Game: “All Zombies Must Die”
Zombies, they have seemingly managed to take over the world on a surprisingly frequent basis. Considering they don’t exist. Whilst just going down to The Winchester seems like a great plan to some, others would rather jump into action, get hold of some form of instrument and start attacking in the streets. Now the urge to grab a cricket bat might be overwhelming, even though you don’t even own one and haven’t played cricket since you were bullied into it by teachers at school, but just wait a second. What can a gamer really do?
A Gamer in Deadhill thinks he can save the world, or at least try. In essence, that’s where the story ends in All Zombies Must Die, there are a few bits and bobs that happen as you travel through the game, picking up other characters, such as A Girl, a Mad Scientist, some Aliens and Military people. Aside from these extra people who turn up in strategic places throughout the game, it’s pretty much 4 people against 6 billion zombies across the known world, trying to eat you.
Well, not just eat you, but get to you, tear you up and pretty much cause actual bodily harm, borderline manslaughter –they can’t be held accountable for their actions as they’re dead. They pretty much appear in all locations across Deadhill, from living rooms, to garages. Some pop up out of no-where, others from under the ground. Yet, Gamer is determined to escape from this living hell and the aim of the game is not only to kill the zombies, but to make it past certain check points in the game.
These check points are often left behind by the military and unless Gamer collects the right items from the area, he can’t get past. This isn’t a task that’s too hard to do, as there’s a fairly decent on-screen compass that’s constantly guiding you in the right direction. On most games, this would be a worrying lack of faith in the gamer, a trend that seems to have become the norm in this generation; however, as this is a “shoot-the-zombie” type game, it simply helps. This is due to the fact that whilst the items might be called, flower, they are hidden in a random room, in a bubble and aren’t easy to see with the naked eye.
Not only this, but some of the single player missions are not only ruthless harsh for mistakes. A single death can lead to the entire level being reset, if you manage to get that far in the first place. Not only that, but some of the missions require zombies to be massacred in strange places, this would be fine but actually getting to these places means getting stuck behind walls or being unable to see yourself. Therefore death is not only inevitable but will cause gamers to become apoplectic with rage.
All Zombies Must Die is a highly stylised game, with not only classic pop-culture references but it also looks and feels like a comic book or flash cartoon come to life. This lends itself well to gamers; however, the camera angles really let the title down. Whilst an apocalyptic world is a great setting for pretty much anything with an “otherworldly” element in it, the fires, half destroyed buildings and general debris are a nightmare for games that have limited ability to tilt the camera at the players will.
The real appeal in All Zombies Must Die is in the multiplayer action, once a few rounds of the single player mode have been completed, the secondary characters become available to select in the multiplayer mode. Until then, it’s just the might of the military to back Gamer up; of course, the military don’t actually make much of a different in the multiplayer mode. Everyone has the same stats to start off with and this means playing from Level 1. Whilst multiplayer is where the real fun is, it again is limited by the lack of online play, it’s strictly local multiplayer only. So whilst it’s great seeing your friends get angrier and in turn drunk, it’s a little sad and lonely for the friendless out there.
Unfortunately for many, Level 1 is where All Zombies Must Die will start and end. Ultimately it’s the very style and nature of gameplay that will cause the off switch to be used by many gamers. Fortunately it’s not due to the challenge the game produces, the difficulty curve is very well mapped. It’s down to the repetitive nature of the game, with Pokémon training, there’s a visible reward and whilst walking around forests battling Metapods is dull, it’s ultimately got a goal. All Zombies Must Die’s goal is far too masked for many to reach the end of the level. Whilst it’s a great game to play in a group of people, or at a convention like we all had the pleasure of doing this year, it’s very repetitive.
Ultimately All Zombies Must Die falls into the trap that many twin-sticked shooters do, they’re trying to diversify a genre of game that’s not only saturated, but so simplistic in the first place that diversification is near impossible.