There is no doubt, the Zombieland franchise has the right mix of grossness and humour to be entertaining. Zombieland Road Trip is a game that sits between the two movies. The Road Trip being the fab four’s journey to the White House, loosely.
The game is a rare beast, first impressions won’t grab you, but given some time it becomes a fun diversion. Mindnumbing slaughter of zombies may not be for everyone, but once you get the flow going in solo there is zen-like satisfaction. As a four player couch co-op game there are laughs aplenty in the chaos.
A real post apocalypse Twinkie hunt
Zombieland is not without faults, and my first twenty minutes did not make a good impression. Graphically it feels halfway between this generation and the last. You would be forgiven for thinking it was an old XBLA Arcade game. Also for a twin-stick shooter the camera feels too fixed, the pace too pedestrian. You start every level with nothing but a sidearm and have to quickly loot nearby vehicles and containers for better weapons. Thank God for America with every car having grenades, miniguns and melee weapons stashed in them.
The Zombies come in a few repetitive flavours, ranged, quick, heavy and exploding. No surprises there and once you get the knack of taking them down you’ll be okay. They either stream from the scenery, for example a manhole or from ‘Nests’. These Nests when the appear are either heavy vehicles which will be an objective or a Portaloo. Either way destroying them is the way to go, less Nests equals less Zombies.
Zombieland: neither quantity or quality, but still fun
Spread across ten levels with a handful of side quests the game is not huge, but does have some replay value with a NewGame+ mode. Completing the story and side quests will unlock some extra characters, which aren’t essential but can be fun. There is some strategy to using you favourite cast member, they each have a special move which is available when their meter is full. This is often a life saver and used in eat right space can be messy. Furthermore the points round up at the end of a level to give you a few skill points to distribute. Making you invest in the character to grow your speed, ammo capacity and damage. As a solo player for the most part it was great to go into battle with maxed out stats, that I had earned.
On top of the story is a Horde mode, the goal is to survive a set number of waves with their own criteria. Destroy certain objectives or kill an amount of zombies. This is the mode that works better in a crowd, and offers a few hours of mayhem.
One of those dirty secret games you sometimes turn to
Zombieland is at the low end of the scale and isn’t huge, but it can be brain numbing fun. Don’t be put off by first impressions and don’t buy it purely as a fan of the movies. My biggest issue? Is when the game pauses and you have you click through a rambling conversation between the alleged cast. The movies are witty and funny, having to read through these conversations because I can’t skip them is not.
Being a fan of twin-stick shooters helps, this is no Alienation, but I did enjoy myself and any like minded ZKOTW hunter should. Although you might forgive me if you wait for a sale, I don’t want to be Murrayed.