In the past, we’ve been let down by crowd-funded indie developers who have promised us spectacular open-world survival games. One of the best examples of this happening was a kickstarted open-world zombie survival game that went by the name Survive the Nights. This game took forever to release with many delays and when it was released it was practically unplayable.
I have personally backed several survival games and I’ve been disappointed in the majority of the alpha releases. It’s almost to the point that I have started losing faith in all kickstarted projects until I came across the Dead Matter game.
I’ve been following Dead Matter since it was initially funded back in August 2017 and it was clear that this team is different. All of the development vlogs have shown us major milestones and that the guy running the project is a competent game developer with a passionate vision, not a money-hungry idea man.
In this post, I’m going to explain what the Dead Matter game is all about and why I think it will be the best open-world survival game you’ll play in 2020.
Let’s take a look at Dead Matter, the upcoming zombie survival game we’ve all been impatiently waiting to release.
What is Dead Matter?
Dead Matter is an open-world zombie survival game based in Alberta, Canada just around two-weeks after an outbreak. Players can work together to survive in make-shift fortified home bases as we expected from Survive the Nights or to hunt down other players and acquire their precious loot.
This game improves upon many of our favorite features from games like DayZ, Escape from Tarkov, Miscreated, WarZ and more. As the seasons go by in-game, Dead Matter will transform into a post-apocalyptic world where survival becomes more difficult.
The game is being developed by a small yet extremely talented team of Canadians at Quantum Integrity Software Inc.
Up to this point, we’ve seen ten developer vlogs and the most recent update gave us what we’ve been waiting for, a look at the gameplay. It’s easy to see that this gameplay is clearly scripted, not the best actors, but the hype is real.
The quality of what we’ve seen up to this point is already beyond what we’ve seen from most kickstarted early access games. It looks like a complete project, despite a couple of issues here and there that the developers promise to have ironed out before the alpha release.
Here’s a look at the gameplay where a few of the developers get together to show off looting, proximity voice chat, gun mechanics, third-person view, interactive objects, key system, survival elements, zombie AI, ominous atmosphere, weather system, underground mines and more.
The Zombie AI
Some will say it’s overdone and we don’t need another zombie-filled game, I would beg to differ. I think these types of manageable threats make the game more enjoyable and change how we make decisions.
Zombies in this game are becoming smarter with each patch and they even split up to chase multiple players. Based on the updates we’ve seen you can expect to run into hordes of zombies that will make points of interest more dangerous to explore.
It’s nice to see zombies that will be a bit more aggressive making survival more challenging and ultimately more rewarding.
Based on the most recent vlog, the movement and ragdoll physics has bit more work that needs to be done but honestly, I’d be fine with what I’ve seen.
The atmosphere from the gameplay trailers looks eerie and creates a feeling of immersion showcasing a zombie-filled Alberta, Canada with broken-down vehicles, piles of body bags and well, zombie hordes.
Based on the most recent trailer, the map flows really well although it is lacking density of objects in some areas which is expected from an alpha.
The underground mine system looks unique and it’s a nice touch although the lighting can be adjusted and more objects and loot need to be added. The developers mentioned that the underground mine is a work in progress so I’m sure we will see more to come.
As others have mentioned, it would be cool to see body bags twitching or zombies ripping through the bags to attack unsuspecting players.
So far we’ve seen a lot of fog in-game and it looks really cool, although the weather is actually quite dynamic in Dead Matter. At any time the weather can change from storming, heavy blizzards and even to extreme heatwaves.
It will be interesting to find out how players will combat the effects of the weather or if it will simply just be another way to increase the immersion.
Depending on what you prefer, you may or may not like the jigsaw-based grid inventory management system from Dead Matter. The same people that compare Escape from Tarkov to a Tetris simulator will have the same complaints with this system.
Personally, I enjoy this type of system that puts you in a position to make tough choices on what you should pick up, otherwise, you’d be a crazy cat lady with a hoarding problem.
