Zombies. The Undead. The Horde. We have lots of names for these brain eating freaks and an awful lot of video games to go with them. From Dead Rising and Left 4 Dead to Red Dead Redemption, Undead Nightmare, and Plants vs Zombies. But whatever zombie game you play, they all want you to do the same thing – kill as many zombies as you can.
Exor Studios latest release Zombie Driver HD is no different from that and does very little to distance itself from that tried and tested formula. The game is actually an HD remake of Zombie Driver which was released on PC in 2009, although I use the term “HD” very loosely as the graphics don’t look particularly high definition. In fact they just look like a 4 year old PC game which is fine on a PC monitor 2 feet in front of you, but on a 37 inch HD TV it loses much of the impact and clarity of running over the undead. In fact the only thing you can see clearly is the blood splatter – which looks nice – both on the road and on your vehicle (there is something strangely satisfying about seeing your pristine white limousine slowly turn blood red from all of the zombies you have run over!)
The game itself though has 3 different modes – The story, Slaughter and Blood Race, but more on Slaughter and BloodRace later. First of all, lets start with the story.
The story is set over 31 missions ranging from rescuing survivors and blowing up spawn points to destroying zombie overlords and planting nuclear bombs. But as varied as they all sound, they’re really not, the missions quickly become repetitive as they simply involve driving from point A to point B whilst running over as many zombies as possible and collecting power ups. As you go through the missions however, you’ll earn money with which you can upgrade your car with weapons and armour, the weapons range from machine guns, missiles, flame-thrower (my personal favourite) and strangely, a rail gun. Each weapon upgrade allows you to carry more ammo and eventually have a much more powerful weapon.
You’ll also unlock a variety of vehicles for you to drive throughout the course of the story and these range from taxis and police cars to tanks and the bulldozer (honestly, if there’s a better vehicle for running over zombies with, I haven’t found it!). The weapon and vehicle upgrades though, actually give a much better incentive to complete the missions than the missions and story themselves as unfortunately the story is a little dull and uninspired, and ultimately very forgettable (There actually came a point in the game where I had no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it). The voice acting is also pretty bad, not quite Resident Evil 1 bad but still pretty bad. The people you rescue all have something to say as they get into your car, but it’s clear that although they have an American accent, they are actually being voiced by an English person attempting (and usually failing) to do an American accent.
So what about the other modes? Well lets start with Slaughter mode. Slaughter mode is actually my favourite mode and is somewhat like a regular Horde mode like you would find in Left 4 Dead or Gears of War, only this time you’re in a car. You can use any of the cars that you have unlocked in the campaign mode and the more waves you survive, the better rewards and weapons you will unlock to help you in your zombie slaying ways.
The other mode is of course the Blood Race mode. Blood Race is as the name suggests, a race mode where you’re pitted against other AI opponents in a series of races around pre-determined courses and it’s a fun mode with a large variety of races. But in what seems a bit of a strange move, this mode doesn’t support multiplayer, either locally or over Xbox Live. And it very much feels like they’ve missed a trick there as multiplayer support would have been a great addition.
With a rather uninspiring and somewhat boring campaign Zombie Driver HD fails to deliver on some fronts but the Blood Drive and Slaughter Mode more than make up for it and actually make it a fun game to play.
[starreviewmulti id=1 tpl=20]
Review Score : [starreview tpl=16] Title : Zombie Driver HD
Format : XBLA
Developer : Exor Studios
Publisher : Exor Studios
Release Date : 17/10/12
Exor Studios provided SlimGamer.com with a promo code for a review copy.