A-Z Challenge – Zombie Driver

Ah, Zombie Driver, how I wish I had never gotten you in a bundle.  I guess I didn’t have much hope for you anyway; you were a gimmick at best, an even more annoying version of Crazy Taxi at worst.  But, I had an odd attraction to you, wanting to play you over the vastly superior Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner for my marathon.  Playing through you was bittersweet… wait, it was actually just bitter.

Zombie Driver isn’t exactly a great game.  As a man with slightly more sense than the average citizen in a zombie crisis, you jump in a taxi and start running over zombies, when the military contacts you to rescue survivors.  The game follows this formula for almost the rest of the game: Get mission, save people, next.  There are also secondary missions of time limits, clearing out zombies in certain areas, or killing a certain amount of zombies.  It’s all very cut and dry, and nothing unexpected happens until the final briefing.  Also, the story is so paper thin I’m surprised they even tried.

As you go through the motions, you unlock new vehicles, upgrades, and weapons.  It allows a little bit of customization and strategy in saving the survivors… will you use the bus to grab everyone, or use the police car for more speed, but multiple trips?  In the end, I went for the former almost all of the time:  Fast cars are hard to control, and it’s far too easy to ram into a Boomer-like zombie that’ll wreck your car effortlessly… and it was easy to run over tons of zombies at once, too.

Wait… why’s there a map in that corner?  Is this even Zombie Driver!?  DARN IT I NEEDED THAT MAP.

Zombie Driver’s real failure is in its gameplay.  It’s all simple enough, but the controls can sometimes be a struggle.  Why did Space have to be the handbrake, when it would be so much better off as the weapon button?  Why need a handbrake when stopping is as simple as holding down for reverse?  Also, the car movements feel a bit without weight at times, making it hard to judge speed and ramming power.  Even with these issues, the game would have been substantially less frustrating with a simple map feature, especially involving the final mission, where one wrong turn can make you lose.

So, Zombie Driver?  Probably not worth the effort of beating it.  I doubt many people that own the game actually bought it in the first place, but if you did, shame on you.  Go play Zombie Vs. Ambulance instead.


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