Remember last year when Ray’s the Dead tried for Kickstarter success, only to pull the plug on the campaign a few days from the end? Admitted, it was only a third of the way to its goal with very little time left on the clock, but Ragtag Studio figured a better presentation combined with a business opportunity that popped up during the campaign would lead to more likely success. It turns out the business opportunity was a PS4 release to go with the PC/Mac/Linux versions, allowing Ray’s the Dead to have a much lower Kickstarter funding goal. Fast forward a year and two months and Ray’s the Dead is taking its second stab at success, and seeing as it’s cleared 33% in under a day things are looking pretty good.
It’s easy to be cynical about another zombie game but Ray’s the Dead is grandfathered in by being from several of the creators of Stubbs the Zombie. It’s not quite a thematic sequel to the almost-classic Xbox game, but close enough to evade the “not another zombie game!” reaction. The game follows the life and death of Ray LaMorte, buried with a device lodged in his skull that lets him reanimate and control the dead. Ray quickly turns into a shambling brain-hungry Captain Olimar, controlling a small army of the undead in combat and using their special abilities to solve environmental puzzles. The story flips back and forth between alive-Ray and undead-Ray, each fully playable, detailing how he came to be a zombie overlord in which the powers of the undead conflict with a fully-sentient mind. The result looks to be about one part drama to ten parts comedy and a city that ends up in flames. Ray’s the Dead just needs a little Kickstarter attention to get it’s Pikmin-esque brain-chomping zombie beatdown started, and then the action can start getting properly out of hand.