Kill those ZOMBIES!
Zombie games are a dime-a-dozen, good zombie games are hard to find. What with Dead Nation and Dead Block and all those others with zombies in them. Then you have Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 as well as Dead Island, there's a lot of undead that need killin'. New to the playground then, is All Zombies Must Die...and we take a quick peek at it to see if it's worth your hard earned cash.
Deadhill has a problem, that problem is ZOMBIES. You are going to embark on a blood-soaked cartoon quest to escape the Zombpocolypse and do lots of the undead freaks in whilst you're at it. The perfect antidote to yet another night in watching: Saturday Night Fever. There's a story to All Zombies Must Die but it's not really all that important, compared to sending hundreds of the flesh eating bad guys to their doom in a variety of ways. The cut-scenes are simple and so is the story, it also has nothing to do with Saturday Night Fever.
All Zombies is a cute cartoon twin-stick style shooter, with some lite-RPG elements and an emphasis on lots of blasting action. The environments are littered with pickups, weapons, hazards and hordes of the living dead to slay. The lite-RPG rolls in via quests that take you all over the levels, and these things are pretty big. These containers contain loot, loot and EXP, ammo and so on. Some of the loot you'll need for quests and some of it can be made into more powerful versions of weapons, rather like the crafting systems we've seen in Dead Rising and Dead Island.
There are 4 characters, Jack, his ex-girlfriend Rachel, Bryan (a scientist) and Luxo. Luxo is the most interesting since he's an alien and he can kick all kinds of zombie ass. None of the characters are particularly great, save for Luxo, who I really wish had been voiced by the creepy alien guy from American Dad. There are not too many weapons that you can craft, but it's enough for this kind of game really. We would have liked to have seen a few more, but there's always DLC.
The game has a compass that points you to important and quest related items/locations, so it never feels as though you're at a loss for where you need to go next to progress further.
The controls are simple, fun and the gameplay is satisfying enough. There's character levelling and the kind of things you'd expect from a twin-stick shooter meets RPG.
All Zombies Must Die straddles the line between semi-realistic and cartoon as far as the graphics go, it's a welcome break from the usual game palette, being colourful and fun at the same time. It's not overly gore-ridden so younger gamers could actually enjoy it. Mind you, they've probably all seen the latest Slasher films by now and are less bothered by spraying guts than their parents. The graphics are also smooth, there are no frame-rate issues when lots of things are going on, on screen.
To go with the fun and colourful graphics, the animations are on the exaggerated side as well. They're big and bold, especially the shambling hordes of flesh eating monsters. They run smoothly and that's enough for us.
The physics systems are what you might expect in a game like this, there's a lot of emphasis on impacts from weapons and explosions do a large area effect.
Zombie AI is typical, they will continue to come at you until you're dead or they are. There's really not much to say, there are a few other AI systems in play but they're good enough to provide a fun and frenetic Smash-TV kind of atmosphere.
Good sound design combined with a solid sound engine. Lots of zombie noises - and we mean, lots.
The music for the game is decent enough with a few tunes that stand out from the rest, nothing that's terrible.
All dialogue is basically text based so you can put your own voice on things...
Thin character dialogue and typical story. You're not going to find deep writing here and to be honest, it's all about shooting hordes of zombies.
All Zombies has cooperative play for up to 4 local players, no online play at all. The lack of an online play option is somewhat disturbing and there is friendly fire, so you have to be very careful not to kill each other. This can get amusingly bad early on in the game since 4 players can cause a lot of damage to each other over a very short period of time.
The Final Bite
It's not a bad twin-stick shooter; it's a bit shallow compared to Dead Nation and so on. It's got real potential; the lack of online play really causes it to become a single player or rare couch co-op affair. So it lost a few points for that.