When you're short on time and you need a quick fix of zombie slaying action, look no further than a twin-stick action shooter, Second Chance Heroes. While there is lots of room for the game to improve upon and evolve in the future, what we got for the PC version is quite a fine game to decompress and simply enjoy.
What happens when people of the modern era became too fixated on trivial things, such as cat videos and reality TV? A combination of the worst threats imaginable: the zombie apocalypse, aliens attacking the earth, robotic uprisings, and sentient food items becoming aggressive. Without the ability to defeat these threats ourselves, we created clones of some of the world's greatest individuals and sent them off to defend us. Historical figures such as Abe Lincoln, Nikola Tesla, Napoleon, Leonardo da Vinci, and the pirate Blackbeard. It might seem like the most absurd idea ever, but developer Rocket City Studios certainly gave the game its own unique charm for a twin-stick shooter.
While the premise is certainly far fetched, I didn't find the story unfolding during the gameplay to be all that interesting. Granted, Second Chance Heroes doesn't seem to be all too focused on story, however, the gameplay itself seems to distract from the plot unfolding in mid game. I found that the heart of Second Chance Heroes comes from the disturbing, yet satisfying humor found within the level design and the zombies themselves. For example, I constantly found TV's I could switch on and view a fat female zombie doing a sexy dance; creepy, but ridiculously funny. If I could compare the game's humor to any other, I'd say Borderlands or Plants vs Zombies would be comparable. Some of the zombies are just outright strange, like the Magician boss or the kung-fu zombies. Many have their own behaviors that provide a wide variety of enemies to combat.
Second Chance Heroes feels much more like an arcade game than anything else, with a handful of challenges to complete each level and not a whole lot of backtracking to be had. Zombies either drop XP orbs that players collect and use to upgrade their characters at the beginning of each stage, health replenishing items, or one-time use power-ups. At the end of the level, depending on if players fulfilled the requirements for a challenge, they'll be awarded extra XP to use. Additionally, players might be given special customizations called "relics" that act as reusable power-ups that can be equipped (up to three). One of my favorite relics to use is a toilet that sucks in zombies in an area and explodes in a damage-dealing water spout. Over the course of the game, new relics are obtained can be added to your three usable slots during a stage, as well as newly unlocked characters to play as. There are up to 12 playable characters, with each player able to choose two for a stage. Players can then swap between their two chosen characters on the fly at any time.
The length of the levels and stages are, however, one of my main complaints with the game, as they can become long and tedious without much variation of mechanics or layout. For example, I was playing through the first area, a mall, for what felt like a couple of hours before I finally beat a giant robot boss and moved onto a new area deep underground. While it was refreshing to see new terrain, but the level design hardly felt much different from the others. As a result, I've found that playing the Second Chance Heroes in smaller play sessions to be more fulfilling that trying to push through a handful of them at once. Having a group of four players to join with you certainly livens up the gameplay.