«

»

Zombie Driver HD review for XBLA


Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Also On: PSN, PC
Publisher: Cyberfront Corporation
Developer: EXOR Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

Zombies are here, zombies are there, zombies are everywhere. Zombies who eat the neighbors, zombies that comes from a virus, zombies that walk, zombies that talk, and even some zombies that run. No matter where you look in video games, there are a good percentage that are either zombie based or have a zombie mode, so if you have a hankering for the living dead, I’m sure you’ll find it in some gaming way, shape or form.

Zombie Driver HD looks very reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto 2, a top down driving title that just reeks of carnage, blood, and mayhem. The good is that anyone who enjoys the top down view will enjoy this throwback to the arcade days of old, but the bad side is it looks that old too. If visuals are not your thing, then Zombie Driver HD should get by on you with its ho-hum looks. While it does look sharper and more detailed than the PC game released 3 years ago but with added weather effects including rain, storms and fog, to say this game looks good would just flat out be lying to you , as it is passable at best. Two things that stand out visually are the strong frame rate, even with hordes of zombies on screen at the same time, and the large and intense boss battles, which are impressive as well. The shame of the game comes as level design is too familiar from area to area, so the game can start to wear thin on you and is best suited to play in short bursts.

Audio stands up better than the visuals with a decent music score that keeps things intense, a decent amount of voice acting keeps you a breast on what is going on and your objectives are from area to area. The weapon sounds and squish of the zombies you lay behind are done adequately enough that shooting your speaker levels up a notch or two isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Where Zombie Driver HD will make it or break it for gamers is the actual structure of the game and game play style that is easily love it or hate it. While the assortment of ammunition is great, challenges exciting, and levels large and expansive, you may agree or disagree that roaming the streets saving lives, killing zombies, taking out large mutated baddies over and over again is either fun as heck or a bore and a chore. I for one enjoyed the game for the first couple hours, but I will admit that the game did grow quite stale on me as besides some weapon upgrades and a boss battle here and there, the journey for the slight change of pace takes too long to get to. That being said, it can still be a fun romp if car battling, zombie slaying, old school style shoot’em ups are your thing.

There definitely is enough to do and see that will certainly deliver enough bang for your buck. The game serves up over 30 story missions each offering more than just clearing a bunch of zombies out of your way. While the looks of the apocalyptic wasteland doesn’t vary much, the objective of how and what to do doesn’t feel as repetitive, but at a game play time of over 10 hours you still might feel the strain no matter how much you love mowing down the walking dead. If the story mode becomes too familiar for you, the developers even tossed in a fun little racing style mode where you earn cash for weapons, upgrades, and just trying to survive. Now you have vehicles hindering your path so the zombies are not the only obstacles that keep you from success. The layout of this mode is certainly different than the story mode and is a nice break from the monotony to boot.

For only 800 MSP or 10 dollars, you can do far worse for a pick up and play and user friendly game such as Zombie Driver HD. For some, this is just what the doctor ordered, for others, level after level of doing similar acts with slight breaks in style and flair may just make you feel zombie-like. I suggest downloading the demo, and if you don’t smell the stench of stale after that, then this game should be purchased… no brains necessary.