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Cooperative survival horror game Contagion has launched through Steam Early Access. Players can purchase the in-development game for $15 and get all future updates, including the retail version, for no additional charge.
Contagion pits teams of zombies and humans against each other. The zombie players, accompanied by an A.I. horde, must kill the humans before they complete their objectives. It's pretty easy for humans to fend off the zombies at first, because the latter are slow and weak. However, ammunition is hard to come by and every slain survivors returns as a zombie. The survivors have to complete their objectives before they're slowly overwhelmed.
If this all sounds a bit familiar, it's because A) every game has zombies now, or B) you played Zombie Panic: Source. Contagion was developed by the same folks who made Zombie Panic. It's even powered by the same engine, albeit with numerous modifications.
The developers designed Contagion so that each match would play out differently. The placement of weapons, ammunition and other items are all randomized. The locations of goals vary from round to round as well. The spawning patterns for zombies will change based on players' actions.
Monochrome LLC has announced three modes for Contagion thus far. Hunted is a battle royale in which every players' trying to be the last man standing. In Escape mode, the survivors must complete objectives and reach the exit before being overwhelmed. Extraction mode tasks the human team with protecting NPC's while they try to flee the zombie outbreak.
The $15 price is only available for a limited time. After Contagion's official launch, the game will cost $20. Monochrome hasn't announced an official release date yet.
The development team already has extensive post-launch plans. The excess funds they raised through Kickstarter will go toward Mac and Linux versions. The team also plans to release free DLC, including new maps and a vehicle-based Cruise mode.