The current generation of consoles is seeing a whole host of last gen releases migrating across for a second shot at glory. Many of those releases come as no surprise; The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, these are games befitting a current-gen makeover……….I can’t say the same for Zombie Driver. It’s not that it was a bad game, it’s just that, well, it wasn’t a great one either. It just kind of came and went and that was it. But hey, regardless of my views, it’s back, and now it’s like ‘Ultimate’ and stuff.
As always, ‘Ultimate’ feels like a bit of a stretch, but in fairness to Exor Studios, this latest incarnation of Zombie Driver (the third in total), really does feel like the definitive version of this forgettable but still, strangely likeable video game.
The core experience is exactly the same as it has always been – you drive increasingly powerful vehicles with an array of increasingly powerful weapons through hordes of zombies as you attempt to rescue survivors scattered about its clichéd, but nonetheless well represented post-apocalyptic world. Sure, there’s a story, and heck, some of the comic book cut-scenes are actually pretty easy on the eye, but for the most part, the story is utter nonsense and the voice acting, well, the less said about that the better.
Still, a game called, Zombie Driver was never likely to have an unforgettable narrative was it? That’s fine though; the brief moments of dialogue are little more than thinly veiled excuses to get you back in your vehicle and back to mowing down all of those pesky zombies. It’s pretty terrible, but it gets you from A to B, so job done I suppose. There are side missions and additional quests, but for the most part, this is a game about collecting survivors, killing zombies and getting the hell out of Dodge. A score multiplier system does keep things immediate and a collection of enjoyable boss battles do a decent job of breaking up the otherwise rather repetitive gameplay, but despite these rare moments of variety, Zombie Driver is a game with few tricks up its sleeve and a reliance on mechanics and designs that are only enjoyable in relatively small doses.
The vehicles handle fine and ploughing through zombies is always fun, but despite the mechanics being mostly solid (other than some strange inconsistencies relating to destructible scenery), Zombie Driver is invariably a game that you will likely bore of long before you run out of actual content.
In fairness to Exor Studios though, Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition is home to a wealth of content. With all previously released DLC unlocked from the start, Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition delivers a relatively hefty single player story mode alongside a competitive race mode, fittingly entitled, ‘Blood Race’ and, what essentially amounts to a horde mode in the form of, ‘Slaughter’.
Slaughter is certainly the more enjoyable of the two non-story based modes with the simple aim of survival and high score chasing perfectly suited to the core gameplay and open spaces. Blood Race on the other hand suffers from the games’ slightly inaccurate handling and a complete lack of online or local multiplayer. In fact, the whole game suffers from a lack of online or local multiplayer. I’m not saying it’s inclusion would have turned this into a masterpiece, but given the irreverent nature of the gameplay, a bit of manic co-op gameplay certainly wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Zombie Driver was always a relatively attractive video game, but on the Xbox One, it really has seen a jump in quality from the HD edition on 360. While unlikely to give the boys at Crytek any sleepless nights, at 1080p, 60fps and home to an array of new particle effects and double the amount of onscreen zombies found in previous iterations, Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition, I think it’s fair to say, is something of a looker.
Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition is ultimately little more than a solid if unquestionably forgettable download only release. It’s enjoyable enough for a few hours of zombie slaying fun, but despite the additional DLC and improved visuals, this still feels like a decidedly mid-tier video game. Certainly not bad, but unlikely to illicit any kind of emotion response.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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