Nation Red
Gameplay 9
Graphics 7
Sound 8

Nation Red is an arena-based shooter in the mold of Crimson Land where you have to shoot every zombie running in your direction while collecting better weapons and choosing the best perks to aid your survival. It’s not bad when played solo, but the real fun begins when you enlist the aid of some friends for either a local or online co-op game. It can become a little repetitive in the long run, but overall it’s a great game for fans of the genre.

Gameplay: The amount of guns and perks, not to mention the non-stop action, makes for an addictive experience.

Graphics: A little bland, but still looks decent.

Sound: The music and sound effects are a perfect match for the brutal action

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Nation Red

Developer: DiezelPower | Publisher: DiezelPower | Release Date: 2010 | Genre: Action / Shooter / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Zombies are typically slow, shambling, stupid creatures that pose little problems to well armed individuals. Unfortunately, you are not going to find any of those types of zombies in Nation Red. Instead, the ones you’ll be facing in this game have no problem sprinting or wielding weapons. There is some type of story involving zombies that showed up in the late seventies only to be completely eradicated making a return thirty years later. They are now better armed and thirsty for vengeance, so you are going to need all the weapons you can get and hopefully the backup of a few friends.

Nation red is an arena-based shooter in the mold of genre classics like Crimson Land where your only purpose is to survive the close-quarter fighting with zombies for as long as possible. The game features a number of different modes as well as difficulty levels, but it is definitely the most fun in co-op with friends, which can be done locally or online. Solo players looking for a story won’t find one here, although there is a “Mission” mode where you have to kill a certain amount of zombies across 18 different missions. These missions can then be retried and become progressively harder each time, which is a nice touch. Other modes include free play, which is where you play until you die, survival, which is the same thing, but without the perks; and barricade, where you have to survive and protect your barricaded area. Most of these modes can also be played in co-op, along with a king of the hill mode where you actually compete with your fellow players instead of working with them.

The arenas in Nation Red are quite small, so you need to be accurate with your aim and quick with your feet to survive the hordes of zombies that keep pouring in. In addition to the mutant zombies you will also eventually begin to encounter a couple of bosses, which are special zombies that wield grenades, machine guns, or other lethal weapons. These guys soak up a ton of damage before they go down and can easily turn the tide against you in barricade mode. If you survive long enough, it is not uncommon to see a bunch of them showing up at the same time either, which really increases the challenge.

Shooting zombies is fun, but Nation Red would not have been half as addictive if it wasn’t for the great selection of perks and weapons you have at your disposal. In addition to the type of character you pick, each of whom have their own strengths and weaknesses, your choice of guns and perks can make each round unique.

In total there are almost one hundred perks to earn, including a couple of very neat ones. Whether you want to attract power-ups and weapons towards your character, improve your accuracy, push enemies back when they hurt you or even increase your speed while walking backwards, you’ll find something among the perks.

Perks are earned each time you gain enough experience points from shooting zombies and unlike power-ups they don’t expire after a short amount of time. There are some really unique perks, like the “Hand of God” which strikes enemies down from the sky and “Saw Blades” where you automatically shoot out triple boomerang saw blades at regular intervals. A lot of the perks work well in conjunction, so half the fun is figuring out which ones to pick. If you prefer not to pick or don’t want the distraction of having the action pause while you choose a perk, you can also opt for “Auto Perk” whereby the game automatically picks ones from your list of favorites. Speaking of choosing, you can opt for either “Random Perk” where you always get a list of seven random ones to choose from each time you level up or “Strategic Perk” where you get the pick from the entire list. The difference is that with the random perks you have no limit, whereas the strategic ones gives you more versatility, but penalizes you with a maximum limit of twenty perks.

A top down shooter like Nation Red is only as good as its weapons, but thankfully the game does a stellar job in this regard. You can wield two weapons at a time and have guns as well as melee weapons at your disposal. The melee ones consists of axes, crowbars, and machetes, while the guns range from a puny Glock 19, all the way to flame throwers, nail guns, M4A1 Carbines, shotguns and even a minigun. There is an impressive list of guns that can be randomly dropped by fallen zombies and picking them up is as easy as walking over them. Obviously you don’t always want to exchange your minigun for a crowbar, so to prevent this from happening you can press a key to lock your current weapon in place. This will then cause your character to ignore all other weapons in the arena, which is a really useful feature.

Like most games of this type, Nation Red can be played either with your keyboard and mouse or as a twin-stick shooter if you have an analog controller. Either method works great, although we preferred the accuracy of the mouse when it came to thinning out the zombie hordes. Apart from buttons for shooting, using grenades, reloading your weapon and locking your weapon in place your character can also jump to roll out of harm’s way. This sounds like a lot of buttons to keep track of in the heat of battle, but it only takes a few rounds for it all to feel very intuitive.

In terms of visuals Nation Red is starting to show its age, but it is still not a bad looking game. The bosses are quite cool, but the basic zombies are pretty much just fodder for your weapons. All the zombies you shoot die in a shower of blood that stays on the ground, so things can quickly become quite chaotic, especially with explosions going off and three other players joining in on the mayhem. The game is viewed from a top down perspective, but you can also move the camera up or down a bit to suit your preferences. Levels consist of a warehouse, gas station, cemetery, oil platform, farm, prison as well as a few others. Each of the four character classes; sniper, gunner, medic and scout, also have their own distinct look. For audio, the game favors loud, crushing riffs, which is a good match for the brutal action. The sound effects are also loud and booming, which is perfect for a zombie shooter. If you do opt for online co-op, you will have to turn down the volume of the music and sound effects, though, if you would like to hear what your team mates are saying.

While Nation Red really shines as a multiplayer game, it still offers plenty of value for money when it comes to single player content. The missions can all be completed in less than an hour, but with more than 100 Steam Achievements and a dozen leaderboards, there is always something to challenge you. Increasing the difficulty level also makes for much more tense games once you have improved your skills. The only real downside to Nation Red, and this is one that is common for games in this genre, is that it can become somewhat repetitive after a while. However, it is also one of those games that you’ll find yourself returning to once in a while to try and earn a new achievement or take down some zombies with friends. All of this makes it more than worth the very modest price tag.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows® XP, Vista™, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel / AMD CPU
  • Memory: 256MB RAM
  • Graphics:Graphics with shader model 2.0 or better
  • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 500MB of uncompressed Hard Drive Space
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • OS: Windows® XP SP2, Vista™ SP1, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo / Core2 Quad, i3, i5, i7 or AMD Phenom CPU
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA 8800GT / ATI 3850 512MB or better with latest manufacturer drivers
  • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 500MB of uncompressed Hard Drive Space
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • OS: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
  • Processor: Intel Mac
  • Graphics: Nvidia or ATI GPU recommended
  • OS: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
  • Processor: Intel Mac
  • Graphics: Nvidia or ATI GPU recommended
  • OS:Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, fully updated
  • Processor: 2.4 GHZ or Equivalent
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia, ATI, or Intel GPU with hardware-accelerated drivers
  • OS:Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, fully updated
  • Processor: 2.4 GHZ or Equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia, ATI, or Intel GPU with hardware-accelerated drivers

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