Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip is a top-down, shoot’em up developed by High Voltage Software and published by GameMill Entertainment. Our story begins with our beloved dynamic quartet ten years after their adventures in the first film. They find themselves still in sunny Los Angeles, but resources are dwindling, and it is time for a new journey, a road trip if you will! Antics ensue as the gang travels to the nation’s capital; Washington D.C. and you better believe they get over their heads more than once. So, are you capable of getting Zombie Kill of the Week? Or will you lose out to some little old lady once again?
The gameplay mechanics are pretty standard for the genre. You start with a weak pistol, scavenge through dumpsters, trunks, and coolers for in hopes of better weapons, kill a bunch of zombies, all while moving throughout the zombie-filled United States in hopes of reaching a safe place. I was honestly taken back by how good the game played because going into this game, I was not expecting much as one does when playing any tie-in game. The weapons were quite varied, and the game ran very smooth for the most part. From assault rifles to sniper rifles and everything in between, there is always something that can fit your niche and kill some zombies along the way. Most of the ranged weapons felt good to use, aside from the obvious entry-level weapons that were about as useful as your pistol. My biggest gripe was with the assortment of melee armaments at your disposal, they all felt too similar and lackluster. Yeah, they were good enough to get by or clear out a horde or two, but I just never felt like I should trade out my guns for a sword.
Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip takes you through ten main levels and five side missions while delivering the rootinest, tootinest zombie-killing experience this side of the Mississippi. Each mission takes you on a wild adventure fighting harder zombies in the search for the two things that keep a grown man going in a zombie apocalypse; the search for everlasting freedom and, more importantly, Twinkies. While I found myself enjoying my time, the stages blended when speaking about your objectives. They would make an appropriate comment about the area, but for the most time, you ran from one side of the map down a winding corridor to a big fight at the end, rinse and repeat. However, the side missions were a nice treat after playing the game. Drop-in a familiar location that has been twisted around, you are given a random objective like searching for food or weapons. They can be quite tedious, but each level rewards you with a new character.
Speaking of characters, our heroes, Tallahassee, Columbus, Little Rock, and Wichita, lead the expedition as one would expect from a game following the story of Zombieland. Everyone is statistically the same from the start aside from their special ability, but as you progress you earn experience and subsequently skill points to improve either your health, damage, movement speed or reload speed. Health, damage, and surprisingly reload speed are critical especially in the later levels, while movement speed doesn’t matter besides saving you time. I prioritized health as high-tier weapons like the assault rifles and minigun faired fine on their own without any buffs to damage and barely ran into trouble. One aspect that I thought I would enjoy was the characters’ special abilities, but I was left wanting more from all of them. I primarily played Tallahassee, so most of my playthrough I got to use his Double Chainsaw Spin. Sure, it killed enemies and refreshed quickly, but it just didn’t feel as powerful as they implied. I would have assumed a move that required you to get in the center of a horde of zombies would reduce damage or something. However, I would find myself having to stop earlier to keep myself from going down. The other characters’ moves didn’t provide much more, Columbus would slow down time, Wichita would create exploding decoys, and Little Rock would shoot and reload faster while healing herself. All average in their way and Little Rock having the only one that I found even remotely practical. Nothing more came from the secret characters as they all shared one of the main ensemble’s abilities.
The visuals and soundtracks were a mixed bag of positive and negative experiences. To start, the character portraits were done very well and looked close to the actors they represented. Their models followed the same trend and were easily distinguishable even from the top-down perspective. While I felt the stages started blending in terms of what they expected you to do, the environments were quite varied as you went from an abandoned amusement park to a suburban neighborhood to finishing in a larger city center. This change of location helped get through the similarities experience while playing and help fend off the boredom that would have most likely set in without it. The soundtrack, on the other hand, was mostly negative in my opinion. I will admit, the voice acting tried and some dialogue sounded a bit like the actors, but most of the time it sounded like they were doing a terrible impression. I also didn’t like the writing as it didn’t come even close to the humor presented in the movies. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was still disappointed with this aspect.
In the end, Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip was an average experience that fell flat on various levels but wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I wasn’t expecting much going into this, I anticipated it being mediocre, but I was still let down on multiple fronts. The game is priced at $40 USD, which is way too much for what this game has to offer. There might be a few fun moments scattered throughout this game, but I cannot recommend picking this up at full price, you just wouldn’t get what you paid for. I would advise steering clear or waiting for a sale.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review
Final Score: 5/10
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