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Attack of the Zombies

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

There’s no doubt that the zombie is a cultural phenomenon, and a perennial go-to bad guy for video games. With Sony’s Days Gone released today, and no sign of zombie fatigue setting in, Antstream Arcade takes a look back at ten of our favourite shambling undead from gaming history.

Zombie – Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins

Rising swiftly from the ground with a spooky lurch, these beautifully twee and stereotypical undead pepper the first level of Capcom’s classic Halloween game. With their arms outstretched as they seek their next victim, they are one of the weaker villains, yet one bite is still enough to end Sir Arthur’s life. Unless, of course, he’s wearing his trusty suit of armour.

Yuck! Factor: 2 brains out of 5

Monkey Island 2 - LeChuck's Revenge

LeChuck is the undead antagonist of the Monkey Island games and their hero, Guybrush Threepwood. A ferocious and cruel pirate captain when alive, death has turned LeChuck into a zombiefied abomination by the second game in the series, obsessed by his former love, Elaine Marley, and determined to destroy his arch nemesis Threepwood.

Yuck! Factor: 3 brains out of 5

Zombie Dog – Resident Evil

Leaving aside the Cerberus, Umbrella’s genetically modified canines, the zombie dog originates in the first Resident Evil and is a result of the poor hounds consuming infected food or remains. This icky mix of slavering jaws and empty ghost-white eyes also has one of the most memorable entrances in gaming history, bursting through the windows of Spencer Mansion and instigating toilet breaks everywhere.

Yuck! Factor: 3 brains out of 5

Caleb - Blood

It’s not often you actually get to play a zombie, especially one like Caleb. As leader of the voodoo cult The Cabal, the grizzled anti-hero of this classic Monolith first-person shooter is slaughtered by his own god, before rising from the ground (I LIVE…AGAIN!) to take revenge upon his former master. Full of Duke Nukem-style quips and a demonic sense of humour, playing the undead has never been such devilish fun. Now, where did I put that pitchfork?

Yuck! Factor: 3 brains out of 5

Stubbs – Stubbs The Zombie

Poor Edward ‘Stubbs’ Stubblefield. Smitten by the winsome Maggie Monday, Edward is abruptly terminated by her father Otis, a somewhat harsh punishment for his lack of financial clout. Fear not. Rejuvenated at the grand opening ceremony of a new city, built over his shallow grave, Stubbs rises once more and promptly begins to sate his hunger for human brains. Green-skinned and modelling the essential Fifties salesman outfit (plus a few rips), Stubbs’ inspiring speech to his zombie horde (think ‘Groot’, but with ‘braaaaains’ instead) is a particular highlight.

Yuck! Factor: 4 brains out of 5

Ebitan – House Of The Dead

Covered head to rotten toe in moss and sludge, these disgusting creatures emerge from bodies of water as shallow as a puddle to attack the players in this fabulously hideous light gun shoot-‘em-up. Relatively easy to despatch individually, they often group together making them tricky opponents to take down in packs. Let one get too near and you’re in for big sloppy and sodden kiss.

Yuck! Factor: 5 brains out of 5

The Witch – Left 4 Dead

The Witch is one of a rare selection of gaming zombies that should be avoided at all costs. Visually evocative of Sadako from the Japanese horror movie Ringu, the Witch sits silently until approached by uninfected humans. Creep too close and she lets out a threatening growl to let the player know bad things are going to happen unless they back off. Failure to heed the warning results in a devastating attack from the witch’s elongated claws, and she can even kill a survivor with one raking blow. You never got that in The Wizard Of Oz.

Yuck! Factor: 4 brains out of 5

Suicider – Dead Island

These bubbling and bulbous horrors are an extreme danger on the tropical island of Banoi. Slow and cumbersome, they pursue (living) humans doggedly, exploding in a mess of flesh and brains when they near their prey, creating a literal red mist. But the most unnerving trait of a suicider is the half-sentient moans as it approaches, as if calling for an end to its undead purgatory.

Yuck! Factor: 5 brains out of 5

Gas Tank Zombie – Dying Light

There are a whole host of vicious undead in this epic tale of the city of Harran, plunged into a localized zombie nightmare. With the photophobic volatiles providing the thrills and the lightning-fast infected the spills, we thought we’d spare a droplet of love for the gas tank zombies, the corpses of a government crew sent in to clean up the infection. Sporting yellow overalls and a face mask, these poor chumps also wear an oxygen cylinder on their backs which can be punctured with hilarious results. Just make sure Kyle Crane is long gone by the time it explodes!

Yuck! Factor: 3 brains out of 5

Captain Deadbeard – Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2

The white-bearded hobbling old buccaneer is one of many comical zombie characters from this popular series, and his all-round abilities make him a solid choice. For weapons, Deadbeard has a scattershot for close combat and a long-range spyglass gun for sniping. Mix in the cute-yet-lethal parrot pal (complete with laser and explosives) and the powerful cannon rodeo, and you’ve got instant undead pirate fun. Is the action getting too much? Well this old sea salt can niftily plunge into a summoned barrel before exploding out, damaging any plants nearby. Arrrrrrrrr!

Yuck! Factor: 2 brains out of 5

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