“Help!, It’s a Zombie Apocalypse!”
Ahh, Zombies. The lovable, decaying hordes that seem to have become the prime suspects in every other videogame in recent years. Don’t get me wrong, there is something quite satisfying about fighting this mob enemy, or at least there was. Now it just feels like we have defeated the undead in every possible way, over and over again, so it is time to move on to something new.
Which brings me neatly to All Zombies Must Die! from Doublesix, a twin-stick, top-down, Zombie shooter with cartoony visuals. Yay, more Zombies. Surely it wouldn’t have taken too much to replace the Zombies with Fairies or something? All Zombies Must Die? – How about All Zombie Games Must Die?
My apologies, I am suffering from ZombieStroke. Realistically, All Zombies Must Die! is not a bad little game. The player controls one of four characters, once they have been unlocked, in the form of Jack, a gamer, Rachel, Jack’s ex, Bryan, the nerd, and Luxo the, umm, alien. The action takes place in the town of Deadhill and revolves around the simple premise of trying to survive a Zombie apocalypse, as you would expect.
The environments in which the player has to survive are quite detailed and filled with hidden goodies. Cupboards, wardrobes and even bins can contain all manner of cool things to find, if you can spend the time searching them. Right from the get go, the Zombie hordes come thick and fast, leaving the player with no time to search for stuff, and certainly no chance to admire the cartoon detail of the town as all you can see are Zombies. It is all quite chaotic.
But fortunately the controls work really well and will have the player dispatching the undead by the dozen. The left stick is for movement and the right stick for aiming, with a trigger button to fire whatever weapon the player is currently using. The weapons are varied, with numerous melee and ranged weapons available and the chance to upgrade weapons through the limited crafting system.
Progression through the game will consist mostly of missions that will see the player having to collect a given number of a certain item, generally by dispatching certain types of Zombies. This is all well and good to begin with, but rapidly becomes a chore as the player finds themselves moving back and forwards between areas time and again. The visual style is fun and entertaining, reminding me a lot of Costume Quest. But, like many other aspects of this game, it isn’t really anything new.
However, the game really shines when the player has a couple of buddies around for some local co-op action. It is a massive shame that online co-op was not included, but the local co-op does a good job of making up for this omission. With only a couple more players the repetitive nature of the game quickly becomes highly enjoyable chaos.
All Zombies Must Die! is a solid game that doesn’t really do anything wrong. Unfortunately, the lack of originality and the repetition leave the game struggling to stand out in a crowd, or horde, of other Zombie titles. Playing alone will emphasise these faults. But if you are lucky enough to convince some friends to share a couch with you, the faults become largely unimportant as everyone will be having too much fun. Buy it for the co-op.