All Zombies Must Die! PC review
The zombie tale has ranged over the years from stylishly grizzly to truly horrific, from intensely thought-provoking to blatantly crass. We've also gotten a few lighthearted takes on the lore of the undead. All Zombies Must Die! is more of the latter, focusing on witty character interactions and cheery visuals to push its premise forward. It succeeds in a lot of ways, delivering a fun shoot 'em up that can be enjoyed by up to four players at once, but it's also a bit underwhelming a lot of the time.
At its core, All Zombies Must Die! plays a lot like most modern twin-stick shooters. The mechanics are simple, and the game is super easy to pick up. This makes it both accessible and easy to get into. The problem here is that once you understand the ins and outs, All Zombies Must Die! never really evolves into anything more than a zombie blast-fest. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the lack of some deeper gameplay elements means you'll probably want to play this shooter in short bursts.
There are definitely some cool elements in All Zombies Must Die! For starters, the game's light RPG elements add a nice layer to the overall experience. You'll be tasked with completing different quests as you traverse the ravaged town of Deadhill. These objectives are as simple as killing a certain number of zombies or collecting a certain item--it's nothing too deep, but it keeps you doing something as you shoot down legions of undead creatures. You can also collect tokens to purchase upgrades for your character, another aspect that's simple enough yet adds a nice RPG touch.
Unfortunately, though you may have fun with All Zombies Must Die!, you're also likely to grow flustered on account of all of its shortcomings. For starters, the game is repetitive. The continuous quests, though fun, don't really take away from the fact that all you're doing throughout the game is shooting zombies. Additionally, you're always outnumbered. Even if you have other players to back you up, you'll probably run out of ammo too often, which means you'll need to fight with your fists and melee weapons, an alternative that isn't as fun as gunning down baddies.
Also, while I definitely dug a lot of the questing, there's no denying that some of the tasks in the game were pretty stupid. This is especially true in terms of the fetch quests, which quickly become the norm in All Zombies Must Die! It's cool running around collecting items, but the practice grows stale after a few hours.
The game's visual style fits its humorous approach to the zombie medium. The graphics aren't exactly jaw-dropping, but the cartoon-like tone is definitely nice to look at. The sound design is a bit on the weaker side. Nothing sounds terrible, and I wouldn't go so far as to call the soundtrack a horrible collection of themes, but it is largely forgettable. Some catchier tunes would have been greatly appreciated.
What you get with All Zombies Must Die! on Steam is the same thing you got with All Zombies Must Die! on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. This isn't going to be the next big zombie shoot 'em up. It's merely a fun title to play, especially if you've got up to three other friends who will gladly join you in your mission to survive this mild-mannered take on the zombie apocalypse. At $9.99, it's a good buy, and you're sure to have fun with the game. Just don't expect a thriller.