Zombie Driver HD Reviews

  • Sonic GrungeSonic Grunge395,919
    20 Oct 2012
    19 4 0
    Also found on www.vgmmdi.com

    Cars? Check. Zombies? Check! Awesome, we have an idea! Zombie Driver HD is a fun combination of rpg racing and genocide on a level not seen since the PC classic Carmageddon. Now I’ve got that initial comparison out of the way, let’s go and have a look at what this XBL title offers for your 800 MSP (£6.80/$10.00)

    The game offers up 3 modes of play; Story, Blood Race & Slaughter.

    Story mode sees you take on the role of a cab driver trying to escape the zombie apocalypse that’s befallen on the city. There are a variety of different mission objectives, ranging from survive from point A-B, timed survival, extraction of survivors and escort missions. Completing missions awards you with upgrades which you can apply to your vehicle with cash you get from completing the mission, finding cash power-ups and a bonus on the amount of zombies you have killed. There are also side quests in each level that will unlock an additional bonus, these could be time trials, an extra rescue/clearance objective, or the good old zombie headcount. You’ll also get boss levels where you have to destroy some huge necrotic nightmare while still mowing down the hordes of undead.

    Blood Race sees a race mode vs 3 cpu players in varying events. There are straight up races, eliminator events and endurance events. The goal of each is pretty straight forward, and they are organised into tournaments, so your placing in each events wins you points towards overall victory. Your upgrades from story mode carry over to here, so the first few events are relatively easy first off, however you will start to struggle down the line if you haven’t at least unlocked a few weapon and armour upgrades.

    Slaughter mode is simply that. You’re placed in a small arena and face a never ending horde of zombies. You start out with a standard car, and level-up upgrades appear as you kill zombies. They do come in waves however, and to complete a wave, you need to set amount of kills and collect the star marked upgrade. Then it’s just a case of survival for as long as you can, racking up the kill count as high as possible!

    The game play is similar to that of the console classic Micro-Machines, top down driving game with pretty standard racing controls (RT accelerate, LT brake & reverse, X handbrake) with the addition of the A button as firing. The cars handle in a very arcade fashion too, so don’t expect Forza handling when you try and speed around a bend to avoid the horde! A nice touch in the handling department is that as you mow through a crowd of cadavers you will slow down the more you hit, almost forcing you to use your weapons first to thin the mob, unless you want to be a static target getting swamped. There are 4 weapons available to you, in the form of a flamethrower, machine gun, rocket launcher and rail gun. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, with the exception of a high level rail gun which will just microwave anything in front of you.

    There are two negatives that do stand out having spent time playing. One draw back is that a lot of the time while driving, you can’t make out zombies very clearly, especially the smaller dog zombies while in motion, and in later levels, to stop almost spells instant death. To combat this on the clearance missions, each target is highlighted with a red marker, so you can keep track of what you have left to kill, but that doesn’t help if you’ve sped into a mob of zombies you couldn’t see and have ground to a halt. The other? No multiplayer. Not even couch co-op. Huge let down for me, although whether this will affect sales or not is yet to be seen I feel (at least for Blood Race mode) this was a missed opportunity.

    Overall a fun addition to anyone’s XBL collection and one I’ll be re-visiting very, very shortly.
    4.0
  • Danny Dubs 86Danny Dubs 861,239,488
    24 Feb 2013 02 Jun 2013
    10 2 0
    Originally posted on my blog at http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/.

    A viscerally satisfying experience, Zombie Driver HD delivers about what you’d expect: cars, gore, and tons of zombies. Unfortunately, the game overextends itself a bit, with a few features that detract from the solid premise, but it’s still good for some mindless entertainment.

    Zombie Driver puts you in the role of a taxi driver during the zombie apocalypse. Given the skills of your trade, you respond to the undead infestation in the only way that makes any sense: by recklessly navigating the town, plowing through hordes of living corpses for fun and profit.

    What follows successfully embodies the addictive quality of some of the best Flash games – simple gameplay with near-instant rewards. You control your car from a third-person perspective using pretty fluid controls, racking up money for stylishly crushing zombies. As you progress, you’ll get access to a few car-mounted weapons to aid in your zombie slaying. You also get to spend your hard-earned cash on car or weapon upgrades. The formula, while basic, is effective: kill a bunch of zombies to make it easier to kill even more zombies. If you enjoy the first few minutes of gameplay, you’ll likely enjoy it all.

    While the gameplay may sound good on paper, what makes it really enjoyable is its execution. Although the graphics are far from perfect, they do a lot where it counts. Piles of corpses litter the city, you get satisfying blood smears where you splatter zombies, and bodies fly as you charge through a densely-populated alleyway. The sound effects have a similar effect, successfully adding to the impact the zombie killing, while being pretty lackluster everywhere else.

    But the best part is the way your car responds to the zombies. As you’re cruising along, small groups of zombies will have little effect on your movement, but the thicker the horde, the more impaired your motion. This one simple feature has a surprisingly large impact on the game’s overall entertainment value, as it allows you to feel the bodies you’re running over. It makes the whole process that much more satisfying.

    Zombie Driver has three modes to maximize your brutal zombie murder. The first is the story mode, which takes you through 31 missions with varying objectives. The mission objectives are always some variation on “transport these things” or “kill those things,” but the different ways they’re presented and the enjoyable gameplay prevent them from seeming like chores. The bite-sized missions are pretty short, too, with most being doable within ten minutes, and the rest taking under fifteen.

    The story itself is disappointing. With a game like this, the story either needs to be stellar or campy to avoid distracting from the main reason most people would play it. Sadly, the plot isn’t very interesting (standard zombie fare these days), the writing is uninspired, and the voice actors sound bored. What’s worse, the moments of exposition during missions are unskippable, so instead of smashing more zombie faces, you have to spend a minute listening to someone dispassionately explain that you’re violating protocol by driving around the city.

    A second game mode, Slaughter, cuts the nonsense by giving you a series of arenas where your only objective is the highest score. In these arenas, you’ll fight waves of undead, trying to string together epic combos as long as you can survive. It’s everything that’s great about the game’s premise without any filler. I love it!

    The third game mode, Death Race, is terrible. Really, really terrible. It turns the basic mechanics into a competition between apocalypse survivors. A couple of the contests aren’t totally unexpected, as they’re based on using your car and weapons to kill either zombies or other drivers, but the races are some of the most frustrating gaming experiences I’ve ever had. The slightest impact with another car either sends you spinning away or locks you against them, preventing all movement. Both have huge implications for your position in the race, making your overall performance seem to be 90% luck.

    If you stay away from Death Race, though, Zombie Driver HD is a great stress-relieving romp through a zombie-infested wasteland. Thoroughly satisfying, if you are looking for a mindless distraction for an hour at a time and aren’t bothered by the general lack of depth, Zombie Driver is worth a look. If not, you’ll want to pass on this one.

    My Rating: 6/10 – decent.

    (For more info on my rating system, including overall stats, see http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/p/reviews.html)
    3.0