Story: London was overrun by zombies and in an effort to prevent the spread of the undead hordes, walls were built to isolate London. After years of being walled off, it is widely assumed that all those within the blockades have been killed, but a few survivors remain. A band of four survivors has come together with a plan to assault the zombies, take back London, and turn the city back over to the world of the living. Of course, four survivors against endless waves of the undead doesn’t seem fair, but these are no normal survivors. They will put their imposing fighting skills to the test, using wild combos and putting whatever weapons they find to good use, but will it be enough to reclaim London from the undead hordes?
Entertainment Value: Bloody Zombies is a side scrolling brawler, letting you choose between four hard ass survivors to tackle the undead. The game tasks you to fight groups of the zombies, sometimes in large numbers and once you’ve cleared a section, you can move on. After a few sections, a big bad boss will surface and put your skills on blast, requiring you to be nimble, learn patterns, and make the most of your combos and fine tuned battle tactics. This is where Bloody Zombies manage to stand out in a crowded genre, as it boasts a pretty deep combo system that allows you to go beyond the usual punch, punch, kick repetition. You can equip one special skill per color, each of which unlocks a powerful special move that gives you a potential edge. A slide can do damage and give you an escape route, while other skills might let you cap off a fight with some explosive damage. As you progress, you learn a lot of these skills and while only one per color is available at a time, the process to switch is simple and you can do it on the fly, even during a fight, if you’re that confident. The skills work like special moves in fighting games, tapping directions in rapid fashion, then capping off with a button, unleashing the fury on your enemies. This adds some welcome depth to a pretty worn genre, raising the skill cap quite a bit.
As usual for the genre, you can also find various weapons, pick up some objects to throw, and collect power-ups and boosts. The combat is fun, but I found controls to be a little on the sluggish side. I tried the game with both Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers, with the same fine, but slightly clunky results. This can lead to some tribulations in combat, especially boss fights, when you are slow to line up or evade. Never a crucial concern, but it is a noticeable issue. This game also offers coop options, so you can have up to three others join in your zombie hunts. This also has some nice twists involved, as you can have any manner of control blend, so players can use the standard controls or play the game in VR, in any configuration. I wasn’t able to sample the VR elements, but I know the game allows you to see a lot more of the levels. So while non VR players might get caught off guard by off screen enemies popping out of nowhere or miss little secrets, the VR players can see more and have better awareness. I appreciate the use of VR in this way, as you don’t need it, but if you have access, it can enhance your experience and even the games of those you are grouped with. In the end, Bloody Zombies is a solid brawler that holds added value for those with VR tech, so if you like side scrolling beat ’em ups, check it out.