Putting zombies into a game seems all the rage over the years and funnily enough if it’s zombies you’re after, Zombie Driver HD is your dream game. Developed by Exor Studios, this Crazy Taxi meets Left 4 Dead title joins an array of games to make their way over from PC to console.
Zombie Driver could not have been a more factually correct title if they tried. The premise is simple. There’s been some sort of nuclear explosion whereby you are one of a few survivors, and almost everyone else has become infected, turning into a blood seeking, death driven zombie. The army are relying on you, yes you, to save the day and save the many survivors that are situated around the area. Obviously while doing all this you get your chance to kill as many zombies, who are in their hordes of hundreds, as possible. It’s a bit of a weak storyline but at least you know exactly what you’re getting, and exactly what's about to come.
Thankfully for you this isn’t done in one go, instead you are tasked with thirty one missions with each offering a similar challenge. Get from A to B (and sometimes C), kill zombies, save survivors or do another task, kill zombies, then return to base....while killing zombies on the way. The faster you complete the primary mission the higher up the leaderboards you’ll be against your friends and the world. It’s not all plain sailing though, as if you let enough zombies attack your car, it will begin to smoke up, eventually leading to your car blowinh up and forcing you to restart the mission.
Using the Grand Theft Auto II over-the-top style camera you will have to use your knowledge of the map to cut through gardens, drive along motorways and navigate junctions in your bid to gain a super fast time. The camera can prove annoying at times, especially if you’re caught in a tight spot, leading to you occasionally losing your sense of direction. The best idea is to not get yourself cornered in a dead end, especially if there are zombies closing in.
If you find the missions relatively easy you can try and complete the secondary objectives that are also offered. These objectives set the men from the boys and provide you with more of a challenge when playing a mission, further expanding some life in the game. These objectives can be anything from destroying a certain amount of zombie horde nests, to making sure a certain vehicle doesn’t take more than 50% damage. If passed you’ll also get new treats including cash and new cars.
Just driving over zombies would be boring after a while, so you’ll need some weaponry to bolster your killing methods. Machine guns, flamethrowers, rail guns and powerful rockets are all available as you progress through the game. They are picked up in the form of power-ups; as is ammo, nitro for your car and the all important repair-car power-up. Using the powerups smartly is the key to a great time and it’s always worth keeping your eye out for where they are spawning in the area you are based. There has been many a time when I’ve been searching for some more ammo and the horde of zombies around me has proved too much.
In between each mission you get the chance to upgrade your car’s armour, speed and artillery with the money you have made during any previous missions. You can also choose what vehicle you want to use in your next mission (depending on how far you are in the game) including buses, limos, trucks and even an ambulance. It’s kind off ironic to be killing people driving an ambulance, yet extremely satisfying.
The campaign mode can get repetitive, which is why it’s good that there are two further game modes available; Blood Race and Slaughter mode. Blood Race is a tournament where you can race the AI around different tracks using your guns to try and shoot the other cars to slow them down. The Slaughter mode is my favourite. It’s a high scoring game whereby on a chosen map you have to survive waves of zombies by killing as many as possible without blowing up your car. As a high scoring mode it makes for great competition against your friends with you even getting updates on how close you are to your friend’s scores. This is by far the best mode in the game and the replay value is endless.
I was shocked to see that there is no multiplayer aspect to Zombie Driver HD, especially as the Blood Race mode is perfect for it. Driving around shooting your online mates all vying to be crowned champion would have been great, and in this day and age it’s a shame.
Graphically the game is as it says on the tin, HD quality. My television screen oozed squirts of red zombie blood while the explosions of the abandoned cars provided some much needed change in colour. The visuals might be up to standard however there is a noticeable flaw in the engine sound of the cars. While piling through a pack of zombies the car begins to slow down, and rightly so as there are bodies in the way, but the sound of the engine continues to accelerate as if the car is driving along at full pace.
Overall Zombie Driver HD is an enjoyable fast paced driving game where killing zombies comes as standard. Despite the lack of multiplayer, if you’re looking for a game that you can just relax and play without getting stressed out, but still want a challenge if desired, then you’ll enjoy what’s on offer here, and if you have 800MS Points ready to spend, just go for it.
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