!

    Kind of like the people who thought outside of the box and brought us games like gta3.

    Games are getting a little bit stagnant, I want this kind of realism in a game. See a lamp? Rip it from the wall and smash it on someones head.
    See bug spray? Spray it in their eyes.

    This man should direct a new zombie game, doesn't even need to be big budget, I'll bet it would be fun.
  • 11 Hide
    Yuka , May 27, 2010 1:38 AM
    Present him "Dead Rising".

    Cheers!
  • 10 Hide
    icepick314 , May 27, 2010 1:40 AM
    L4D and L4D2 got humor...

    but you have to pause and listen to the dialogues...

    and PLEASE someone pick up City of the Dead!!!

    a zombie game with Romero's direction would be THE zombie game of the decade....
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 27, 2010 1:43 AM
    he should play plants vs zombies
  • 0 Hide
    scytherswings , May 27, 2010 1:49 AM
    hahaha my friends and I have spent countless hours playing that silly but addicting Plants Vs Zombies game... :D 
  • 0 Hide
    sliem , May 27, 2010 1:52 AM
    trolololololhe should play plants vs zombies


    Lol
  • 1 Hide
    t0r012 , May 27, 2010 2:56 AM
    l4d1 is way better than l4d2.

    Had I know l4d2 was going to be a run and gun silly game I wouldn't have bought it.
    L4D2 just sits in my steam library collecting virtual dust while I play the original.

    I like the dark creepy feel of the original.
    The Oh S#!^ I better back my butt into a corner I'm fighting for my life feeling is tons more interesting than the cartoonish just to kill things feel of the second.
    Feels to me "dumbed down for the console tards" to steal a quote form Yatzee
  • -1 Hide
    dragonfang18 , May 27, 2010 3:08 AM
    He is a movie specialist... Slow things in games just make things less intense and looses the fear factor. Why ask a movie specialist what to do in video games? I think Uwe Boll is a prime example of how much that can screw things up. However, his concept sounds better in an open world GTA type setting.
  • 3 Hide
    pocketdrummer , May 27, 2010 3:20 AM
    I liked the pace of L4D better than L4D2. There was suspense that added to the intense moments when they happened. In L4D2, it's action from start to finish, so you never get that "oh-shit-here-they-come" feeling. Not to mention, melee is only fun if you're holding the bat (or whatever). For everyone else holding guns, you're the most annoying shot-blocker known to man. On top of that, the specials appear so frequently that you can almost call them The Usuals. Their appearances are equally as deadened due to the pace and frequency of their little visits.

    That's not to say that L4D2 is bad, it's a good game. But they got "Sequel-Syndrome" and tried to give us quantity instead of quality.
  • 3 Hide
    lightbulbsocket , May 27, 2010 3:41 AM
    How do you write an article about George Romero commenting on zombie video games and not mention Dead Rising? For that matter, how do you interview him without showing him Dead Rising.

    I mean, it comes closer than any other zombie game to the type of gameplay he describes as wanting to see, and it's sort of an homage to Dawn of the Dead.
  • -1 Hide
    rmmil978 , May 27, 2010 4:01 AM
    Did anyone else actually see his two newest movies, "Diary of the Dead" and "Survival of the Dead"? Truly awful movies.
  • -1 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , May 27, 2010 4:07 AM
    Yes those were bad movies
  • 4 Hide
    intelliclint , May 27, 2010 4:34 AM
    I have one thing to say "My buddy Keith"... now that is funny.

    L4D2 is designed to be another story set in the same world as L4D. The game play styles are the same for both games. L4D2 adds some new mechanics of melee weapons which only give you another means to fend for you life and 3 more zombie classes that help fix the run and huddle tactics always used in the first game. (Spitter FTW) Some maps are day light and not as scary as night time, but guess what, there is rain, and I mean blinding rain, something that L4D1 never had.

    Now you can rush a map and hope to make it in L4D1 or 2 or you can think about it and not have to fight as many zombies. There are a lot of tactics to both games. Just because you haven't thought of them doesn't mean they don't exist.
  • -7 Hide
    intelliclint , May 27, 2010 4:36 AM
    I have one thing to say "My buddy Keith"... now that is funny.

    L4D2 is designed to be another story set in the same world as L4D. The game play styles are the same for both games. L4D2 adds some new mechanics of melee weapons which only give you another means to fend for you life and 3 more zombie classes that help fix the run and huddle tactics always used in the first game. (Spitter FTW) Some maps are day light and not as scary as night time, but guess what, there is rain, and I mean blinding rain, something that L4D1 never had.

    Now you can rush a map and hope to make it in L4D1 or 2 or you can think about it and not have to fight as many zombies. There are a lot of tactics to both games. Just because you haven't thought of them doesn't mean they don't exist.
  • -2 Hide
    anamaniac , May 27, 2010 5:56 AM
    Dark humour? Zombie mutilation? Multiplayer? Would it be available on Steam? :) 
    YukaPresent him "Dead Rising".Cheers!

    Dead rising is awesome. I intend to play the sequel.
    I love throwing CD's at zombies and using the mower to 'cut the grass'. Granted, it wasn't exactly the best game, but the variety of zombie mutilating stuff was fun.

    Also, I didn't really like Plants vs. Zombies...
  • 0 Hide
    etrom , May 27, 2010 12:10 PM
    No fun at L4D2? What about horn the clown's nose?
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , May 27, 2010 2:27 PM
    I think he needs to play the game before making a comment. A game is not a movie, it is interactive. If more director knows, maybe we will have less crappy movie.
  • -1 Hide
    jgiron , May 27, 2010 4:30 PM
    One thing that I think should be added to L4D2 or the next installment is the ability to choose your armor and weapons at the beginning of the scene. Like in Counter Strike or R6 Vegas games. Then as you are going through the maps you can exchange weapons that are lying around or pick up extra ammo. For this type of game have the survivors be special forces so they get access to the new weapons and gear.

    For a fun note they should add some vehicles like a skateboard, scooter, bicycle, tricycle, pogo stick and even a segway.
    Add special powers to the survivors like in BioShock.
    Let 1 character be Goodie Little 2 Shoes Ash (Army of Darkness) and
    Let another one be bad Ash
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , May 27, 2010 4:42 PM
    Dead Rising had awesome content, even if the game itself was pretty lame and got boring once you'd tried all of the weapons out. It was still worth my money just for the hilarity. I'd love to see a DR2 with improved gameplay / mechanics / plot.
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , May 27, 2010 5:15 PM
    While I certainly enjoy the L4D games I do agree with Romero that taking things a bit slower could make a better experience. Constant combat and slaughtering hordes of the undead makes them much less feared. The fear of the unknown is simply not present in the L4D games. I would love to play a coop game like L4D that could give that element to gameplay the AI director simply doesn't provide it.
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