All Zombies Must Die Review
Zombies are the new black.
When I first read about All Zombies Must Die, the “spiritual successor” to Burn Zombie Burn, I was really excited. It was a downloadable Action-RPG (not common enough if you ask me), it had zombies, and it supported co-op. What wasn’t there to be excited about? Well once I was able to actually play it, I soon realized that while it can be fun at times, it’s not as good as I had hoped.
All Zombies Must Die puts you in the shoes of Jack, a survivor in the zombie apocalypse, who is looking for a way out-of-town and needs to put down angry mobs of zombies along the way. The problem is, the bridge out-of-town is destroyed and he’s stuck finding a new way out with his, not so friendly, friend Rachel. The story isn’t bad, but it’s not good either, and that’s how I think they meant it to be. The story is a typical zombies-are-here-and-we-need-to-get-out-of-town story, that pokes fun at itself, and other zombie games for their cheesy and bad writing. It’s nice to see a developer not just realize, but admit these zombie game stories aren’t usually as good as they think they are.
You aren’t on this ride for the story though, you are here to kill zombies, earn EXP, level up, and upgrade your character. You will earn EXP for kills and completing quests, and then once you reach a new level, you can access your “Base” to increase your stats, change your weapons and even craft new ones. Your character only has 4 stats to upgrade; Strength, Health, Speed and Defense, and each time you level up you will receive skill points to increase your stats. As you play you will receive recipes to help craft new items and weapons. To do this you will need the 2 required ingredients, which are usually found by doing a quest to retrieve them, and then you can create the item back at your base. The overall depth may not be quite as deep as some Action-RPG’s out there, but it should be enough to satisfy those who like a little investment in their characters.
Combat is simple in All Zombies Must Die, as you aim and shoot at the hordes of Zombies coming your way. Not only do you have guns and melee weapons at your disposal but you also have special character specific weapons like the torch early on that you can use with the alternate trigger to light the zombies on fire, then mow them down with the SMG, or whatever your preferred weapon of choice is. It makes you life much easier, so be sure to remember to use it often. Most of the areas in the game have endless zombies, so you can either bulk up on EXP and kill them all day long, or you can just run to the next checkpoint and move on with your quest. It’s a nice way to leave it up to the gamer to decide if they want to slaughter zombies, or maybe just make a run for it and finish that quest. I found myself running more often, the longer I played, as the combat can get a bit repetitive after you kill 1000′s of zombies.
Speaking of zombies, not only are there regular zombies, but there are special zombies as well that have mutated, which are a bit harder to kill, but in the end I didn’t find myself stuck and not able to finish them off with any difficulty. Not all, but some zombies will drop loot after they die. The loot consists of either health, ammo, and silver or gold coins (used to craft items). There are also searchable objects around the levels which drop pick-ups such as double damage, ammo, health, speed boost and even extra EXP. I love games with loot but I didn’t really care about loot in AZMD, because you knew what you were going to get and the hope of finding something great wasn’t there to keep you going.
The game is fun enough that most gamers who enjoy lighter Action-RPG games, or just any zombie game in general, will be entertained, but be warned, don’t go into this thinking it’s going to be great to play with your friends.
For some reason that is beyond me, during it’s development someone at Doublesix decided this game was only going to have offline co-op, and that person(s) should regret that decision for the rest of their life, or at least until All Zombies Must Die 2 comes out with online co-op included, because it was a terrible decision.
You have hordes of zombies that need to die, you have RPG elements, and you already have the offline co-op built-in, for the love of god, take that next step and include online co-op. It’s how this game was meant to be played, and yes offline co-op is still fun, but do more people really play offline than online? I know more people who live at least 2 hours away from me, that I play games with, and I would think a lot of others are in the same boat. Now, I’m not saying don’t include offline co-op, as that’s still valid to have, but you must have online co-op as well, if not as the priority, these days. It was 2011 when the game came out, not 2001.
We can only hope they the next game in the series will include online co-op. Please do not underestimate the value of online co-op. For this type of game, it’s like video game gold.
You’ll earn the 200G up for grabs by beating the game, upgrading weapons, killing zombies and finding the secret AZMD Dev Cards. Most of the dev cards I found were in the searchable containers, so be sure to always check every container.
All Zombies Must Die does just enough to be a fun and entertaining Zombie Action-RPG, but its lack of online co-op and limited depth, hold it back from being a great game. While those flaws are big ones to me, if you can get past them you will find a light-hearted Action RPG that’s worth the 800MS Point price tag, and being released just after Christmas means plenty of gamers will have spare points to go around. Now that’s how you strategically release a downloadable game.
Final Score: 8/10