PAX Prime Hands-On: All Zombies Must Die
A nice big surprise at this year’s PAX Prime was All Zombies Must Die. Chris and I weren’t sure what to make of the game since we hadn’t seen many assets or heard any info about it before getting some hands-on time with it. It’s the spiritual successor to doublesix’s former digital title, Burn Zombie Burn! Many people may think that the whole zombie genre is getting played out in a big way (there are enough zombie games to call it a genre…), and I wouldn’t disagree with them, but I try my best to look past the hordes of undead flesh-seekers to find what game lies beneath. I think Burn Zombie Burn is a great game; it’s multiplier mechanic and score-chasing focus made it tons of fun. All Zombies Must Die takes a departure from BZB, though, and sets its focus on being a 4-player cooperative RPG. The protagonist of game, Jack, wakes up in a zombie apocalypse and is in heaven. He’s always been a gamer so he knows exactly what needs to happen in this type of a situation: All Zombies Must Die. The game follows the story of four characters: Jack, Rachel (Jack’s ex-girlfriend), Brian (a scientist), and Luxo (a rastafarian alien). I know that last part was in parentheses, but it bears repeating. One of the characters in this game is a rastafarian alien.
As I mentioned before, AZMD is focused on being a full-fledged, story-driven RPG. That means that you’ll be getting experience points from killing zombies, leveling your characters up, and specializing their stats so that you can play the way you want to play. Each character has affinities towards different stats, so while Jack can level up his attack stat with the least number of points, his defense takes considerably more to boost. Rachel is speedy with a weak attack, as is the female’s role in most video games. We didn’t get a chance to play with Brian or Luxo, but you get the point. There are four different status effects to tack onto zombies: Fire, sonic, shock, and radiation. Each one changes the zombies’ behavior in a different way, and the status effects can be combined to make for some creative killing methods. Also, the status effects alter the probability of what powerups zombies drop. For instance, ignited zombies are more likely to drop the X2 DMG powerup. There’s weapon crafting, too, so you’ll be able to wield whatever elemental forces you desire. The only drawback of All Zombies Must Die is that it’s a local game. I forget if there was mention of any leaderboard support, but the 4-player co-op is a same-couch affair. What we do know is that there will be DLC released to bring back the score-chasing crowd from Burn Zombie Burn. I’m happy about that, but also look forward to hacking and slashing through AZMD’s with a few good friends.
For more info on AZMD, listen to our day 2 impressions: “Amazing”