Returning From The Grave:

"Zombie Driver: Immortal Edition" is a title that EXOR studios has been summoning back from the dead for three console generations now. That fact alone is the first hint that there may just be something special about this seemingly simple zombie smashing title. The original version of this game, "Zombie Driver", shambled onto the Xbox 360 arcade in October of 2012. It quickly spread to the PS3. By 2014 the game had mutated into "Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition" and spread to the current generation of consoles. With minimal tweaking between releases this game has continued to trudge on through the night as the little zombie game that just won't die.

The current form of this endearing title goes by "Zombie Driver: Immortal Edition", which seems absolutely appropriate considering its continued existence as an e-shop mainstay. This version will be coming to both XBOX one and Switch, however, I had the pleasure of playing the Switch version of the game. Considering this title revolves almost exclusively around driving a car about town and murdering zombies, the Switch was a nice fit for quick in and out sessions, which is the way I imagine most people will be interacting with "Zombie Driver". Thats not to say that there isn't any reason to put your Switch on the dock and experience this game on the big screen, there certainly is! It's simply that this is a game that I see slotting nicely into being a quick diversion during a commute to work, or something to do during a short 15 minute break.

A Fresh Coat of Blood:

"Zombie Driver Immortal Edition" has received a handful of tweaks to the overall gameplay as well as "extra crisp HD visuals" running at a steady 60 FPS. This is nice and feels especially true regarding gameplay, considering how tight the actual driving mechanics feel when behind the wheel. While you are able to upgrade your vehicle with a modest arsenal of heavy artillery, your ability to effectively build up speed and then use the handbrake to drift through large crowds of undead will prove just as integral to thinning the herds. 

The sharp HD graphics are not lost in handheld mode or on larger screens. As there are often upwards of 50-60 zombies in certain clusters as you go flying through the city, it is extremely nice to not see the frame rate dip as you go plowing through deep thickets of rotten flesh, blood splashing all the while. While this may sound extremely grotesque (and I suppose it is) the general campy delivery and sense of 1990's gaming homage makes it far more palatable. That's not to say this the game isn't extremely violent, it is. It's just that it takes itself less seriously than a lot of undead survival games out there, so there is little weight given to the act of dispatching literally hundreds of undead per level. Considering the sheer amount of blood you will have caked on your windshield by the end of this game's Campaign, giving this title a little light-hearted, B-movie levity is more than welcome. 

Out on the Town:

The general atmosphere of the sizable map that you will be navigating throughout the Campaign mode is one of the games' most charming features. While it can be occasionally frustrating figuring out exactly what you can and can't plow your vehicle through from a top-down perspective, you quickly adapt and will find yourself having a blast simply navigating the realistic, mid-sized district that the game takes place in. In fact the driving is fun enough and challenging enough that the zombies almost become just another obstacle to avoid as you find yourself racing to the next destination. While the map never changes certain levels highlight different areas. Some take place at night and during weather events. During some of these missions the cobblestones and bricks of the city glisten in your headlights as the rain beats down, making you truly appreciate the variety and detail given to every feature of the map. Extra detail is given to realistic city layouts as well, and the feeling that you are truly navigating a small-town city in peril is effectively driven home throughout the various levels and design of the Campaign.

Variety is the Spice of Death:

The assortment of weapons given to you in this game to dispatch the moaning legions with are basically the stock essentials we have come to expect in vehicular combat games and zombie slayers alike. Machine guns, rockets, and flamethrowers are all present and upgradeable. This is in addition to a variety of different cars you can unlock all with unique stats regarding Armor, Speed and Ramming. The weapons are all nice to get you out of a jam, but the real fun in killing zombies comes from drifting at high speed through large crowds of them while using nitro boosts and the handbrake. 

While there are a variety of weapons in the game, there is also a nice assortment of zombie types to use them on. "Left4Dead" established the typical zombie subtypes years ago and these subtypes remain in "Zombie Driver: Immmortal Edition". They tend to stick generally to the similar permutations of the standard Zombie we have all seen before in other games. We have big exploding fatsos, rock flinging jerks and giant meatball corpse mounds. While it would have been nice to have some opponents that require unique methods to dispose of, I truly do appreciate the games singular dedication to plowing the undead down with automobiles.

Conclusion:

While I have only discussed the Campaign mode of this game there are two other modes worth mentioning. A racing mode called "Blood Race" that has you pitted against three other CPU controlled opponents in a "Mario-Kart" style race with weapons and zombies to contend with. This mode may receive the ability to race against friends in the future, its current single player only format leaves something to be desired. The primary mode that will bring most people back after the Campaign is the Slaughter mode. This mode is essentially the games Horde mode, where you are pitted against an endless onslaught of increasingly difficult waves of enemies. Leaderboard chasing is essentially the only form of multiplayer currently available, but that will be plenty for some. The central concept of top-down vehicular slaughter is delivered in a solid enough package that I'm certain this game will continue to solidify itself as an arcade title that just won't stay in the grave.