Also note, this is a more realistic approach that takes into account your weight, size, quantity, temperature, etc.
Loot Storage Suggestion
I’d personally like to see a global loot system similar to WarZ or Escape from Tarkov. The magic happens when players have to travel to a location to escape with a small portion of the loot.
Maybe there are a few settlements with the option to pay with your in-game money to store your items but storage will need to be paid weekly and if you don’t play the game and earn in-game money you’ll lose the safety of your loot.
Alternatively, the player could fortify a place as mentioned and store their loot in a less safe place.
The looting system is very similar to Escape from Tarkov as well, some items spawn in the world (on shelves, etc) and other items are found in searchable objects like cabinets.
When you search for loot from a container, it will take a second to load. This is intentional, think of it as rummaging through the container like you would in real life.
The searchable loot that is randomly found in the containers helps to reduce stress on the server from too many in-game items as well, which is great.
Based on the gameplay we’ve seen recently, the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Chat is proximity-based and even sounds different depending on your location.
There is one point in the recent vlog where the players are talking in the underground mine and there is an echo from their voice.
Even while someone is standing on the car while driving, which is causing desync, you are still able to clearly hear the person which is great.
If the voice chat feature works as intended I could see this being a big win for RP players.
If you’ve watched the video above I think we can both agree, the game looks fantastic. The designers are creating their own assets, meaning they are not simply buying stock assets from the Unreal Marketplace, as others have done in the past.
From the environment and atmosphere to buildings and vehicles, the graphics look stunning. The weapons are carefully designed with extreme attention to detail and the overall animations look promising.
I find it astonishing that there’s already a massive amount of loot designed and implemented for the upcoming closed alpha.
We could talk about every blade of grass, but you can see for yourself, the game is going to look better than most survival games on the market when it releases.
This game is going to be full of surprises and unique gameplay mechanics we’ve never seen before. I’m going to list a few of my favorite things I’ve heard about Dead Matter or seen myself.
- The beyond dynamic weather system
- An evolving world based on the time that goes by in the game
- See-through curtains that allow players to be silhouetted when lights are on
- Horde zombie AI that will split up and not just agro’d by one player
- Variety of never seen before items to loot
- Ability to cover windows with newspaper
- Fortifiable building to make your home base
- Tons of drivable vehicles including a bike
- Game is based in Alberta, Canada
- One of the few games (if first) that starts two-weeks after an outbreak
- Backer-based weapons with incredible detail
- Dynamic vanity license plate system with easter eggs
- Responsive proximity voice chat
- Unique backpack sway (some people hate this, I don’t)
- A massive underground mine
- Interactive switches and power system
- A key-based system similar to Escape from Tarkov
- Full mod support in the future
I’m probably missing a few of the features that look pretty cool so please let me know in the comments below.
The good news is that full Mod Support is planned including blueprints and the full-use of the UE4 (Unreal Engine 4) Editor and Steam Workshop support. The bad news is that’s all the information we have for now, although I’m sure this will come when the game is fully released or at least in beta.
Will this game be on steam?
Dead Matter has been Greenlit for Steam Early Access, so yes you will be able to download this game on Steam.
What is the official Dead Matter release date?
Based on what we know now the current release date for the upcoming closed alpha was planned for March 2020, but it has been pushed to June 2020.
I’m actually fine with development studios pushing the date back a few times as long as the game we get is somewhat polished.
All we can ask for from the Alpha is a playable game that is fun and isn’t riddled with too many bugs. We can all allow a few issues, but please keep plugging away until the game is ready.
We’ve seen games release with a lack of content and that can be problematic, so hopefully, the team at Quantum Integrity will have the foresight on a health stream continuous loot implementation.
The game looks fantastic and this is at the top of my 2020 list of games. I can’t wait to play the game and I believe in the team developing Dead Matter.
Let me know what you think, are you going to play Dead Matter?