I think I need a car wash…
Appearing on previous gen consoles, PC and even iOS devices, EXOR Studios’ Zombie Driver has now made its way onto the Xbox One as an Ultimate Edition, including all manner of visual and gameplay upgrades along with all previously released DLC. Has the wholesale squishing of Zombies ever looked so good?
Do we really need a story as an excuse to drive a car over a plentiful supply of Zombies? No, not really, which is just as well as Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition on Xbox One is a bit light on that side of things. Basically, Zombies seem to have overrun a city and the player is thankfully in a position to drive in and out to rescue trapped survivors. Comic book style cut scenes and woefully bad voice acting and dialogue will guide the player forward. It is quite lucky really that the gameplay itself is more than enough to keep the player coming back for more.
The player starts out with a taxi and a simple mission to drive into the city and reach a stranded VIP, protect them for a moment, get rewarded and then get back to the safe area. The game has a top down view and the expansive map around which the player can travel means that there are plenty of opportunities to cruise different streets on the way to a checkpoint. The map itself can take a little while to navigate with many roads and different routes available. But what makes the journey more interesting are the Zombies.
There are absolutely loads of the undead shambling their way around the streets and nothing is more pleasurable than mowing them down in your car. Hit them at high speed and glide straight through them, leaving blood and guts in your wake. Hit a large gathering of the dead, or slow down too much for that tight corner, and it is easy to get overwhelmed, something we have all learned from watching popular Zombie shows. Fortunately upgrades and item drops, including some death dealing weapons and speed boosting nitros, are readily available to break up the hordes and ensure that your Zombie slaughter continues. Before very long, the Zombie body count will reach the thousands.
The campaign missions are not the most varied, with driving to an area to save people being the most common reason for heading into the city. These missions will see the player visiting different areas of the city, which will raise their own complications, but generally speaking things do get repetitive quickly. Side missions and objectives give the player something else to work towards, with welcomed upgrades being the reward of choice. But whether the player is racing towards a group of survivors, trying to reach a set body count or taking down a boss (which are pretty impressive, by the way), it will be the mindless violence of the gameplay that has the player coming back for more.
The player isn’t limited to a taxi, even though it is a lot of fun. More vehicles become available and driving a bus through the Zombies masses really has to be experienced to be believed. There are some 15 vehicles in total, each of which offers new challenges and new ways to squish the undead. Adding to this variety are the Blood Races and Slaughter Arenas, offering variations on the gameplay to keep things fresh.
Aside from the extra content included in this Ultimate Edition, there are a few changes that will be most noticeable to those who played the previous versions of the game, but will still be enjoyed by those new to mass Zombie slaughter. Item drops are more plentiful, which is handy as there are twice as many of the wandering dead on screen as before. More Zombies mean more blood stains to enjoy with the glorious visuals. The frame rate is fast and smooth, and the game is lovely to look at. You would be forgiven for expecting a game with a top-down view to be perhaps uninspiring in its looks, but advanced particle effects, lighting and even weather come together to create an atmospheric and highly detailed game.
There is a certain repetitive nature to Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition, but there is also a huge amount of fun to be had in driving through, and over, Zombies. The vehicle handling is great and everything looks amazing. However, those who have played the game previously may well be hard pushed to justify buying the game again for the visual improvements and added DLC. But for those who have yet to experience the simple joy of driving through Zombies, Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition is the best version of the game to play. Now, can someone clean my windscreen?