Chaos, thy name be All Zombies Must Die
Zombie, Zombie, Zombie. There are so many zombie games out there I suspect someone to open up a shop called “Just Zombies”. The download market has already seen a few notable attempts at the genre; Dead Nation, Zombie Apocalypse 1 and 2, and less successfully, Burn Zombie Burn. It would appear that all your over the top 4 player co-op zombie killing needs are catered for already, but Doublesix believe differently and that All Zombies Must Die! (AZMD) delivers something a little different. But is the game Dead On Arrival? The fact that AZMD is a spiritual successor to the poorest Zombie game, Burn Zombie Burn, may be some indication.
There are so many elements of AZMD that are caught between two camps; cutesy or horrific, action or RPG, funny or not. In terms of graphics Doublesix have gone down the Burn Zombie Burn route of overly large character builds and zombies that could have come from Plants vs. Zombies. This is a reasonable choice, perhaps they planned to encourage younger gamers into the zombie genre? However, the amount of destruction and zombie death in the game means that this is still a mature title. A mature game with a juvenile color palette.
The second confusing element is whether the game is a RPG or a twin stick shooter. The core gameplay is the same as any other zombie killing download game; left stick move, right stick shoot. However, AZMD has a unique selling point with its RPG elements that add depth. Over time you gain experience to improve your characters and upgrade their weaponry. There is a story and relationship between the various allies, meaning there is more reason to complete the game than simply 50 arcade levels.
As refreshing as it is to see added depth in an arcade game, the story elements are also one of the biggest bugbear with AZMD. The game is set in a city which is essentially several maps connected together by a central hub. The story has you backtracking around these maps in an endless loop, looking for a lighter or mobile phone. Not the most exciting use of your time. Throw in some cheesy writing that continually breaks the 4th wall and the game can soon prove tiresome.