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Blood Drive Review

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Posted by: Brian Rowe

Gamezone Review Rating 3.5 Poor
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Blood Drive is the video game equivalent to a Syfy original movie. It's made from two marketable concepts crammed into a low-grade production and completely misses the point of what made the originals appealing in the first place. Zombies. Car-combat. I like them both, and while mixing the two isn't an inherently bad idea, you can't slap the two together and expect a romance.

The six arenas are packed to capacity with undead shamblers, which is the catalyst for a severe identity crisis. Sometimes, your goal is to battle or race the other drivers, and sometimes it is to kill the zombies. In the zombie-killing challenges, the other cars don't matter. They'll still attack, which can be a good thing since the instant-respawn also refills your ammo. Alternatively, the zombies are useless cannon fodder in the other modes. By this logic, we might as well start throwing zombies in every game. DJ Hero 2 with corpses? Why not?

The selection of vehicles is one of Blood Drive's stronger points. A psychotic nurse in an ambulance, a post-apocalyptic dune buggy, and a massive construction vehicle are some of the eight combatants. Each vehicle has its own special weapon and stats, and you can pick loadouts before races to boost particular characteristics, such as ramming speed or ammo counts. Shamefully, any props I had to offer went out the window upon seeing Superstar – a black man decked out in bling and an afro, and so ludicrously stereotypical as to be downright racist.

Whatever enjoyment Blood Drive possessed has been sucked dry by the tiers of events. There are 107 total events spread out over seven cups. Lose one event and you could very well lose the entire cup. It's frustrating when it happens the early cups, which might only have five events. It's infuriating when it happens in later cups whose events number in the double-digits.

Losing is inevitable due to a complete disregard for balance. Whatever vehicle you choose at the beginning of a cup is what you're stuck with, and some vehicles are next to useless in certain events. For example: the dune buggy's speed is perfect for a Checkpoint Rally, but in straight vehicular combat, the buggy can barely make a dent in the opposition. I've gone through entire stockpiles of ammo to take down Natalya and her iron monstrosity, which can practically destroy anything by touching it.

As unbalanced as it is, Blood Drive still had the potential to be fun. There are vehicles and customizations for every play-style, and the level designs are entertaining. Blood Drive drops the ball by not including a shred of local multiplayer. It's online or nothing. The online player-base was pitiful to begin with, and I would like to keep my friends, so I sure as heck won't be recommending that they make a purchase anytime soon.

There is a hint of something good inside of Blood Drive, but a lengthy checklist of balance issues and aggravating events keep it from being remotely enjoyable. If Blood Drive accomplishes one thing, it's proving that zombies don't make everything better.

[Reviewed on Xbox 360]

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