We all need to blow off some steam every once in a while. It’s unhealthy to constantly keep stuffing things deeper inside ourselves. We’ve gotta let that shit out!!! I discovered, decades ago, that videogames are a perfect outlet for my frustrations. Thanks to real-life circumstances, I recently had the chance to see for myself whether or not #KillAllZombies is the type of game that would help me vent when I need it most. And lately, I’ve needed it a lot…
On to the review.
Twin-Sticks of Zombie Horror
#KillAllZombies is a third-person, twin-stick shooter, developed by BeatShapers and ported to the Switch by SPL. In #KillAllZombies, you’re the lone survivor of an apparent catastrophic event who’s faced with enjoyable task of holding off hordes of, you guessed it, zombies.
The map in #KillAllZombies is hex-based, with enemies entering from different sides. Anyone familiar with classics like Smash TV and Robotron will feel right at home with the set-up. You’ll face everything from the typical zombie humans and dogs, all the way to gorillas and giant, bomb-carrying nightmares. To survive, you also need to be aware of falling containers, avoid flamethrowers that pop up out of the ground, and try not to fall into suddenly formed holes. You can, in fact, use these obstacles to kill entire groups of zombies. It’s oh-so satisfying watching them burn after blowing up the ambulance that was sitting right next to them.
Controlling your character feels smooth and responsive. The aiming of your weapons, however, feels just a little off. Instead of feeling like I was aiming precisely where I wanted, it felt like the targeting was locked into certain directions. Kind of like the individual marks on a clock-face. (*Looks around* Everyone get that reference?) I quickly adjusted and it never detracted from my experience, or enjoyment, while playing the game.
Fun Is Where the Zombies Are
The game has three modes of play. You have your traditional Survival mode, where your sole objective is to stay alive for as long as possible. After a set number of waves have been successfully completed, a boss will show up, and they have some tricks of their own in store for you. Each boss has a weakness you must figure out in order to defeat them. They’re like gigantic, murderous, puzzles. The boss battles are a delightful change of pace from the mindless horde that I didn’t expect.
Next, there’s a Vault Defence mode, where you have to defend a centrally located base. In this mode, there are turrets available to purchase that will quickly prove their worth in helping hold off the encroaching horde. There are also Perks (more on these, later) only available in Vault mode, that are designed specifically for the turrets. You earn money for turrets the same way you earn exp, by killing zombies and blowing shit up. It’s different enough from Survival mode to be fun in it’s own right and is a welcome inclusion.
Finally, there’s a Co-Op mode, in which you can slaughter zombies with a friend. Both players share a single screen, and it works very well. I did manage to lose track of my character among the chaos, a few times. And that did lead to some unexpected deaths. One nice addition to the Co-op mode is the ability for players to revive each other. As long as the one acting as the EMT can survive long enough to stop and help their partner. I would have loved to see online co-op be included but I’m probably being too entitled if I’m expecting that.
Tools of the Trade
No matter the mode you select, there are four starter weapons available. Your choices include two different handguns, a standard automatic pistol and a slower, but more powerful, revolver. You also have a shotgun and an Uzi to choose from at the beginning of each playthrough. My personal favorite is the Uzi. It’s oh so satisfying to circle-strafe a large group of mindless zombies while mowing them down with the sub-machine gun. It’s just missing that sweet dual-wielding we all love.
In addition to the starter weapons, you’ll come across other weapons during your time playing. And some of them are pure joy to use. What you’ll discover is everything from a poison-laced Crossbow and Alien Plasma Rifle to an over-the-top Volcano Machine Gun. The weapons in #KillAllZombies are fun to discover, and it’s even more enjoyable to actually use them, once you do.
Ridiculously Fun Perks
The game also includes some light-RPG elements in the way of experience points and character leveling. Earning experience is simply a matter of blowing things up, surviving waves and killing zombies. Those EXP points do lead to some interesting bonuses, thanks to the game’s Perk system.
The Perk system is where you’ll find the tools you need to clear the relentless waves of zombies and, hopefully, survive the diabolical bosses. Every time your character levels up, you’re able to choose from one of four random perks. Some Perks, like invisibility and haste, are only temporary. While others, like extra ammunition and regenerating health, will stay active as long as you can stay alive. There are even a few perks that can end your game immediately, when chosen!
There are a huge variety of Perks in the game. I was discovering new ones on a regular basis. Some of them, which I’ll never spoil, are downright devious and are almost too much fun while they last. The Perks are another one of the game’s major highlights.
Sights and Sounds
The 3D graphics engine in #KillAllZombies looks, and performs, well. It’s not going to blow you away but it’s also not going to stutter and drop frames when the action gets intense, either. I didn’t experience any technical issues during my play-through.
The game’s music was one of the only problem areas, for me. While the rock & roll music used in the game fits perfectly, it became repetitive rather quickly.
Stats & Leaderboards
#KillAllZombies also keeps track of a staggering amount of in-game statistics. Everything from the type, and numbers, of enemies killed to the number of times you’ve chosen each perk, are tallied. The game even keeps track of how many times you view the statistics page! Genre standard Leaderboards are also present for all three modes of play. Both are probably expected to be included, but it’s still nice to see the developers cared enough to include them. Not every title does.
You can probably tell just by reading my review that I really enjoyed my time playing #KillAllZombies. It’s a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch’s library. The combat is intense and the payoff is satisfying. Anyone who’s a fan of third-person shooters, and zombie titles in general, shouldn’t miss this title when it launches tomorrow (Jan 24th). Besides, who among us doesn’t love slaying zombies? #KillAllZombies is available for $19.99 on the NA eShop.
9/10 Amazing Zombie Shooter!Time to crack some heads
- Intense and Satisfying Action
- Fun and Rewarding Perks System
- Good Enemy Variety
- The Boss Battles
- Aiming Feels Slightly Off (this may just be me)
- Repetitive Soundtrack
- No Online Co-op