Critical Reception: Planet Moon/Majesco's Infected

In this week's Critical Reception, we look at the Planet Moon Studio developed, Majesco published Infected, a viral third-person zombie action title for the PSP. I...
In this week's Critical Reception, we look at the Planet Moon Studio developed, Majesco published Infected, a viral third-person zombie action title for the PSP. In fact, Infected is viral in that, true to its name, the game allows the winner of multi-player matches to "infect" the loser's game. While offering an interesting and unique addition to the zombie-action game genre, reviews of the game were positive but mixed, ranging from 70% to 85%, and averaging a 76% overall rating on review compilation site GameTab. The context for this story-sparse game is explained simply by IGN's Marc Nix, as "...zombies have overrun The Big Apple, and only you can stop them with your somehow immune blood cells." Translation - you run around shooting zombies who have a severe (fatal) allergy to your blood. Gameplay, as far as the single-player mode goes, is described by 1UP's Matt Leone as follows: "Essentially, Infected's single-player game is a bunch of shooting galleries linked together with CG story sequences. They're all well designed and fun, but in each mission you will have to A) defend the humans from the infected, B) rescue a certain number of humans from the infected, or C) kill all the infected." Leone also levels criticism at what seems to be the most noted deficiency - Infected's perceived lack of depth: " feels like there was a bit of missed potential in making a more fleshed out (and longer) single-player campaign..." A similar view is expressed by Yahoo! Games' Chris Hudak, who comments: "Infected does get repetitive, there's no denying that." Given Infected's limited single-player mode, it is in multiplayer mode that the game makes the best impression, allowing the user to spread his/her own personalized digital infection, as explained by Yahoo! Games' Hudak: "A zombie reflecting your customized character shambles its way into three of that player's previously-won single-player missions. Now, in order to shake off your virtual zombie viral cooties, the poor person you infected must either A) conquer the re-opened levels again, or B) take on three other players -- thus passing your virus onto their PSP. Then they play three friends, and so on, and so on..." Beyond the game's relative shallowness, there isn't much to complain of, says 1UP's Leone: "So if you look at the single-player campaign as more of a practice mode for multiplayer games and a place where you can mess around with big combos, there's little to dislike about Infected." Given that, Infected offers a relatively thought-free experience that is sweet in its simplicity, and taking advantage of the PSP's wireless connectivity and lack of visceral action titles, it just might be a game that spreads this winter.

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