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It's very similar gameplay wise to those zombie survival flash games you see all over the internet, such as Endless Zombie Rampage 2. You use the WASD keys to move your character around the screen and aim and fire with your mouse. The depth comes from it's wide range of weapons and its perk system. You earn Experience Points by killing zombies, and upon a Level Up you can choose a new perk, such as faster reloading or health regeneration. You can potentially earn up to ten perks in Strategic Perk Mode- if you survive that long. In Random Perk Mode you can get as many as you can survive through, though the available perks per level up are random...as the name suggests.
The formulaic zombie-killing is divided into several game modes. There is a single-player campaign where you must kill a certain number of zombies in each level to proceed, as well as a free-play mode, a survival mode where you have no perks and only one gun, and "Barricade" mode, where you and a host of AI teammates must Hold the Line against waves of zombies. The game features local and online Co-Op Multiplayer in any of the above modes.
Nation Red provides examples of:
- Action Bomb: Exploding "Bombers". The "Friendly Fire" perk makes them damage other zombies when they explode.
- Action Girl: The female character, who has a Nice Hat.
- Awesome but Impractical: The minigun has a lot of stopping power, but reloads slowly enough that the zombies will swarm you before you can start shooting again.
- Awesome Yet Practical: If luck favors you and you get the Steam Hammer, you've basically won. It reloads super fast, does immense damage, and has enough spread and range to clean half the arena in a single sweep.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: A good way to fend off the zombies in co-op. You get the "Back2Back" achievement if you can manage to avoid damage for 30 seconds while doing this.
- Bottomless Magazines Averted. You have unlimited magazines, but you still have to reload, which is usually when the zombies score a bunch of free hits. The "Quick Fingers" perk and its upgrade "Dexterity" can help assuage this problem, providing 15 and 30 percent faster reloading, respectively. You can also get the "Heavy Ammo" perk which gives you 25% larger magazines.
- Cool Guns: All over the place. Special mention for the AA12 and the man-portable minigun.
- Cosmetic Award: Achievements ahoy. A few are Shout Outs, such as "Free Man" and "All 4 Deadly".
- Boss Fight: Several missions in the campaign have you fight a "boss" zombie, who are larger and take many more hits to put down. They usually come with a weapon: An Axe to Grind, a circular saw, a meat hook, grenades, an assault rifle or a minigun. There's also the "Brawler", who lacks a weapon but is clad in the remains of an ordinance disposal suit, which gives him more punch behind his melee attacks and a lot more HP.
- Damage Sponge Boss: All the bosses. The ones with projectile weapons are somewhat easier to kill, with the minigun zombie being the weakest of the bunch. The Brawler is the toughest owing to his armor.
- Dead Weight: Fat zombies abound, called "Big Boys." Annoyingly, they run as fast as the regular zombies but deal much more melee damage, making them Demonic Spiders in large groups.
- Divine Intervention: The "Hand of God" perk and its upgrades, "Wrath of God" and "Apocalypse", cause random bolts of divine fury to come down and strike the zombies. Why? Who cares, it's awesome!
- Doppleganger Attack: The Ghost powerup creates a pistol-wielding copy of your character. Get all the upgrades and one powerup will spawn four AA12-wielding copies of yourself that can bring down a boss by themselves.
- Drop the Hammer: The player can use a sledgehammer.
- Expy: From a distance, one might mistake the protagonists for the Redfield siblings.
- Crowbar Combatant: The player can equip one of these as well. You get the "Free Man" achievement for finishing off a boss zombie with one.
- Flash Step: The "Teleportation" perk.
- Gatling Good: The minigun shreds the horde like no other. Beware its long reload though.
- Guns Akimbo: Comes in both Glock and UZI flavors.
- Improvised Weapon User: Guns, check. Melee weapons, check. Power tools, check. Hot steam projector that burns the flesh off the zombies- Wait, what? At one point in the campaign, you encounter a Butcher zombie who attacks you with a meat hook.
- Kill It with Fire: The flamethrower does a good job of this, but there's also the "Firestarter" perk, which automatically ignites any undead that get too close.
- Luck Stat: The "Luck" perk makes the zombies drop more power-ups. Very useful.
- Machete Mayhem: One of your starting weapons along with the Glock. Since you never run out of ammo for your guns, it and the other melee weapons are Emergency Weapons at best, suicidal at worst.
- More Dakka: Pistol, two pistols, UZI, two uzis, assault rifle, automatic shotgun, minigun...
- Nail'Em: You can pick up an industrial nailgun and use it Quake-style. It has a higher magazine capacity then most of the equivalent SMGs.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The origins of this horde are not explained. However, not only do they run, but a few can use guns and grenades.
- Power-Up: An impressive range of powerups can be dropped by the zombies: health vials, temporary invincibility, Invisibility, Quad Damage, area of effect explosives and fire bombs, Exploding Barrels (yes, the zombies drop exploding barrels), a zombie-attracting seismic thumper, a zombie-repelling jet turbine, a temporary Sentry Gun and a a temporary clone of your player that attacks enemies. All of these have associated perks that buff their effects.
- Roboteching: Only instead of missiles, with throwing knives and circular saw blades.
- Randomly Drops: The powerups of course, but this is also how you find new weapons. Less to the point of the trope, you can set the perk system to give you a random set of 5 perks to choose from when leveling, to make things more interesting.
- Rule of Cool: The likely explanation for why you can mysteriously project zombie-seeking circular saw blades and other craziness.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Several of the achievements challenge you to do things like take no perks, pick up only one weapon, or other things contrary to logic and common sense.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Oddly enough, not in this case. Their low ammo count will leave you screwed when larger hordes show up. The solution? Use the AA12. Automatic shotgun + horde of zombies = Ludicrous Gibs.
- Tele Frag: In a sense. When using the teleportation perk, you can drop a grenade immediately after coming out of the teleport. Doing so twenty times nets you the "Telefrag" achievement.
- Tractor Beam: The "Item Hook" perk causes powerups to slowly gravitate towards you, while its upgrade "Snare" causes you to grab them instantly once they're in range.
- Walk It Off: The "Regeneration" perk. Go ahead, you can totally wade into that horde of zombies now...