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Review

All Zombies Must Die! Review

Burn, zombie, burn!

Let’s be honest, we are hardly bereft of zombie games. In fact, the whole genre is dangerously close to becoming rather stale, with new games struggling to be heard above the din. Step forward Doublesix, who believe they have cracked the problem with their game, All Zombies Must Die!

Releasing as a downloadable title on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, the game takes place in the aptly named town of ‘Deadhill’ which, as you have no doubt guessed, is under siege from brain-munching zombies. It’s down to you to take them all out whilst trying to find out just what is going on.

All Zombies Must Die! is a top-down, arena based shooter with four main characters that can be controlled: Jack (the gamer), Rachel, scientist Bryan and an alien called Luxo.

The left thumb-stick is used to control your character, whilst the right is used to aim the equipped weapon. As ammo is limited, the player manually fires any weapon using the controller triggers, rather than the more commonly used automatic fire found in other titles.


Making it clear just in case you'd forgotten your general goal.
So far so familiar, but the game does have a number of interesting options. Instead of just mindlessly ploughing through zombies, you are set a quest to complete in each area. This can range from collecting a specific item, to killing a set amount of a certain type of zombie. Upon completion you are awarded experience points which you can then use to level up your character in key areas.

Continuing with this ‘RPG-Lite’ theme is the option to craft certain weapons. Occasionally you will come across a book which will contain a guide on how to build a weapon. If this takes your fancy you can then head out to try and salvage the relevant materials, before heading back to the lab and creating said weapon.

Of course, you aren’t restricted to only creating weapons that are found in books, and experimentation is positively encouraged, although it won’t always bear fruit. Still, the chance to build an electricity-based cricket bat is a welcome one. This leads us nicely to status conditions.

To complete some quests, you will need to inflict certain status conditions on the zombies. These conditions have both positive and negative connotations, which you will need to watch out for. For example, setting a zombie on fire will cause it damage, as well as a high probability of the fire spreading to other zombies. Unfortunately the fire makes the zombies come after you much faster, giving you less chance to aim accurately.

As enjoyable as this all sounds there are a number of issues with All Zombies Must Die! For starters, playing alone is not very enjoyable at all. There doesn’t seem to be any scaling to match how many people are playing, so one person will be quickly overcome by zombies. Your character also can’t push their way through a pack of zombies, meaning if you get surrounding you pretty much have to sit back and take the ass-kicking, unless you’re lucky enough to have a bomb which wipes out multiple zombies at once.

Scattered across every level are drawers/bins/cars that can be opened, with valuable loot inside. Unfortunately they take an absolute age to open, meaning the only way to do it is to turn your back on the approaching zombies, soak up the hits and hope there is a health pick-up nearby.

Co-op play is much better, tipping the scales in your favour somewhat with up to three additional players. Whilst the focus is on helping each other out, there is the opportunity to turn friendly fire on so you can grief anyone who you think might be taking more than their fair share of the loot. If you’re like me, however, you might just take pleasure in shooting your co-op partner anyway, for the laughs. This is why nobody plays games with me.

Unfortunately Doublesix really miss a trick by making the co-op play offline only. This really is a major issue in my opinion, relying on the fact that the player has enough people close by to get a decent game going.

Another negative is that the quests, which start off well enough, soon start to become very similar, requiring a fair amount of backtracking through familiar territory.

Pros

  • Co-op is enjoyable.
  • Crafting is a nice touch.
  • Some great weapons.
  • Humorous dialogue.

Cons

  • The lack of online co-op.
  • Not great in single player.
  • Quests become repetitive.

There’s no denying that All Zombies Must Die! has potential. The crafting idea is a good one, and with a few people round the gameplay is certainly enjoyable. However, the repetitive nature of the quests, frustrating single player experience and lack of online co-op really does drag the game down.

Score: 6/10

10 Comments
  1. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Quite astounded this has no online, was annoyed when I bought Burn Zombie Burn and found it had no online either. Won’t be making the same mistake.

    Comment posted on 04/01/2012 at 09:08.
  2. Amphlett
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    This looks so similar to Dead Nation with a more cartoon-ish skin, spooky. I’m done now with Zombie games, they’re so 2009.

    Comment posted on 04/01/2012 at 09:11.
  3. Mundham
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Was interested in the trailer for this, then I noticed “twin-stick shooter”. Zzzzz…

    Comment posted on 04/01/2012 at 09:12.
  4. Sympozium
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Meh its just a new edition of Burn Zombie Burn

    Comment posted on 04/01/2012 at 10:11.
  5. scavenga
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    It’s hard to spell “twin stick zombie shooter” without “Dead Nation beats them all into a festering pulp”.

    I’ve had Burn Zombie Burn from when it first came out, and I’ve never, ever touched it after the first two tries.

    Comment posted on 04/01/2012 at 10:15.
    • TSBonyman
      Member
      Since: Dec 2009

      You sir are the master of spelling! :)

      Comment posted on 04/01/2012 at 11:35.
  6. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    I remember the days when it seemed like Wipeout and Burn Zombie Burn were the only decent games on PSN Store.
    Still go back to BZB from time-to-time (Wipeout on the other hand, is still one of my all-time favourites, and played regularly), still good fun, but as a downloadable title, it has been surpassed.

    Good value, but do I need another very similar sounding game?
    No.
    Although I wouldn’t complain if PS+ was to drop this in my lap, especially as local multiplayer (which should ALWAYS be prioritised over online play in my opinion) and weapon creation are present…

    Comment posted on 04/01/2012 at 10:21.
  7. MadJunkBoy
    Member
    Since: Aug 2010

    the negative with BZB was that it was no online coop… and when i read that in this review i just don’t want this game anymore…
    i loved BZB with a friend but we wanted to play that game online so bad…
    and BTW, when is the last expansion for BZB out? it feels like i have waited years for that now…

    Comment posted on 04/01/2012 at 10:35.
  8. deepmenace
    Member
    Since: Forever

    soo…could I shove another 2 points on this if I don’t use online multiplayer but have often need for local 4 player games.

    its almost like u need a separate review for local 4player games as it can even make a poor game great.

    Comment posted on 04/01/2012 at 10:52.
  9. bacon_nuts
    Member
    Since: Mar 2011

    I keep reading all zombies must die, and thinking it’s orcs must die. Ioo many genocidal games about orcs/zombies. :P

    Comment posted on 05/01/2012 at 14:55.

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