Zombie Driver ReviewPublisher: Exor Studios
UK Price (as reviewed): £6.99 (inc VAT
US Price (as reviewed): $9.95 (ex. Tax)
Game reviews on bit-tech
are usually at least two pages long, stretching to double that for epics such as Mass Effect 2
. When it comes to Zombie Driver
though, even two pages, I think, would require serious padding – such as some speculation on the iPad and the future of the human race… and how its lack of multi-tasking means we’re all going to turn into zombies.
Don’t worry though, this review will still answer all the questions a bit-tech
review usually does. So, first up, we usually discuss what the game is about. Handily, the name explains everything. There are zombies, and you are a driver. By bringing your car together with the zombies, at speed, you can plow a path to safety for survivors holed up throughout the wrecked city the game is set in.
There are 17 levels, although in reality, they’re all the same: drive to a variety of points in the city, rescue survivors, bring them back to base. The more zombies you kill, the more cash the mayor/general (it’s not entirely clear) who’s in control gives you. You can then spend this on vehicle upgrades and weapons. No, we’re not sure why you’re not just given them, other than the fact the game needs some structure.
Baby you can drive my car... as long as you're not undead.
Once you’ve spent your cash and chosen which car to take – you begin with a taxi, and later find a sports car and a bus – you set off through the city, driving through the zombie hordes as you attempt to get to your destination. It’s a little like Crazy Taxi
, only without that game’s perfect time and fare structure.
Graphically, the game is viewed from a top down perspective, meaning it’s most reminiscent of the first two Grand Theft Auto
titles. Other reviews have complained about the camera movements inducing nausea, but we found it generally fine – if prone to being a little too zoomed in. The graphics are 3D and surprisingly decent for such a leanly priced game. It runs briskly on modest hardware, too – a GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB was fine for 1,680 x 1,050 with 2x AA.
Nvidia PhysX is used to enable well-modelled destruction of parts of the city such as fences, lamp posts and benches to occur when you blast through in your car.
Slip sliding away.
There’s no multiplayer and only one game mode to speak of – playing through the 17 levels – but the devs are getting ready to add some DLC to the game which includes a survival mode with endless waves of zombies.
Which leaves only one question, really: is it fun? Yes, it is – in short bursts. The game isn’t complex at all. There are no boss battles, and there’s no mini-map once you leave the base, so there’s no real way to plan your approach. It’s simply a case of drive to the objective, shooting, burning and splatting zombies as you go, then killing the horde outside the hideout. Collect the passengers, and do the same thing on the way back.
There’s not much to it, but then it’s a game called Zombie Driver
. And let’s not underestimate how much fun petrol-powered carnage is. Handbrake turning through a gurning crowd of zombies, leaving red tire tracks marking your way is always fun, and the game is capable of cranking up the tension – from about mission four onwards the big mobs of zombies can easily overwhelm you if you slow down, and one wrong turn can lead you into some desperate scrapes. You’ll find yourself burying the up key in an attempt to grind some more power from your car’s engine, and leaving the zombies for dust is often a relief.
Just as the quotidian title doesn’t hide anything, neither does the price. At £7 in the UK and $10 in the US on Steam, Zombie Driver
is a fun game that’s ideal for a quick 20 minute gaming session. Even better, if the devs keep supporting it – in addition to the DLC, it also supports mods – it may prove to have a surprisingly long life. There's even a decent demo so it's easy to see what it's all about.