#KILLALLZOMBIES is a game that was vaguely on my radar almost 2 years ago when it launched on PlayStation 4, but life being what it was, never ended up in my collection. It’s a zombie game. It’s a twin stick shooter. It’s on console. 3 big check marks for Heazie’s list. Luckily for me (and of course, happily), the game was recently released on Xbox One and I’m now able to massacre hordes of shamblers to my heart’s content. Sadly, I think I’ve exhausted most of my carnage on this game early. #ThisMakesMeSad
Developer Beatshapers has a fine idea here. Take the player and drop him into an open grid-based area and let him shoot things. It works on paper just on the base of it, but in practice, since what is built around that idea isn’t very fleshed out in a satisfying way, it wears thins pretty quickly. From what little I can tell, it seems there are a few differences in the PS4 to XB1 versions, but I have only played the latter, so I won’t be able to comment any further other than to give you that heads up, so keep that in mind going forward. #ThanksForYourPatienceWhileWeCleanUpOurMess
There’s no story to play through here. You’re literally put into a single roomed environment and tasked to survive as long as you can while leveling up and choose perks to help you along. OK, that’s kind of a lie, but you won’t find an explanation in te game as to the motivations of the game. This is what the point is:
In the distant future, #KILLALLZOMBIES thrusts civilians into a sport of survival where a ravenous zombie population is unleashed in the name of sports entertainment. With the potential of a collective horde of over 1,000 zombies, spectators vote upon how many and what kind of zombies or obstacles they want to uncage to make survival easier or harder for you to accomplish.
Thanks, Store Page!! Again, sounds pretty fine on paper. The issue is that the blandness of the shooting gallery would have been highly elevated if there was more incentive to continue other than just high scores. I get it, that’s not what this kind of game is or set out to be. Fair enough, but that doesn’t preclude it from being a slog after a few minutes. Had we gotten something more than just score chasing and hopes for survival, well, this could have lasted longer – for at least me – in rotation.
In total, there are 3 different modes to play, but really there’s 2 because the co-op mode is really just adding a second player to the previous one. You have Survival, Defend the Vault, and Co-op to choose from, and it’s a plus to have co-op here, but unfortunately, the co-op is local only, which is another shot to this walking corpse’s longevity. Survival is exactly what you’d expect – drop in, kill everything that moves until something kills you, look at your stats and start again. All perfectly fine. The defense mode tasks you with defending a fenced off vault (no, not one of these) and rather than you taking the damage, it does. You not only use your guns to fend off waves here, but you earn cash to place turrets that can be set up all around the area to be in places you can’t reasonably be fast enough. The more you kill, the more money you earn to place more turrets. But be careful, because they aren’t immortal themselves. As for the final mode, well, I think you’re smart enough to figure it out, but I’ll give you a hint: you don’t sip tea and eat cookies with a pal.
There is another mode technically that’s incorporated into the ones already listed, and that’s due to the game’s Twitch integration. With this enabled your Twitch chat can spawn in perks and obstacles and the whole 4 yards to “be part of the experience” with you. Similar to how a game like #IDARB does it. Obviously, you’ll need a decent enough following to really run away with it, but, at least this exists to try out, and hopefully you can find your niche with it should you choose to employ it. If the Twitch stuff sounds like it’s for you, click here for a listing of what’s available. And remember – have fun!!
Let’s move this show forward here and talk about some of the things I enjoyed about the game. For an isometric shooter, the graphics are perfectly fine. Nothing is going to make your eyes bleed with pleasure, but nothing will make you go blind, either. Well, unless you just like to complain. Jury’s still out on that one for me, but I think I’m making progress!! Visual effects hit nicely and the enemy animations are on par with what you’d expect. There are a decent number of zombie types, so over time if you’re good enough, you can expect a few difficult waves of new humanoids, animals, and even bosses to blow away.
The weapon variety gets a gold star here from me. There’s a large quantity of unique and fun to use weapons on display, with not only things like a crossbow, plasma gun, and machine gun variations for example, but there are a few different ammo types you can employ as well that add to the fun. Those come into play when selecting perks after scoring enough to level up. The perks themselves are kind of neat, but for every one I enjoyed, I found one I thought was either too bland, too similar to another one, or didn’t offer any incentive to use unless you had to, of which you do have to. If you hit the button to level up, you better hope the random draw has at least 1 of 4 you’re comfortable taking, because not all of them are a 100% benefit to you. Your mileage will vary, I’m sure.
There’s also a good stats page with plenty to view from all 3 modes of play. And if you pay attention to me, you know I love a good stats page. There’s not much to complain about with what’s on offer, and I’m really glad to see this was included.
OK, so we got some good, so let’s take some bad/disappointing things into account. I really disliked the music/main song in this game. That’s all I’m willing to say about that. However, the sound effects and whatnot weren’t unpleasant things to listen to. But the music… #NoThanks
This game is just too damn hard for its own good. To really put together a run to feel proud of you would have to get supremely lucky in my estimation. Co-op certainly helps prolong the experience, but overall, it doesn’t save it from just how demanding it is, and that’s a shame. If you’re in it for the Achievements, well, you’ll have a good shot to collect the cumulative ones eventually, but the “challenge” ones seem next to impossible, if only because of the lack of desire you may feel to continue, but certainly they’re hindered by the toughness of the game itself. This will be a grind and a tough completion, so take that into account.
As I said, the co-op is nice, but since there’s only 2 player local with no online, it really does put a damper on just how much fun and longevity you could have squeezed from this game. We live in the age of the internet, so to leave that out on something like this, well, it hurts the value. I would have rather seen the Twitch stuff take a back seat for a possible update later and had the effort go towards fulfilling online play. However, I know that may not have even been an option, especially since I don’t know my ass from my eyebrows when it comes to the technical side, and more so because the PS4 version already has the Twitch stuff, so perhaps it wasn’t an issue to get it up on XB1. I’m just spitballing here, so pay me no mind if it doesn’t apply to you.
Finally, while the game doesn’t have many issues when it comes to controlling it, I do feel like there could have been some sort of dodge/roll move that would have really aided the gameplay a bit. There’s no jump, nothing other than shooting and a melee attack to go with. I often found myself begging for a roll move to be hidden somewhere to help me out in a jam. Imagine if there was and I never figured it out… Boy, would my brains be dead!!
Remember, guys, this game had 3 big check marks for me right from the outset. All told, that didn’t save the game from being a mediocre at best experience. I had such high hopes for this game, they just didn’t really pan out, and that sucks. Of course there’s some fun to be had with #KILLALLZOMBIES, but honestly, you could probably be having just as much or more fun somewhere else with less effort. Bottomline? This feels too much like a half-baked game that should have been left cooking a while longer.