Killallzombies is another foray into the ever-expanding world of zombie entertainment and it's brought to audiences by Beatshapers. It puts you in charge of an unknown protagonist as you look to fight off infinite hordes of zombies, all while offering up a decent range of weaponry and of course, challenges, as you progress through the waves.
To start off killallzombies offers one game mode and one weapon "“ it's all very minimal. There are additional modes promised for later, such as co-op, but they aren't ready for release yet.
So yes, you're given a pistol and told to just go to town. You need to kill as many zombies as possible in this weird virtual reality arena and that's about it. If you manage to survive long enough and accrue enough of a score, you will unlock different weapons for future play sessions, but it's actually surprisingly difficult. There are seven weapons in total and the last two (M16/M60) require a pretty special effort to unlock.
The weapons themselves do lend themselves towards very different play styles, but the general rule of thumb is "“ the further you had to progress to unlock the weapon, the better it is. The M60 is by far the best option, with an insane clip size, extensive range and solid damage and once you have it, it's difficult to look at any of the other weapons seriously any more.
The Gameplay is very straight forward and follows the general rule of thumb for twin-stick shooters. You also have the addition of a melee attack, but it's very much a last resort option unless you're trying to push towards some of the game's rather challenging trophies.
Everything at this point is very generic, but there are two elements that help to add a little bit more variety "“ leveling up and the changes for each wave. When you level up, you are given what's essentially a roulette. You will be presented with four options to assist you, but they differ greatly. Some will lead you to committing suicide for allow for greater rewards, while others will help you in one way, but hinder you in others. For example, you can increase your movement speed, but decrease your damage. What makes this mechanic interesting, is that you never know which four power-ups you will be presented with, and you can only choose one per level.
The other interesting element helps to ramp up the challenge considerably. Yes, this happens naturally with more zombies being added, and with them having different attributes. But because it's in some kind of weird arena, this in itself becomes an obstacle. Vehicles can drop from the sky, walls can be erected and you will even find UFOs and mechanical pandas appearing.
Due to the nature of the game, no two play sessions will be the same and they also last for an exceedingly long time "“ perhaps too long. You can play a single session for 15 minutes, die and be left with almost no sense of satisfaction because not much has really happened in that time "“ you might only be on Wave 7. It's nice that you can unlock weapons for progressing, but there's no other hook to keep you playing aside from sheer will power. There's one trophy for surviving for an hour and it's difficult to imagine anyone wanting to do that.
What changes this somewhat is when you consider the social aspect that the game attempts to push. When you're playing the game on a live streaming service, viewers will be able to affect what happens in the game. They will be able to influence in a real way, in real time and from that perspective it could help to keep things fresh.
It means that what's here is decent and it's nice that Beatshapers are going to be adding more content over time, but there needed to be a bit more at this point. The simple notion of replay value through streaming is not enough and it's disappointing, because there are so many smartphone games that offer consistent rewards for just playing the game and it feels like a real missed trick.
killallzombies feels like it's lacking in quite a few departments, but it does have a decent premise from which to build from. There's a decent arsenal and the challenge is very much there, even if it does take quite a while to get going. It just needs more to help encourage people to keep playing, because at the moment it requires too much on the part of the player.
|Decent selection of weapons.|
|How viewers can affect the game.|
|No real incentive to keep playing.|
|Needed more modes for launch.|
|Doesn't do much to expand the twin-stick shooter mechanic.|