[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”EXOR Studios” publishers=”Cyberfront Corporation” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”October 17, 2012″]
Over the past couple years, zombies have decided to make up for their low number of video game appearances in prior generations by invading current games as headliners, extra modes, and DLC. They are the perfect video game enemy by giving the player an endless supply of fodder to combat with understandably bad AI. That being said, gamers just might be approaching their zombie oversaturation level. Exor Studios are not trying to jump on the zombie bandwagon with Zombie Driver HD, it is actually a port of the 2009 PC title which was one of the forefather games of our zombie renaissance.
Zombie Driver takes a simple concept of a top down driving game and tasks you with killing zombies, rescuing survivors, fetch quests and general chaos. Players spend their time driving the streets and shortcutting through yards, parking lots, and off-road sections while making their way through the chaos and destruction that is typical with the zombie apocalypse. Zombies have to die and running them over is not your only option. Vehicles are upgradeable with various weapons allowing players to mow down the risen dead in more ways than one.
Cash for upgrades comes from destroying various destructible objects on the map and completing missions. Mission are typically structured as get from point a to point b and kill some zombies then collect an item or load up survivors and take them to point c. While the gameplay is simple and fun, the missions start to get repetitive and only so much entertainment can be had driving over and shooting massive amounts of zombies.
The driving in the game is responsive but lacks an arcade-y momentum that one might expect in a title like this. A good example would be while driving and attempting a turn there is no drifting taking effect. It is as if your car completely forgot about the velocity of heading in that one direction. Weapons fire straight on from the car and while that might make sense for mounted weapons, some sort of twin stick shooting style gun play would have felt at home in this title. The cars also seem to lack any real difference in health. Taxis should not be comparable to tanks. It does not matter how much you armor the taxi.
The port itself is an improvement over the PC version and adds a more comprehensive campaign with bosses, new missions, new cutscenes, new vehicles, nitro, graphical effects, and just plain runs smoother. It also sports two non-campaign modes. Slaughter is a survival mode with an endless battle against waves of zombies. Blood Race pits you against other racers in a more traditional race mode… still with zombies though. Multiplayer did not make the cut for the new version so the only way to play with friends is via leaderboard comparisons of scores. The game does display your closest friend’s score while playing Blood Race and Slaughter to attempt to instill a sense of competitiveness. While this is a nice feature, outright multiplayer would have been nice and co-op even nicer.
It is easiest to think of Zombie Driver HD as Grand Theft Auto 1 & 2 set in the zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately for Exor, Zombie Driver’s zombies won’t get the franchise building hype and controversy that GTA got with hookers and normal pedestrians. It also does not help when the gameplay while fun is outdated with no real enhancement. Releasing at the ten dollar price point, Zombie Driver HD despite most criticisms is still worth the entry fee for those that enjoy the style of gameplay it brings to the table. Co-op would have made it a no brainer for most people though.