Game Dev Lab bring us Zomborg. I’m sure I don’t have to give much away in regards to what the game is about. Time to pop on a helmet, some DMs and get some cartridges into that shotgun. It’s going to be a long night.
First things first, you get a handy tutorial to learn the keys. This is always a good thing in my book. There are a few aspects to learn that will help you in the quest to kill everything. You have a nice third person down view on yourself and the surrounding area. Zoom in if you should so desire. Swing the camera round so you can traverse through or over any obstacles. You have a torch (flashlight), you have a friend, you have grenades. So far there is nothing to not like. Time to start the campaign.
Zomborg is nothing new, well Zomborgs themselves are, but the gameplay is nothing new. The game concept is nothing new either. Zomborg is basically variations on a theme. We had Syndicate in the early 90s, and Zomborg is just one of many newer versions. Arm yourself with a variety of weapons that all have different statistics, choose your look and head into a post apocalyptic scenario that has zombies in. Burnt out cars, trashed houses,
As in all games of this style, the world, and mainly the military, is run by morons. Send a troop in to kill the bad guys, oh no they all vanished. Plan gets hatched. Lets send one guy in who needs a training mission first and see what happens. Inevitably the hero saves that day and the world can go back to being morons. You might get a medal, you might not, but who cares, it was fun while it lasted.
Shoot the zombies, shoot them at distance with an automatic weapon, or shoot them from close range with a pump action shotgun. I know what I would choose. Blast them away with a shotgun and they fly gracefully through the air before slamming into some scenery. Conduct your own blood fuelled ballet from the best box in the theatre. Turn the record player up to 11 and Puccini it all the way.
Move over Lee Child. Out of the way Tom Clancy. Do one Michael Crichton. Zomborg is unveiling the plot. OK everyone, come back, I was being optimistic. The plot is loosely held together by predictability and pointlessness, but who cares anyway? No one ever thought the best bit of a game where you shoot zombies was going to be the reading of words did they? Screw the plot, lets shoot stuff.
It’s good. Develop tactics, get in close, or stay out of the danger zone. I foolishly thought that a buddy was standard as there was one in the training. I was wrong! I stood isolated and alone and fearing for my life, tentatively creeping forward until I build up the confidence to go full on postal. I never thought I could do it until I surveyed the pile of corpses left in my wake. I AM A ZOMBIE KILLER!!!! Buddies are good though. Zomborg isn’t a walkover, but it’s not stupid hard either, Game Dev Lab have got the balance right. The better you get, the tougher the enemies get.
I struggled to get used to the movement of the camera, the character and firing all at the same time. I do appreciate that I am a bloke, so three things at once was never going to be easy. After a while I could almost get all three things working in perfect harmony, but my usual panic sometimes set in and chaos would rear its ugly head when things started to get frenetic. A 2 player mode. Zomborg screams out for it, but at the moment it’s one player (or a buddy) all the way.
Zomborg has one objective with the graphics. Make the game playable with enough gore to make it fun. I’m not saying that no gore would be no fun, but some gore will be funner. Mission accomplished. You can see clearly where you are going, you can see the enemies, you can rotate the camera to traverse the landscape without getting lost behind a building. Cutting edge they are not, hyper-realistic they are not, what is required for the game, they are. Zomborg has gone for the cartoony inspired look and I think it works well. Anything else would probably seem out of place or detract from the game play.
Zomborg goes bang when you fire a gun, it goes boom when a grenade explodes, so what more do you want? The noises when you die are quite disturbing. I typed up this review to the soundtrack of creatures feasting on my flesh as the game ran in the background. It was quite disturbing. There will be no awards for best sound effects, but I’ll wager we have all heard worse.
Play the game, complete the game, quaff champagne. Go out, have a meal, maybe the cinema, pop to the pub for a few drinks and see an awesome band. What you will unlikely do is play Zomborg again. Maybe nostalgia will set in in a few years and you’ll give it another go? Who knows. Zomborg style games have been around for over 25 years, so it will not really become outdated, but maybe lost in a sea of similar games. I hope that this doesn’t happen as I thoroughly enjoyed getting to grips with Zomborg and blasting bodies all over the screen. Top Tip! Get a grenade to go off under an enemy and watch them fly. The fact that this game is just £4 makes it an absolute bargain. A pint of Magners in a sunny pub garden or shooting zombies. Easy choice, now where’s my shotgun?
Zomborg has flesh eaten it’s way to a chomptastic Thumb Culture Silver award.