In case you didn’t know, I was down in London a couple of weeks ago at MCM Expo. I spent the majority of my weekend playing games and filling my face with sweets from around the world. Last week, I reviewed Batman after falling head over heels in love. However, this week, you’re lucky enough to get a preview of All Zombies Must Die. That’s right; I’m keeping up with the times! So I picked up my sweaty controller, smiled at the strangers playing with me and dove straight into the game.
Personally, I dislike zombies. With a passion. They scare the living hell out of me, which would technically make the hell within me part zombie, meaning that essentially, I hate a part of myself. Either way, this is a zombie game. In case you hadn’t noticed, the title gives it away a slight bit. Usually, I wouldn’t go within a mile of games such as this, but this game is different, this game doesn’t take itself too seriously which makes it extremely fun. Jack, a gamer such as you and I, wakes up one day to find himself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. To make things worse, he has to form a group with his ex-girlfriend, a crazy scientist and an alien.
So who are the characters you can play as? Well, as previously mentioned, there’s Jack, who gets the niggling feeling that he’s just another part of a videogame, yet his life depends on killing many, many zombies. It’s all good though, as he wields a shotgun throughout the game. The perfect zombie killer right?
Then there’s his ex, Rachel. As with the majority of exes, she hates your guts, due to always being second best, right behind videogames. Ouch. Despite her hatred of games, she manages to survive the most famous gaming enemy by carrying around a sub-machine gun (perhaps!).
Brian is the crazy scientist. Because of this, he finds this whole zombie experience extremely fascinating, especially as he has a revolver to keep him safe. There’s something a bit suspicious about him though. Keep your eyes open.
Finally, there’s Luxo the alien. Basically, he’s an extraterrestrial with a sword who likes to swear a lot. Sounds great!
Each character has their own special ability which is a nice touch. It means that once you’ve played through one time, you immediately want to start again with a different character. Apart from this, the game is simple; you plough your way through zombies, reviving team-mates, collecting weapons and completing simple objectives such as bringing this piece of wood over to the other side of the screen and talking to people who stand around casually, almost as if it’s just another day. Every few moments, the difficulty changes, sometimes becoming easier and sometimes much harder, which could annoy some people but it certainly keeps you on your toes. The game is only really very fun when you have the full four-player action going on, because, as soon as someone leaves, AI takes over and it’s not that great, meaning that you’re reviving a useless character every couple of minutes, even though you’d much rather they stay dead. Hopefully this will be fixed before release though, as it could cause the game to drag on at points, potentially ruining the game.
The game had a very cartoony feel, which made it much more pleasurable to play. Colours were very bright, once again playing on the fact that this game probably doesn’t take itself too seriously as a zombie game; it feels much more like something you could introduce your grandma to at Christmas without giving her a heart attack from the fear of getting munched on that night. However, there were a couple of noticeable glitches. In between areas, you receive hints and tips on the game, complete with controls, although the images for buttons were missing at this time. The other huge glitch is that the textures on paths were a mixture of grey and stony (the latter being the most desirable texture), which distracts you from the action every now and then, becoming a rather large annoyance. Remember that this was just the beta version though, and will probably be fixed way before the release date, or with a patch soon after.
Unfortunately, the music was not noteworthy at all, though you’re too busy smashing your way through zombies to care whether it’s the best thing you’ve heard in your life or if they’re just playing Rebecca Black’s Friday on repeat in the background. Thankfully, the zombie sound effects more than made up for this, sitting on the delicate line between amusing and realistic.
Overall, it was a rather enjoyable way to spend 10 minutes or so of my life and I certainly recommend a purchase once it comes out towards the end of the year. Keep your eyes open as it groans its way to Steam, Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network within the next 7 weeks or so. Terrifyingly good and definitely deserves the 8/10 it’s being awarded, bearing in mind you have three friends to play with. If not, find some, or you may be thoroughly disappointed.