Posted: October 31, 2014
I've played this game on and off and I feel like its time for a review after spending some of my time on this game.
This is just your typical cliche zombie survival game where your basic objective is to survive (Duh!). You select from a handful of characters to decide who you want to be and go straight to business; shooting zombies and people. There are different modes in the game in which you can play: Escape, hunt, and extract.
This is the primary mode that this game was probably built for. It is purely PvE where players come together to find a way out of a selected environment. There are different difficulties to test your skills in both individual and team gameplay. What I found really unique and interesting in this mode was that everytime you played it, it was always some what different every run. Your pathing to the ending of each map was usually different and this somewhat made the game mode fresh everytime.
What I found to be a failure in this mode was that the ending of escape was always the same and my incentive to play again was minimal. There are no rewards for completing and it gets really repititive. Basically all you did was shoot zombies, find objectives, and get out. Another thing was how it could be absurdly difficult at times. Although this was also a reason as to why it was somewhat fun, a lot of the time you would find yourself back tracking to find missing objectives or paths to work your way to the end, all the while wasting ammo on zombies because you had no choice. Another thing was that players could turn into zombies if they were attacked or dead. I could see how dead players who turned to zombies could potentially create a left 4 dead PvP scene where teamwork is key, but the problem is that zombie players could single-handedly wipe out a whole team of players because thats just how strong and difficult a zombie player is to handle (I literally just walk in zig zags and no one could kill me and I would just kill them in like 5 hits). This adds to frustration of playing this mode as if looking for objectives while fighting AI zombies wasn't already a chore. My suggestion would to make this purely PvE and leave PvP for hunt and extract, which I will discuss about next.
If all you want to do is walk around and shoot people or be a zombies and kill people, this is the mode for you. It is purely PvP. Everyone starts out with a basic secondary weapon (handgun) and melee weapon and have to search for weapons that can be found in various areas across a map. While doing so, players will encounter eachother and kill eachother. But again, it can feel repetitive as the sole purpose of this mode is to just walk around killing eachother (Of if you like the classic camping you can do that too) till the round ends with only 1 survivor or the round times out.
Because of how the mode is set up to end, players are basically encouraged to actually camp if they want to win. This can really ruin the fun as some people play it for the action and interactions between finding eachother. You could go AFK in a basement and win the round by doing literally nothing because while you decided to sit like a scared child, other people were actually playing the mode as how it was supposed to be played; by finding and killing eachother. You will find out yourself about how the community may react to you camping if you decide to play this game/mode.
This mode is probably one of the least favorable modes in the game. What you do is work as a team to find AI survivors and rescue them to a safe point. Although this sounds potentially challenging or fun, it is again very boring and repititive (in my opinion, of course). There is no real goal in this mode because once you rescue the AIs, you are back to square one; Finding and saving AI's again. You will eventually find yourself leaving the game rooms as you die from zombies and ultimately boredom.
What really shines, in my opinion, is the music and sounds of the game. It is very high quality and really fits the overall theme of the game. It creates an eerie feeling to the game when playing and is what really drew me into the game's atmosphere. Voice acting is great as well, although most of these characters are abit too grumpy and mad (For good reason probably).
The graphics in this game are good if not great. Theres really nothing bad to say about the graphics... Besides sometimes I would enter servers where the game was all choppy at times and looked like I was playing an 8-bit game with low FPS. Other than that, graphics meet basic/standard expectations.
There are plenty of guns/weapons in this game. Honestly, depending on which weapon you have, alot of them are pretty similar in terms of effectiveness. Although you'll probably find some guns to be a lot weaker and useless compared to others ( F****** colt), it isn't really an issue to the game.
The handful of characters as I mentioned in the beginning of the review, all have the same value in the game. There is no OP or weak character, it is all preference of how you want to look. Sadly, I would have prefered to be able to customize my own character or let the characters available to have stats so that it would fit people's preferred playstyles. In this game's case, your best bet is to be the black guy (No racism intended) because he best blends into the night and camouflages very well in PvP.
Conclusion: 6.5/10 Rating
Ultimately, what really brought Contagion down is the repititiveness of the game. The replay value of this game is really low, as I have dropped and picked up this game on and off over the year, only playing it every few times a month when I was really bored. Content is slow to release and while there is a steam workshop for this game, there isn't much it has to offer because this game lacks strong popularity within the zombie fan community. You will find yourself picking up this game for about the first hour or so, and then immediatly dropping it if you have no friends to play with.
Thanks if you actually read this long review. Although it seems like im not recommending this game at all, surely it is not the case. This game did have its great and fun values. But it only hit me ever so softly, and I feel that it can be fixed.
Is it worth trying this game? Yes definitely, but get ready to drop it.
Is it worth the money? No, I would recommend buying it on sale.
TL;DR: This game can be fun, but gets boring and repititive too quickly to really be worth its costs. I would still recommend trying it though if you can get it at a low price.