By: David Tavernier
Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition for the Xbox One is an updated version of Zombie Driver, which has all of the original game’s downloadable content included as well as some extra features (such as new car skins and additional unlockable content in the game’s racing mode). With the extra content, Zombie Driver UE is a budget indie title that seems like it should pack a punch. However, is this the case? Read on to find out!
The controls are very well done. Each car handles differently according to its attributes, so if you want a car with tight handling and a lot of speed, pick the taxi or the police car. If you prefer one that’s large enough to rescue more people, such as an ambulance or limousine, you will have to sacrifice speed and handling for car size.
You can upgrade each car’s attributes to even the playing field, boosting each car’s armor, ramming capability and speed. This means that over time you can make any car suitable for your needs. If you like rescuing people all at once and are using a limousine, slowly it will become as fortified as a tank if you continue to upgrade its armor.
Choosing which car you will use for each mission is a strategic decision, so if you want to increase your chances you need to pick and upgrade the right car. As far as weapons are concerned, all of them handle very well, and each weapon has its own distinct pattern of destruction that is very satisfying.
The graphics aren’t much better than an ordinary Xbox 360 game, so if you are looking for a game that showcases the power of the Xbox One you’d best look elsewhere. The music is also forgettable as it sounds like the same guitar riffs over and over and never really changes at all. Also, it’s hard to hear the music over the game’s noisy side effects.
Thankfully, Zombie Driver UE‘s sound effects are better than its repetitive music, so this isn’t really a bad thing. Each of the game’s weapons has its own characteristic sound effects — launching rockets into a crowd of zombies gives off a satisfying explosion, while the rail gun offers a sort of silent zapping noise, so you can easily hear zombies exploding as you fire each round. Putting your car into overdrive also produces a distinctive rocket propulsion sound. So, while the graphics and music are bland, the sound effects are good enough to make the game somewhat easy on the ears.
While Zombie Driver UE is very fun at first, it becomes repetitive over time. Basically, there are three main mission types you’ll encounter as you progress through the campaign: survivor rescues, clearing areas of zombies and large boss fights. Unfortunately, it feels like one mission is just a repeat of a previous one with a new coat of paint.
For instance, in one mission you have to rescue firefighters. That’s fine, but you’re also asked to rescue scientists… and then government officials… I mean, how many different professions do we have to rescue in the same exact way?
The same goes for missions where you have to clear zombies and those where you fight bosses. If the controls weren’t so good, and killing zombies wasn’t so fun, I would’ve been bored by the game’s 10th mission. Fortunately, Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition is just plain fun to play, so if you can stomach the repetition you’ll still get some enjoyment from it.
Two extra game modes add some longevity to Zombie Driver UE after finish its campaign. The first is a racing mode where you face off against CPUs through various circuits. This mode includes the ability to upgrade and buy new cars, as well as unlock new tracks, so it is not unlike those available in racing sims like Gran Turismo or Forza.
This mode presents a considerable challenge, as weapons are also usable during the race (much like Mario Kart). It’s hard to hold on to first place when the CPUs who are behind you are letting loose salvos of rockets and barrages of machine gun bullets. Still, this racing mode is both challenging and fun, and it’ll take up quite a bit of your time if you decide to try to beat it.
The other extra mode is called “Slaughter.” It’s a survival mode where you have to defeat waves of zombies without dying. The longer you survive, the more money you accumulate. This has leaderboards, so after you’ve finished one round of Slaughter you can see how your money total compares with other players’. These two extra game modes give you plenty to do and enjoy after you have finished the game’s regular campaign.
Fans of the zombie apocalypse genre will get more out of Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition. If squishing and pulverizing untold numbers of zombies is not your cup of tea, then you should pass. If doing so sounds fun to you, however, Zombie Driver UE probably be a good buy, especially considering its fairly lengthy campaign and extra game modes.