“An acceptable fusion of driving and zombie killing.”
EXOR Studios quietly released Zombie Driver in December 2009. The release was so quiet that I actually didn’t even find out about this game until just a few days ago, and it is April 2010. Thanks to a cleverly placed banner in the Steam client, I decided to shell out a few dollars to give Zombie Driver a go because, well, the concept was interesting. Take Grand Theft Auto and mix it with any zombie game that you can think of and you essentially have Zombie Driver.
Here is the basic premise of Zombie Driver. An accident at a local chemical plant has transformed the city’s population into the walking dead. You take the role of a everyday joe who happened to survive and is quite a formidable driver. After rescuing the city’s mayor, the military decides to put your vehicular skills to good use as they recruit you to save more survivors in the city. It sounds simple, and it is. There’s little reason to expect more from this game’s story. I mean come on, it’s basically Grand Theft Auto but you’re running over zombies instead of pedestrians!
Speaking of running over zombies, the gameplay relies heavily on running over the undead with your car. The more zombies you run down, the greater your reward will be at the end of the level. This typically involves money, upgrades, and weapons. After each level, you will be able to upgrade the statistics of the vehicles you own by spending money to enhance armor, ramming, speed, and so forth. Upgrading your cars will be very important in later levels when new undead monsters appear and the shambling hordes increase in numbers. Try running into a crowd of zombies that is too large and you’ll find yourself being ground to a halt as the brain eaters beat away at your vehicle. Health powerups are littered throughout the levels and can restore damage caused by the zombies, but you will likely want to avoid damage as much as possible.
Personally, I found that running over zombies has never been so fun with such fast and responsive controls. Players should have no problems adjusting to the driving controls of Zombie Driver, nor should the guns mounted to your vehicles make driving any bit harder. Everything is laid out extremely well, but controls can be reconfigured if the player is unhappy with them.
Music and sound? For a bargain game that does not take itself too seriously, they’re just fine. Nothing memorable here, but nothing to complain about either.
I really wish that there was more that I could say about Zombie Driver. This is nothing more than a very cheap downloadable game that plays like an overheard driving game infused with survival (sans horror) elements. Nothing about the game really stands out as being exceptional, but it’s designed very well and it is fun to play. For the same price of a six inch from Subway, you really can’t go wrong with this.