Hands on Preview : Contagion

Contagion Gameplay
Written by Barry Villatoro

I think we can all get in agreement that we love zombies, right? Zombies are rad, but that doesn’t mean everything with zombies in it is great. There’s been bad games and some pretty terrible movies. Story lines are regurgitated and gameplay mechanics reused over and over. Contagion is a FPS set in a zombie apocalypse, but don’t blow it off yet. Contagion is being developed by Monochrome Games who’s founder created Half-Life 2’s Zombie Panic: Source mod. Chris Lock, Taryn Beach, Austin Griffith and myself were able to get our hands on it and I think we all had a damn good time.

We started a match in a co-op objective-based mode that had us battling zombies in an infested neighborhood searching for survivors. Each of us had a cell phone that would display the location of the other players as well as survivors. Like looking on Google maps and seeing other GPS signals. There’s a trade-off though, once you pull your cell phone up, you lower your weapon. This usually left us with one person using the cell phone and the rest of us playing guard.

Yay, we’ve found a survivor, lets get to them! Impending doom and a sense of panic that needed to be fought back followed me as we ran down the streets trying to make our way to the house of the survivor. We were never safe. We could never stop moving and as soon as someone broke off from the group, they were as good as dead. The zombies in Contagion, will only be stopped by a headshot, that’s it, “spray and pray” will not work here.

Get the back door! Upon entering the house, if we were so lucky, we may have had a good 15 secs of respite. Two things needed to be done at that point. One, secure the house by boarding up all entry points. The other, clear the house of zombies and find the survivor. Once the survivor was found and the house secured, came the time to wait for extraction. Pulling up our phones and waiting for the signal of an incoming chopper to appear.

Chopper down the street! Busting down the door we originally boarded up to escape with guns blazing. A nonstop attack of zombies ensues as we carve a path to the helicopter. This is the worst time to get split up from the group and usually when it happened. You would stop to cover your homie’s back and before you know it, you’re by yourself. Surrounded, overrun, dead.

Brains! Once killed, the fun continues as you rise from the dead to take vengeance on your one time friends for leaving you behind. Your “zombie vision” allowed you to get the general idea of the nearest living human. Diving in on your friend as they had there back turned towards you was great. Hey, if you’re not making it out alive, why should they?

Contagion is very much a objective-based Left 4 Dead that is unforgiving. Super intense game play filled the entirety of the matches we played. The build we played was early in development, but even with that being said, it was technically sound. If the controls and mechanics of the final version are just as polished as what we played, Contagion looks to be game to keep your eyes on.

About the author

Barry Villatoro

Twitter : @IamWeapon | Former citizen of Azeroth and Atreia | Favorite fighting game - DefJam: Fight for New York | Favorite RPG - FF6 | MMA | Sushi | ATV's |


  • Work on the game please. I am dieing to play Contagion. I am like seeing no progress. You guys have been in alpha for a year. Zombie Panic Source is dead now because Team Fortress 2 went free. Bring Contagion OUT!!

    • You should put a little more research into the game before making an ignorant comment as such, the PAX Gameplay clearly shows a developer talking a player through picking up a nailgun and boarding a house up.

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