Dead Years is a post apocalyptic Action/RPG like game that’s stylized in a way that’s reminiscent of Borderlands and Fallout 3. Dead Years is developed by a company called ZeroByte. This indie title really stood out at PAX East. While the story may not sound too unique (I’m not afraid to admit, I’m a huge fan of post apocalyptic games), the way the gameplay is devised is unique and I found it intriguing and enjoyable.
The premise of the game is an outbreak occurred and six months after this event the world has obviously changed and is altered forever. Humans become an endangered species and is under oppression of freaky viruses, hordes of roaming unfriendly corpses, hungry wild life, and limited resources, think Walking Dead. You are a boy and have an awesome dog that is your best friend and watches your back. This dog is not just a gimmick he is a means of survival in this harsh world and is extremely useful.
The goal is to build strategies to survive, while exploring this open world and completing quests. You can gain and learn up to fifteen skills like mechanics, first aid, cooking, scavenging, etc. Controls are pretty basic. I was able to demo this on a PC station. Dead Years utilizes W, A, S, D for movement and hitting caps lock switches you over to your dog so you can control him and scout locations. Left clicking the mouse is attack and Q is the quick inventory where you can see your stats and use and equip items. Right clicking items in your inventory lets you be able to use them. I did encounter a few bugs like my dog falling through the ground, however this is early alpha so I’m not holding it against ZeroByte. I did enjoy the music, it pulled me into the experience. Also, being a huge RPG fan and a completionist, I enjoyed the exploration facet. There is a ton to see and do and you can easily escape into the world and become immersed. This is one the major reason that this game appealed to me. I like a good story with great great gameplay, and I haven’t seen a game done this way before.
ZeroByte was kind enough to let me know that the a demo will be released on steam in a couple of weeks, the Alpha build will be in the Summer of 2015 and the final release will be the end of 2015. Definitely keep an eye out for this title, we’ll be covering it in weeks to come and I’m looking forward to it.