REVIEW: Zombie Driver HD
It took a while but Zombie Driver HD has finally arrived on the XBLA. More than just a simple port, it brings many new things to the blood soaked fuel filled zombie killing party than its PC counterpart has to offer. With a campaign that is nearly twice as long as the previous version of the game it also brings two new race modes with it as well. If that wasn’t enough new content it also features new vehicles from a Fire Truck, bull dozer, to even a tank. If you are wondering how much fun it is to use a tank to destroy a city filled to the brim with the undead I can tell you right now it’s fun, very fun actually. The new single player portion of the game now has over 30 missions including new night missions and even boss fights all of which will put your skills to the test.
The gameplay in Zombie Driver HD has a nice amount of variety to it. While running zombies over in numerous different death machines is fun it’s not actually the point of the game. In a city overrun with zombies the government has picked you to help them complete various missions around the city. The missions will vary in their objectives from such things as rescuing survivors, killing huge mounds of zombie flesh, clearing infested areas, and so much more. The gameplay doesn’t ever really get stale thanks to the constant variety of the missions on hand.
Each mission you tackle will have a main objective and a secondary objective. Make no mistake about it trying to complete both will be a true test to your skills. Constant attacks from zombies on your objectives and distances between them will mean having to put your management skills to the test. Completing missions grants you unlocks in the form of new vehicles, paint jobs, and cash which can be spent on upgrades for your vehicles. You can upgrade a vehicle’s armor, speed, ramming ability, and the ammo count for each of the many different weapon types the game has to offer.
New sections of the city will become unlocked as you progress through the story. I was quite surprised at just how large the city and play area becomes! The map will become your best friend later on as navigating to multiple objective areas to pick up drunken sailors and scantily clad nurses can become dizzying.
As you drive around the city numerous weapon picks will be available to you as well. From miniguns to rockets and even a powerful rail gun, capable of shooting through hordes of zombies and even walls, it’s all in there. Constantly picking these up will be crucial to completing your missions and staying alive. Health pickups are also available and those too are essential as you can be easily overwhelmed by the large hordes of the undead.
One of the new features I mentioned was night time missions, with your headlights as the only source of light in the city these missions are quite fun and challenging at the same time. It’s also here that you truly appreciate how amazing the graphics are in Zombie Driver HD. The graphics are crisp and fluid and it’s no doubt one of the best looking games on the XBLA out right now.
If you get tired of the single player portion of the game you can move over to the other game modes. In blood mode you will race across numerous tournaments across different locales. In each tournament you will have to complete three different race types, Race being a take on classic arcade racing except with the ability to obliterate your opponents. With numerous shortcuts to take and nonstop action it’s a very nostalgic feeling and reminded me of some of the great top down racers from the 80s and 90s. In Eliminator you will need to take down as many vehicles as you can before the time runs out. Endurance is a new take on the classic game type, there is a bomb on your car and in an effort to keep it from blowing up you will need to race through checkpoints to add time. If you fail the bomb explodes and you perish.
The final game mode is Survival, and as you have probably guessed by the name, is a horde type of game mode in which you must survive wave after wave of the undead. It also a total blast and is by far my favorite game mode. The arenas are quite small and really give you a chance to plow down droves of the undead. As you make your rounds weapon drops will appear for you to pick up to use in you endeavors. Each round sees more difficult zombies added to the mix as well as larger numbers all together. Staying alive will require some quick driving and good use of the limited weapon drops.
Blood Mode and Survival both feature leaderboards to keep track of. In addition to being able to track your score globally you can also see where you place against your friends. You will constantly find yourself fighting for a better spot!
The Summary: There is no doubt that Zombie Driver HD is packed full of hours and hours of zombie killing fun across its many different game modes. With numerous missions, races, and cars to unlock with upgrades for each there is plenty here to keep you busy for quite a while. At its price point of only 800MS points it’s a no brainer for any zombie fan!
Launch Day Trailer