Review | All Zombies Must Die! (XBLA)
You know what we don’t have enough of yet? Zombie games. It’s become the most saturated genre that isn’t really a genre that we’ve seen in a long time so when another game that features more genocide of the undead hits the market, it’s hard for it to make a huge impression. Developer DoubleSix decided to bring the apocalypse to the town of Deadhill, a place that apparently is occupied by the most prepared-for-a-zombie-outbreak people imaginable, in the arcade title All Zombies Must Die!
When you hop into Deadhill, you’ll take over one of the four playable characters as you grab a shotgun, assault rifle, cricket bat, or whatever blood splattering weapon you prefer to fight off the oncoming hoard. Your character choice is a little more than just a skin, as each character has a secondary attack (examples include a fire torch and a cattle prod) that is unique to them. You’ll be able to have up to three of your friends grab a spot on the couch next to you and take over one of the other characters and fight along side you. Unfortunately, and somewhat unbelievably, there is no online co-op, so if you’re looking to work with a full roster you’re going to have to deal with a bit of a crowded room. The game is far more fun with at least one partner by your side, though, so just pick your friends carefully.
You’ll find yourself really in the thick of things as the zombies start swarming, but it’s not quite as glamorous a fight as it may seem. In fact, tedious is probably the best word for it. It’s a blast for the first twenty minutes or so when all the weapons are fresh and the gore splashing and skull shattering still has its bloody charm. After that, you pretty much get the idea of the game and the only difference you’ll notice is which corner you get trapped in and have to blast your way out of.
What All Zombies Must Die does to try to keep things interesting is add in some light RPG elements. You’ll get some basic leveling and character customization that will drive you to play a little longer than you might normally. You’ll run into some specialty zombies that will drop interesting items, and that leads to where some of the most fun of the game comes in: item crafting. There’s a bit of a rewarding feeling when you blast through the bodies of the undead with an electrified rifle or a radioactive sword. The only issue with the crafting is that if you combine an item with one gun, you can pretty much assume it does the same thing to every other gun, too. Still, it makes the slaughter put a bit more of a smile on your face.
All things considered, All Zombies Must Die is a properly priced game. You’ll drop $10 on it, and you’ll probably get about $10 worth of entertainment out of it. If you go into the game expecting a budget version of your favorite zombie titles, you’ll probably be disappointed. This isn’t Left 4 Dead or even Zombie mode in Call of Duty. It’s a cartoony, quirky, considerably clever game with very little variation in the actual gameplay. You’ll do the same thing over and over, and item crafting and RPG elements exist to provide little tweaks to try to keep you going on the never-ending quests and fighting off the hoards of zombies that will induce more deja vu than anything else. The game would be infinitely more worthwhile with an online co-op option, but alas it’s just not there. It’s fun for awhile, and there’s enough there to get some enjoyment out of it. For $10 it’s worth the purchase.
3 out of 5