Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition Review
Is this what next-gen is? Just a bunch of rereleases of games we’ve already played with slightly nicer graphics and better-than-before lighting? Tomb Raider, talk of the Mass Effect trilogy and now Dead Nation?
Oh, and 1080p at 60 fps. Because that matters.
Perhaps this is an unfair way of starting our Dead Nation: Apocalyptic Edition review, but it’s a point that needs making – gamers are already clamouring for truly next-gen games, not the same games again.
Of course, this ignores the fact that Dead Nation is actually pretty good. It’s the same as before, but still as good as ever nonetheless.
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition’s PS4 Graphics
For those who don’t already know about the game you can read our original Dead Nation review, but short story is that it’s a brilliant twin-stick shooter set in a zombie apocalypse made by the guys that made Resogun.
Dead Nation is a game about atmosphere. It’s not ostensibly a horror game – although it does look like it – but it is surprisingly tense as you keep your eyes peeled for that hidden wave of zombies from the darkness.
So with the Power Of Next-Gen, how does Dead Nation’s visuals fare?
Well it looks the same, frankly. It’s in 1080p so we can all thank whoever the god of computer graphics is for that one, but you won’t likely notice much difference between this and its lowly PS3 equivalent.
Lighting is perhaps the only place you will spot a difference, with a much better dynamic lighting system casting sharper shadows and distinguishing between smaller gaps in fencing and the like much clearer.
But it’s hardly the step up you might have – unwarrantedly – hoped for.
That’s not to say it’s an ugly game.
It fits in as well as any other digital game on PS4, and the reliance on darkness means 3D models don’t really need to be exceptional. It can hold its own, and that’s perhaps the best thing to say about Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition’s graphics.
Dead Nation’s Cool PS4 Features
The real benefit comes with some of the additional new features that Dead Nation comes with, however.
First off, yes it does have the DLC included. This means you’ll have the Endless survival mode, and the 6-round challenge. It’s a perfect inclusion for a game designed so much for repeated score-focused attempts.
The addition of Challenges is the big feature here, providing an option to send scores and times for your friends to beat – either automatically or manually – which they can then attempt to take on themselves.
A new Challenge Path can be enabled, too, to give you a bit of an advantage in hunting down the quickest route rather than retreading areas in the search of collectables.
It’s a handy extra for the competitive gamers among you, and if you got sucked into Resogun’s leaderboard-based compulsion then you may appreciate Challenges in Dead Nation.
But you may find that Dead Nation’s score-based nature won’t shine quite as much as it did with Resogun and Super Stardust. That’s fine, there’s plenty of content to play through if it doesn’t appeal to you, but it does make Challenges fairly redundant.
Broadcast+ is the feature that should get the biggest praise, however.
Here you can share your gameplay live through the internet (such magic!) and, while you do, players can vote on added effects – both negative and positive.
It’s a great concept that only a handful of PS4 games actually utilise, and is tweakable to your own preferences but as of written we haven’t actually been able to try out.
Sadly – due to the nature of embargoes – we weren’t able to properly test the feature.
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition Review
All in all, Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition is a bit of an elaborate way of saying ‘the same, but a little better’.
It’s certainly the same great game – and if you haven’t yet played it we definitely urge you to get it. It’s especially brilliant in co-op on harder difficulties.
But it’s not nearly enough of an upgrade to appeal to those who have already had their fill of Dead Nation on PS3. A fully-fledged sequel would have been preferred.
The saving grace, then, is the fact that – if you act now – Dead Nation won’t cost you anything. PS Plus subscribers (surely you’ve been convinced by now?!) will be able to grab Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition for free.
And at that price the game more than makes up for its limited upgrades.
Version Tested: PS4