Zombie Driver: Immortal Edition provides the definitive Zombie Driver experience. But, just what is that experience, exactly?
A product of its time:
I want to preface this review by reiterating that, fundamentally, this is a videogame that was developed way back in 2009. This game was created before Instagram; youtube boxing; and it even has the unflattering honour of being within the same release year as the god awful Transformers 2. The point I am making is: this game is old.
As such, all aspects of this game are dated in some way. Duh. Graphically and mechanically this edition provides some minor repairs, but not a brand new model(… that was my best attempt at a car metaphor, apologies). So, when it comes to reviewing this game, I am going to focus more so on the content on offer; and how that holds up all these years later.
Thankfully, Zombie Driver is packed full of content. Three modes – with defined differences – help keep the experience somewhat fresh.
Story mode provides the bulk of gameplay, with 31 missions, a bunch of side quests and optional objectives all set within a large city. Unfortunately, the city itself is fairly drab, and the mission variety isn’t all that exciting.
You start out with a basic taxi, going around the city trying to save as many people as you can, amidst a zombie outbreak. On the way, you’ll fight through waves and waves of zombies and bosses interspersed through missions.
Between defending installations, transporting cargo and destroying enemy nests, mission objectives do some good in terms of keeping the experience from becoming repetitive. That being said, the overall gameplay loop doesn’t change from just driving around and killing a load of zombies.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just important to be aware that this is the core loop throughout the game. If you like the idea of that, then Zombie Driver has a certain endearing quality; cultivated through epic automotive violence. Some of the boss battles are pretty awesome, to.
Furthermore, the various new upgrades, vehicles and weapons that you can unlock as you progress, helps to add some variety and incentive to the experience. There is a power crawl here that is definitely satisfying.
Outside of the story:
Story mode – even for a lack of general narrative – is still the best part of Zombie Driver, for me.
Blood race mode, which focuses on offering an arcade style racing experience, suffers from the jankiness of the driving, as well as less overall objectives.
Slaughter mode, Zombie Drivers equivalent to a horde mode found in other games, takes you through nine different arenas, as you look to take out hordes and hordes of enemies .
The problem here is that this mode magnifies the core gameplay that you will have already spent a great deal of time with during story mode. And for someone who found the gameplay to be increasingly repetitive as the story progressed, this mode did little to reinvigorate my interest.
I appreciate the effort that the developers went to offer a diverse package for players, but the gameplay unfortunately struggles to hold up across all of these modes and the many, many hours of engagement that they demand.
Some positives and a missed opportunity:
There is undeniably a certain niche that Zombie Driver fulfils. In small doses, Zombie Driver Immortal Edition provides a cathartic experience for players.
The gameplay is serviceable, but the aged systems are stretched by the plethora of content that this game tries to offer.
For better or worse, your enjoyment of the game is solely predicated on how much satisfaction you can derive from the core gameplay.
Frustratingly, I think one area that would have definitely boosted this game’s longevity would have been multiplayer. The chaotic nature of the game lends itself to a shared experience, but unfortunately as a single player title, Zombie Driver doesn’t offer quite enough innovation or incentive.
Still, if you’re looking for some mindless fun, Zombie Driver Immortal Edition has it in abundance.