Review: Zombie Tycoon 2: Brainhov’s Revenge
Sometimes the single player for a game can sour the whole experience; for me this happened in Zombie Tycoon 2. When playing online I was having a blast, but one mission in the single player brought to light a load of issues with the game.
Before we get back into that let me break the game down. Zombie Tycoon 2 is the sequel to the PlayStation miniS title Zombie Tycoon. Both are real time strategy games, but Zombie Tycoon 2 simplifies the formula a little bit. Instead of customizing your zombies units with different equips, like in Zombie Tycoon, you over run different buildings which will spawn different units. Another big difference is the addition of a Monster unit.
Monsters are different from the zombies you control. They range from a wild badger to a bear to a zombie car. Each of these monsters have different abilities that you have to unlock by killing different humans on each stage. Some of these abilities are very useful, allowing you to overtake buildings very quickly, or stunning enemies for a small amount of time. You will want to overtake as much as possible as it not only adds experience to your monster, but it also gives you more zombies to control.
For every building you overtake a new zombie is added to your “Dead Rush.” This is a very useful move that will send all of your roaming zombies to attack a specified target. It can be quite helpful when overtaking many buildings that are in close proximity or to launch a surprise attack in multiplayer. The last big addition is a “Mobile Spawner” which acts as a mobile command center. This however brings up on of my complaints with the single player. Almost every level boils down to just one large escort mission.
The mission that broke the camels back for me was Mission 7. Here you are tasked with destroying a nuclear plant that is heavily guarded by the toughest enemies in the game, Rednecks. You really don’t have much experience against large numbers of them at this point and there are what seem like hundreds of these guys roaming around the map. You have to constantly be watching over your Mobile Spawner here, because if a group of these guys get behind your defenses it is pretty much game over. And what is worse is that sometimes units just seemed to stand there and not help defend, leading to another quick death.
While playing this level over the course of something like 4 days I just kept dying and dying. I had no real problems difficulty wise until I got to this stage. At one point I went to Twitter to see if I was the only one, and it seems like I wasn’t alone. The level that is after this was a cake walk, so it seems like there is just an outrageous spike in difficulty here.
One last thing I noticed while struggling with this stage was that there was no real quick way to send all your units at once. You pretty much have to mash all the buttons if you want to do this (units are mapped to the different face buttons). It seems like something trivial, but it would have made sending all your troops less of a hassle.
While I was not a fan of the single player, the multiplayer is actually quite fun. I think this is due to the fact that these stages are designed with many tight corridors to defend, and obviously don’t have many roaming Rednecks to make you rage. Also because these maps are smaller the sending all units one place isn’t that big of a deal, since they are usually pretty close to begin with. The goal is just to take down your enemie’s Mobile Spawner by whatever means possible.
You can choose between the two base unit types, Tycoon’s slow but stronger green zombies or Brainhov’s quick and numerous purple zombies. You can also bring along the Monster of your choice. Your strategy really depends on how you want to play. For me that was using purple zombies and trying to quickly getting as many zombies in my Dead Rush, it is almost like Zerg rushing. I guess I should mention that I had a few problems with games dropping before the start, but it could just be my internet. But a warning nonetheless.
So even though I did have some fun while playing multiplayer, the single player really just ruined this game for me. That one rage inducing single player mission had me on the verge of breaking my controller numerous times. And I really don’t think it was my fault. The culmination of all these design decisions just got exposed in one terrible stage.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- The different "Monster" units
- Great online play
- I really like the visual style
What I Dislike:
- Single player feels like 1 unending escort mission
- Crazy difficulty spikes
- No way to send all units quickly
- AI won't attack enemies at times