Infect or be Infected

Planet Moon has a history of putting out critically acclaimed games that also achieve modest financial success; the cult hit Giants: Citizen Kabuto being their most well-known example. When niche studios like this experience success on the strength of their fan base, most of them put out free content or fan service in some form as a thank you to their audience. However, this developer is seeking a different way to give something back – this year, Planet Moon will infect you with a disease.

No, take that SARS mask off. Planet Moon’s upcoming PSP game is titled Infected, and has the potential to be quite innovative. The first of three PSP titles created by Planet Moon and published by Majesco, Infected opens on Christmas Eve in New York City, as an epidemic sweeps through the streets, turning everyday folk into zombies out for blood, flesh, and brains (the staples of a healthy zombie diet). For some reason, newly minted NYPD cop, Officer Stevens (the player) is immune to the virus, and with the assistance of the inventive scientist, Dr. Schaeffer, he wields a gun that fires bullets filled with his own blood – the only way to terminate the zombies effectively.

Of course, shooting the zombies with Stevens’ blood creates a reaction so violent that they explode, decorating the surroundings with a copious supply of the red stuff. Ho ho ho, Merry Bloodbath!

The darker-than-usual storyline deviates from Planet Moon’s track record of quirky, humor-stuffed experiences, but change can be good. Early PSP screenshots paint Infected as an FPS of sorts; though whether it’s free-roaming or on rails, ala Time Crisis, is yet to be seen. A healthy selection of weaponry is promised, some of which can be dual-wielded for double zombie-bursting action.

Static images from gameplay show crisp, detailed models and plenty of blood effects. Based on previous demos of the PSP’s hardware, the system shouldn’t have any problem pushing out waves of enemies for annihilation. Indeed, Planet Moon’s CEO, Bob Stevenson, recently claimed in an IGN interview that Infected will “take full advantage of the power of the PSP system.”

Infected’s draw doesn’t emanate from its graphical prowess or technical brilliance – what’s intriguing countless gamers is the implementation of its multiplayer component. When you buy the game, you create a digital avatar to represent your unique

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