We all know that the zombie apocalypse is coming, but gamers should have had enough practice by now to survive beyond doomsday. What’s next for a world littered with corpses, then? A reality television show – with a hashtag as part of its title, of course. This is the (horrific) future that #killallzombies peddles, but as imaginitive as this twin-stick shooter from Beatshapers sounds, there isn’t enough of a pulse here for it to fully excite you.
The goal of the game is to survive against waves upon waves of the undead, using the weapons and tools allotted to you. The controls are simple: you move with the left stick, shoot with the right stick, and execute various melee and special attacks with the DualShock 4’s various buttons. The gameplay is slick and fluid, even if it’s not especially innovative – and while the visuals aren’t particularly amazing, the animations and details on certain items are fabulous.
Unfortunately, unless you’re addicted to repeating the same actions over and over in an attempt to unlock better weapons, there’s really not that much else to do in this game. The developer has promised that two more modes in addition to the bog standard survival mode will arrive in the future, but with just one game mode and arena, this is sorely lacking in content.
Fortunately, in order to combat the lack of variety, the one included level is somewhat dynamic. Different objects such as RVs fall out of the sky and guns come out of the floor, along with health packs and more.
And, to be honest, despite its simplicity, this is strangely engaging. There’s just something addictive about stacking up your specials all while learning new tactics to outsmart the huge numbers of rotting corpses that you’re up against. The developer’s clearly had fun making it, too, as some of the weapons and specials reference Internet memes, which is a nice touch.
What do these specials entail, though? Well, they range from invulnerability all the way through to self exploding for extra points – and because they’re randomly unlocked every time that you play, it forces you to think on your feet. It’s just a shame that, in order to select these powers, you’re forced to pause the action.
Arguably the game’s headline feature, however, is its live streaming options. When playing on Twitch or Ustream, your viewers will have the ability to affect what’s going on in the title by throwing different challenges and obstacles in your direction. There are tons of options here, and it’s a genuinely good idea – but we’re not all online celebrities, and so commanding the kind of audience required to really make this shine doesn’t seem particularly practical.
#killallzombies feels like an unfinished product, and it’s a shame because there’s an enjoyable and moreish foundation to be found here. The gameplay is addictive despite its lack of variety, and the streaming features are a neat trick – even if you won’t ever be guaranteed an audience to play with. There are better twin-stick shooters already available on the PS4, but if you happen to like the genre, this may be worth a look once Beatshapers adds in its extra modes.