The concept behind Zombie Driver HD is a simple one, as is its execution. Drive, run over zombies, rescue people, move said people from one location to another, run down more zombies. Pretty simple.
As you might expect, you essay the role of the driver in Zombie Driver HD. The game begins with your commandeering of a taxi cab, but you’ll go through a number of vehicles as you progress through the course of the proceedings. All told, you get 31 missions, most of whose parameters were noted above: a given mission will either require you to rescue people, defend them, destroy a giant or mutated zombie “boss”, move people from location to location or pick up objects and return with them to home base. Each mission comes with a voluntary “side mission” which you can completely ignore if so inclined. That said, it’s not a bad idea to complete these, as a successful side mission allows you to unlock extra cars or money, which can be used to upgrade your vehicles and weapons. One big downside is that only one weapon can be used at a time; there is no option to store up weapons for later use. However, weapon powerups are found scattered throughout the level and can easily be switched up. If you do run out of ammo on a particular weapon, rest assured it won’t be too hard to find another weapon or some health.
There’s not much to speak of in terms of graphics; while competent, you’re locked into an extreme high overhead view, with zombies appearing as little more than ants shuffling towards your vehicle, and their death throes are fairly unremarkable at this height. Think those annoying computer-based hack and slash games, without the option to pull in for a more realistic or gripping on-the-spot view – the effect is extremely distancing, to say the least.
Further on this point, the default camera setting is pretty bad. You’re better off switching the camera view to static: the default , while labeled “smart camera view” is anything but. You actually get hit with one of the true banes of video game design, in that the camera spins around in nauseating circles…and this happens a lot.
The high point of all this aesthetically occurs during the brief nighttime sequences, which bring to mind vague reminiscences of more densely plotted and structured games such as Silent Hill or Alan Wake. There’s no practical difference, but as with most things in life worth wasting any time on, things go better with night.
There are three modes of play in Zombie Driver HD. The Story Mode is where you get to play through the game’s 31 missions. Blood Race pits you against several computer controlled cars racing to see who can win the race or last the longest. Slaughter Mode sets you against the zombies, in a time-coded survival mode. Each wave of zombies you survive through rewards you with power-ups and health to help you last through the next one, with each wave becoming progressively more challenging.
One of the biggest disappointments with Zombie Driver HD is the lack of multiplayer. While you do have the two steps removed competition against other players on the leaderboard, that’s cold comfort for the loss of potentially have it out with someone in Slaughter Mode or Blood Race.
As noted earlier, as you progress through the game, you’re given the option to unlock new vehicles. Perhaps the strangest moment of the game occurred when I unlocked the “Muscle Car”, only to realize I just unlocked my own car (minus the hood stripes)! Boy, that was weird…
Zombie Driver HD is actually a fun, if mindless way to waste an hour or two. There’s really not a lot to it all in all: missions are extremely similar to each other, and can get repetitive after awhile. If the camera could be improved (greatly, on both fronts) and they’d given the option to play multiplayer with friends, Zombie Driver could’ve been a recommended, if simplistic game. As it stands, it’s a fair one, with a few glaring flaws, and not a whole hell of a lot to shout about.
The game is extremely fast paced and a bit on the bloody side. But I guess that can be expected when dealing with zombies. Rio always pukes when Kimber drags us to those kind of pictures. I don’t know about him, he can be such a sissy sometimes…
This a great game to take out some frustration on! If you can’t mow that damn Rockin’ Roadster (and its occupants!) down in the streets, then I guess vehicular homicide on zombies will have to do. Being the fantastic driver that I am (I won that race, not that pink haired bimbo!), I can see this game appealing to both racing fans and folks who just like to cause destruction.
Best Song to describe the game: Nightmare from The Fan.
Overall Score: 6.5