You're burning rubber to get to the mayors house on time, but you've come head first into a car park full of zombies, hopefully that extra ramming upgrade pulled off because the only way out is the one you came in through. Although there’s a stockpile of cash in the far corner that will allow you to upgrade your rail gun. It's fight or flight in this addictive race-em-up, welcome to Zombie Driver.
Zombie Driver is a vehicular combat game set in an apocalyptic zombie setting much like Carmageddon, but top down like Grand Theft Auto. Where the game really excels is in its single player story mode that runs across 17 missions in a vast free roaming city, you'll need to complete missions to save the shell of a city from the disastrous zombie outbreak by rescuing survivors, slaughtering zombies and unlocking cars.
True to life, Zombie Driver is all about the cash, if you don’t kill enough zombies and complete objectives you'll find your pockets a little empty. Cash will drive your survival; literally, by upgrading your car's armour, ramming, and speed you'll stand a chance at surviving a little longer out in the real world. Then to really pack a punch, cash also enables you to upgrade the potential of pick-up weapons, so you can blast those zombies to pieces before they even hit the bonnet of your car.
You could compare Zombie Driver to the late Strike series; every mission has a set of primary objectives that range from eliminating zombies, clearing out areas or rescuing civilians, you will also receive secondary objectives such as completing missions in a certain time limit or simply saving more survivors than necessary. Completing secondary objectives puts a little more cash in your pocket and occasionally unlocks weapons and upgrades, not to mention a host of new cars; such as the Ambulance, School Bus and Sports car.
Alongside the engaging story mode, there are a few extras to keep you going, Slaughter mode is for those of you that don't wish to be inundated with picking up survivors, saving areas and time limits. In Slaughter mode you have unlimited reign in a small map area to eliminate wave upon wave of zombies, that steadily increase in number, variety and difficulty, unfortunately there are no online leaderboards, or this mode would be the perfect time waster to prove just how tough your little car is.
The Blood Race Single Event and Tournament mode are a pretty fun, but a very obvious addition to Zombie Driver which comes in three different flavours; Race, Endurance and Eliminator, whilst only available in singleplayer these modes are great for the competitive streak that runs in gamers, there's nothing better than shooting out first place with a cleverly timed rail-gun, and Endurance mode just separates the men from the boys as you race against the clock with dynamite strapped to your vehicle.
What is great about Zombie Driver is that it is one of those quaint and simple titles that can have you addicted within minutes, they are a rare breed, and Zombie Driver does it just as well as Diablo, Theme Hospital or the illustrious Crime Fighter.(look that one up, you will not be disappointed) They may not have the most up-to-date graphics, or big voice talent, but what they do have is good honest gameplay mechanics that work inexplicably so.
The only miniscule issue with the game is that in all its glory, it is strictly a singleplayer experience, there are no multiplayer races, slaughter or co-op campaign; the format would work exceedingly well with more than one player, however it was obviously never meant to be.
One other niggle that may have you infuriated with Zombie Driver is something you may have found with the original Grand Theft Auto. The game is governed by a waypoint system, however it will point to the marks as the crow flies, so you will often end up in a tight spot, whether you forgot about a mass of water inbetween you and your objective, or perhaps that the particular way you were headed is a dead end. You will often end up cursing after taking wrong turns only to end up in the same place you just got stuck in, fortunately Grand Theft Auto always came with a map, unfortunately Zombie Driver does not.
One of the most surprising areas that shines in Zombie Driver, is the audio design, which is absolutely fantastic; crashing into fences, zombies, cars, gates, houses, screeching along rails, everything has its own unique sound and really pulls you into the tense situations that you will face, swerving around the city.
Zombie Driver is an impeccably enjoyable experience from Exor Studios, and one that any casual or hardcore gamer can enjoy, just set yourself some time for playing, you’ll forget to stop otherwise.
Zombie Driver is mindless on the edge of your seat fun and is available now in all good retailers for an SRP of £24.99, if you’ve yet to enjoy the addictive hedonistic fun of Zombie Driver then check it out now.