Bloody Zombies, from Paw Print Games, somehow manages to be exactly what I expected, while being so much more at the same time. At first glance, it is side-scrolling brawler reminiscent of classics such as Double Dragon or Street Fighter. It features a lot of the same punch and kick combos, and if we’re being honest, they all have the same premise: walk down the street from left to right, kicking ass and taking names.
In Bloody Zombies, instead of punching the hell out of random street thugs, or masked bad guys, you’re fighting zombies. Bloody Zombies to be exact, and by the truckload. You can play as one of four cockney blokes as they battle their way through the streets of London. Wait, it takes place in London? These are foul-mouthed Brits? I just got the double meaning of “bloody” zombies. Oh, that’s clever (and I’m slow). Anyway, there are all sorts of different types of zombies here, and they each utilize different characteristics and different combat techniques.
Here is the story in a nutshell: there are zombies in London. The city was overrun, so they erected walls to blockade and isolate the city. Everyone inside is dead, or undead. Except those four aforementioned badasses that are about to open can after can of whoopass.
Whichever of the four colorful characters you choose, Teller, Mick, Rei or Eddie; you’ll have more options than the typical punch, punch, kick combinations as you learn to combine moves for nearly endless charitable combos. You’ll collect color-coded special skills that unlock powerful special moves. These special moves can be difficult to pull off, but they are bloody cool when you do. Also, throughout your journey you’ll stumble across the occasional weapon, like swords or hammers. These pack a powerful punch for a short while, before they break and fall away. All of this is to say, that Bloody Zombies is easy to pick up and play, but there is a lot to master and it won’t be easy.
You can unleash your new skills as you clear the various forms of rotting dead from each section of the street. Eventually, you’ll run into one of the several bosses per level. These giant, undead meatsacks will test your dodging skills, your pattern memorizing, and your button-mashing-thumb-speed. The levels and the zombies are varied, but my favorite part of the game is the VR portion.
You can play single player in VR, or locally with a friend, although due to system limitations, obviously only one of you can be in VR at a time. However, in online coop, there is no limit to how many of the four players can play utilizing the PSVR headset. Of course it is not necessary to play in VR, but being able to lean in and look around obstacles does offer a distinct tactical advantage.
In VR, the game is still a 2 dimensional side-scrolling brawler. But now you can look down the entire street to see what’s to come. You can look up and see hidden areas that were impossible to see with the locked point of view offered by the standard 2D version, and you’ll see the city in much greater detail. It’s awesome. More awesome than I expected it to be and I was already looking forward to it.
I started the game in 2D and played the first level, and I enjoyed it. I then busted out my trusted VR headset and couldn’t believe the difference it made. Being able to see a much larger section of the city adds a dimension to the game that was very much welcome, even if it’s only mental. Side note that doesn’t matter: Each character being controlled by a player in VR will find their little guy (or gal) wearing a tiny digital headset. It doesn’t affect gameplay in any way, as it’s purely cosmetic. I just thought it was a nice touch. The only knock I have on the VR portion of the game is that the view did seem a little jumpy. Sometimes the view wobbled left and right or even front to back. It wasn’t constant and it didn’t happen all of the time but it did happen. Also, when the wife and I were swapping between players so she could try the VR, the game locked up and shut the whole system off. Our save file was subsequently corrupted. I’m not sure if it was the games fault, and it hasn’t happened again, but I felt I should mention it.
The game is fun to mess around with on a casual level, and there is something more for the player who wants to really dig in. Add in the really cool VR aspect, and you can’t go wrong. If you like Brawlers, zombies, or if you own Sony’s VR Headset, Bloody Zombies is a no-BRAINer. See what I did … oh, nevermind.
Bloody Zombies PS4/PSVR Review
Bloody Zombies is a fun game to jump into and mess around. It also has a ton of red meat to devour if you want to really dig in and master all of the combos the game has to offer. Toss in 4 player co op and a really cool VR option and you may just have a can't miss title.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.