Class3 Developers Share Lots of Details

By Mark Delaney, 6 years ago
Undead Labs' certainly isn't a title everyone is familiar with. Part of the reason is because Class3 won't even be the name of this XBLA zombie game by the time it comes out. Also keeping people unaware of this uniquely developed game is a lack of details thus far. As a brief summary, Class3 is a XBLA zombie survival game that focuses on gathering supplies, helping (or ignoring) other survivors, and building fortifications to stay safe. It's also meant to be a sort of testing ground for a large scale MMO, Class4.

Recently, the developers released a long Q&A on their forums, and in it, many details were shared about the direction of the game and what exactly we'll spend our time doing among the undead.

We had heard some teases about dealing with other survivors, building fortifications, and finding food and supplies to survive, but to this point none of what we had heard focused on the game's story. Some members of the Class3 forums asked if the game would even have a story, or if it acted more as a zombie apocalypse simulator. Undead Labs assured interested gamers that there is a narrative being told, and will include 50 NPCs, each with their own desires, personalities, and goals whom you can trade with, recruit into your group, or completely ignore. The story takes place in an area called Trumbull Valley and is meant to focus on the lives of the survivors as they try to work together long enough to make it out alive.

The game picks up with you on a fishing trip on Mt. Tanner. When you left for the trip, everything seemed fine, but two weeks later, on your way down the mountain, you meet the horror of what is happening in the world. They also assured us the game is a complete sandbox world where you're given the option of playing the game long after the main story has been finished, thanks to simulation events that spawn from time to time.

Class3 will utilize the beautiful CryEngine 3 and offers a full day/night cycle. As mentioned, the bulk of the game rests on you fortifying your shelter into something that can keep the living safe inside without intrusion from the zombies. You can enter "a vast majority" of buildings, as the developers cited a commitment to realism in this regard. As long as a building has not been destroyed to the point where you can't walk through the door, you can enter it. You also have a Home that acts as your initial base where you can gather supplies, research new technologies, build facilities such as infirmaries and training areas, and so on. You can then go out into the world and build other Outposts, which can be chosen from a range of building types, from other residences to some hospitals and police stations.

The building and fortification process will be streamlined, according to Undead Labs, and won't be freeform like that of Minecraft. You are given the choice of what to build and when you decide, you have to go out into the apocalyptic world to gather the necessary supplies. Sometimes it'll be things like wiring or wood, and other times you may need more survivors to help. Some survivors have special skills that, if recruited, will offer you their services.

You won't be able to pick up everything in the world for a weapon like you can in the Dead Rising franchise, said the studio, because they are focusing instead of realistic melee combat and damage with the chosen weapons you can use. There will also be firearms available, but no matter what weapons you have, some of them can only be found in certain parts of the game's environment. You can even build weapons, though you can't build guns. Many incendiaries and explosives like Molotovs and mines, are craftable with the right equipment.

When asked if the weapons would be more or less realistic than those seen in, the studio assured us they are going for something grittier and more realistic. They're currently looking into weapon degradation as a gameplay mechanic, but they cannot yet confirm the inclusion of that. For the more sadistic gamers out there, you'll be happy to know that you can chop off arms and heads, and blow holes in the zombies' torsos too.

The game will offer cars and trucks as means of transportation, and Undead stated that future transports such as bikes, motorcycles, and even airplanes are on the ideas list for Class4.

For many zombie gaming fans, Class3 probably sounds like a refreshing take on the genre, especially given its arcade platform. Unfortunately, because of limited time and resources, Undead Labs has decided to no longer offer co-op in Class3, at least not immediately. Previously, the game was billed as a co-op experience, but now they are going to move forward with the game being a single-player game. They did note that they are looking into ways to add co-op sometime after release, but they aren't ready to make any promises.

Many other ideas are swirling in the Seattle-based development studio, both for Class3 and the future MMO (possibly PC only) Class4, and this is meant to only be the first Q&A in a series, so keep it here with TA as we cover more details for the game as it approaches release. No release date or price has been confirmed just yet.
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He's the Editorial Manager on TA, loves story-first games, and is one of three voices on the TA Playlist podcast. Outside of games he likes biking, sci-fi, the NFL, and spending time with his fiancée and son. He almost never writes in the third person.