Hell On Wheels
HIGH Glorious zombie carnage.
LOW One can only run over zombies so many times and not be bored.
WTF Why is all in-game dialogue unskippable?!
Jumping into the driver’s seat of Zombie Driver: Immortal Edition, I had hoped for an entertaining diversion where I could blow up, drive over, and destroy zombies — a title that would be mindless, yet still give me interesting and creative ways to kill the undead to my heart’s content.
My hopes went (mostly) unfulfilled.
I doubt anyone boots up a game called Zombie Driver with the idea they’re getting something that will cause them to think about life or the human condition, but I was bored within the first 15 minutes, and honestly, the beginning was the most interesting part.
When Zombie Driver started, I found myself in a bright yellow taxi, running over zombies with bone-crushing sound effects. Once they introduced weapons and I could burn and shoot the massive hordes, it got better thanks to blood spattering and bodies flying. Shortly after, the enjoyment ended and the monotony began.
The main “story” (and I use quotes as there’s not much to it) is broken up into 30 bite-sized missions. Each mostly consists of driving through the same city and completing the same objectives over and over — generally picking up survivors and taxiing them back to base.
These rescues are made more monotonous by repeating trips since starting cars can only hold three or four passengers at a time, and not being able to skip dialogue when survivors are rescued is particularly frustrating, especially if I had to replay a mission. There’s not even any real payoff to it — the tale that’s hinted at goes nowhere.
Once in a while, a special mission allowed me to drive a tank or a fire truck and complete a one-off task. These sections were more entertaining if for no reason other than they were a break from the taxi missions, but even these were dull — they’re often slow-paced and the objectives, like the taxiing, are uninspired.
Likewise, there are a few ‘boss’ zombies the player must defeat. Sadly, all of these bosses are fixed in place and have no movement whatsoever, which felt like a serious missed opportunity for a driving game. As they are, I’d simply move forwards and backwards to dodge attacks until it was defeated. More difficult ones required me to pick up some health and come back, but otherwise they were just rinse and repeat.
Apart from the campaign there are a few other modes — a race mode and one where players can fight waves of zombies. The latter is somewhat more enjoyable since the player is given better and better weapons, and this gets right to the sort of entertainment value I was looking for. The racing modes are fine, but lack any real depth as they’re against AI.
Overall, Zombie Driver: Immortal Edition misses a lot of opportunities and manages only to deliver repetition, failing even a basic level of entertainment. I won’t be driving back to this city anytime soon.
— N. E. Waln
Disclosures: This game is developed and published by Exor Studios. It is currently available on PC, Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Android (Tegra based devices), Ouya and Xbox One. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 20 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated M and contains Blood and Gore, Language and Violence. The official ESRB description reads as follows: This is an adventure/racing game in which players use a variety of vehicles to kill zombies and rescue human survivors. From a top-down perspective, players drive vehicles around urban environments and run over dozens of zombies, while getting survivors to safe houses. Players can use machine guns, flamethrowers, and missiles to kill zombies that burst into pieces and stain the roads with large trails of blood. On-screen text contains the words “bullsh*t” and “a*shole.”
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: There are subtitles for all dialogue but they are not resizable. There are no audio cues needed for successful gameplay. This title is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: Controls are not fully remappable but the game does offer several preset configurations.