Wave based shooters are nothing new. Waves are most commonly seen in tower defense strategy games, but games like Call of Duty: World at War and its “Zombies” mode took the concept to another level. Blood Waves tries to capitalize on the intensity of such a scenario, where you must survive wave after wave of hordes zombies with the only goal being to stay alive. No co-op. No story. No goals. Just stay alive. Is that a fun concept? Maybe, especially at a low entry fee, but it has to be done really well. Blood Waves is not done really well.
Blood Waves, developed and published by our friends at Sometimes You, makes its way to consoles after finding some love on Steam. I jumped at the opportunity to review it, as I had not had the chance to play many shooters in a third-person perspective yet on the Switch. I regretted my decision pretty quickly into it for many reasons. For one, the graphics are noticeably dated. Now I would not press too hard on visuals if the rest of the game made up for it, but it does not. As soon as you start playing, you will feel just how sluggish and stiff the controls are. Playing with the speed adjusters just throws things off even more. This is all before you even see a single zombie. THE ZOMBIES. Their physical design is OK, but their running animation, my god. That is something I cannot unsee. It is one of the worst, unintimidating zombie animations I have ever seen. It looks like a school child having a fit after being embarrassed and running away. I know that is very specific, but it is very accurate. The gameplay is just boring, as is evident having given the game multiple chances to impress.
You start off with a machete, and can earn money to buy new guns as well as trap items to help you survive. The best thing to do here is play upwards of four rounds without buying anything, saving your money to get a better gun in the process. This is a long, boring process, but it is the only way to make the game enjoyable in the long run. Once you get past this tiring process, you can probably afford an AK style gun, which should be the only weapon you really need for another four to six rounds. Save that money (except for buying some traps and ammo) and treat yourself to the minigun at this point. There are other weapons, like an uzi, a sniper, and a shotgun but the minigun and the AK are the two that are worth a damn. There are some cool traps too, flamethrowers being my personal favorite. Often, zombies will horde around these and wear them down, so be sure to protect your investments. If they do not break, you can repair them prior to beginning your next round. Beware though, the game prompts you to click the wrong button to repair (B) which actually starts your next round. Press A instead, you know, if you choose to play this title.
Everything else is pretty standard here. There are some upgrades you can attribute to your D-List Lara Croft-esque character, like improved health, stamina, or even increased rate of item drops (much needed for additional ammo.) After making it kind of far, losing just to start off with that damn machete just puts the last couple nails in the coffin for me. The game gives zero incentive to press on, nor does it offer co-op to at least offer a so-bad-its-good type of fun. I can’t speak much more on the game, as it offers little value or content to express further thoughts on. Blood Waves is dead on arrival, avoid it unless you want to become part of the lifeless horde.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 4.5/10
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