How many zombie games have you gone through by now? I’m betting that number is relatively high, since zombies just seem to have a way of taking over the world of gaming. I’m not quite sure what our fascination with these cannibalistic creatures are, but they’ve been very prevalent in virtual reality so far, with possibly the most popular title being Arizona Sunshine.
The latest addition to this undead family comes in the form of Bloody Zombies from publisher, nDreams. What makes this title unique is that it’s a side-scroller experience – certainly not something you see every day in the virtual realm. Bloody Zombies originally launched for PS4 and PSVR earlier this year and finally made a rotting shuffle to PC and PC VR. The title released for $14.99 on Steam on September 12th, 2017 with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift support. And I got to give the zombies of London a brain smashing time, using the Vive. The game allows up to four-player co-op, but I tackled this one solo. Though cross-platform co-op is very much alive with this title so don’t hesitate to try a game your non-VR friends.
Check out my gameplay video below:
Being a side-scroller beat em’ up with an undead theme, Bloody Zombies wouldn’t count as very original. However, by adding VR support, this side-scroller suddenly gained some traction on the VR circuit. The visuals are instantly pleasing and it feels right – looking at the cartoonish characters up close, from within the headset. While the visuals are still flat and mostly one-dimensional, being able to look around at everything in virtual reality made it feel like I was interacting with one of those children’s pop-up books. The issue here, for me, is that it was hard at times to correctly judge the depth of field, which meant that I would oftentimes kick or punch behind an enemy instead of directly in front of it.
Another issue I had with the visuals is that there was little to no variation in elevation. Meaning that each level was basically a flat run from my left to my right with some blocking structures added here and there for the character to get over or through.
Speaking of running. The pacing of the characters and zombies were somewhat frustrating at times. The game moves slowly with the zombies simply getting the upper hand in lieu of massive numbers and being hard to kill. So the game restricted movement to one block of the road at a time, essentially trapping me in with a bunch of zombies until I had offed them all. Which left me with the distinct feeling of moving at a snail’s pace, one undead-filled square at a time, to the finish line.
Be Gentle. It’s My First Time Smashing Brains.
Probably the most prominent feature of Bloody Zombies is the combat. Which makes sense since the whole game revolves around kicking zombie butt. There are four playable characters in the game, who differ, mostly, in aesthetics. Though you can customize each character’s skill set. There are a number of options and pickup-ables that allow you to diversify the way you take on the many zombies that shuffle your way. One of the problems I had here would be that it doesn’t really matter in the end since I pretty much got through with button smashing and sticking to the beginner moves I had from the start. Another one being that the developers clearly didn’t change the UI for PC after porting it from console. I had to continually look up the key bindings for the keyboard since the game kept showing those for a gamepad.
Besides the many attack options the game offers, it also throws a variety of zombies at you, which adds some flavor to a game that would otherwise have been somewhat monotonous. A lot like Plants vs Zombies, there are some zombies with special abilities and some that are harder to kill than others. But also like that cutesy little plant game, this one didn’t try to make the zombies challenging through creative AI but rather throws as many meatbags at you as it sanely can. Essentially making it a button smashing punch through as you simply try to do as much damage in one go as you can.
Overall, I still found the gameplay of Bloody Zombies very entertaining and I think the various attack options, as well as multiplayer gameplay, adds a lot of replay value to it. So if you’ve got a hankering to kick some undead guts in a unique setting (for VR at least) then make sure to give Bloody Zombies a go.
Title: Bloody Zombies
Developer: Paw Print Games
Release Date: 12 September 2017