hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

All Zombies Must Die!

Review: All Zombies Must Die!

2:00 PM on 01.03.2012 // Wesley Ruscher

As 2011 closed out it only seemed fitting that the gaming community was, once again, presented with the chance to take a shotgun to the head of its most overused mascot, the zombie. I mean, it was only last week when the last zombie themed video game, let alone a zombie themed twin-stick shooter came out, right? Well regardless of how long it actually has been, if there are two things the video game world has seen enough of over the past few years,  it's zombies and twin-stick shooters.

All Zombies Must Die is the amalgamation of these two worn gaming clichés. A premise and playstyle that many idle thumbs with a hankering for decimating the deceased can already find festering in the market. Be that as it may though, the team at doublesix has a few tricks up their sleeves for helping their cooperative entry survive its genre's own apocalypse.

All Zombie Must Die! (PSN, XBLA [Reviewed])
Developer: doublesix
Publisher: doublesix (PSN), Square Enix (XBLA)
Released: December 27, (PSN), December 28, 2011 (XBLA)
MSRP: $9.99, 800 Microsoft Points

From the very moment one enters the city of Deadhill, it's pretty clear that All Zombies Must Die isn't your typical undead romp. With its Nickelodeon-esque art style, the game is visually quite a departure from the typical gore-filled, realistic setting that the subject matter is known for. A sort of breath of fresh air that, while looking kid friendly, still packs all the blood, decapitations, and grotesque creatures zombie fans have come to expect.

As the story begins, and the first homage to one of many pop culture references is made, the game wastes no time in unleashing the undead. This is an arcade-action game that's all about shooting zombies first and asking questions later. In fact, the game thrives on the idea that it is a video game with clever writing that constantly breaks the fourth wall. It's often humorous to hear the game's main protagonist complain that he has played a video game exactly like what is happening in his world. Then again, playing All Zombies Must Die is an experience many gamers have done a few times already.

Featuring gaming's most hackneyed antagonist, within the delicate packaging of a genre that is becoming just as tired, presents a difficult task for delivering a standout adventure. All Zombies Must Die's bread and butter is its seamless drop-in and out four-player co-op, but ironically it's also its biggest weakness. That's right, while the game is built on the foundation of surviving relentless wave after wave of zombies with friends, the experience is relegated to local play only. I can understand doublesix's idea for wanting to create something that defies the norms, but when pretty much every direct competitor to All Zombies Must Die offers an online experience, its omission is as inexcusable as it is bewildering.

If you do manage to rustle up a few friends, though, All Zombies Must Die provides a fairly fun fight that is only heightened by its charm and ability to combine some enjoyable gameplay systems. For starters, there is a light RPG progression system -- built on level grinding and stat customization -- weapon and tool crafting, and plenty of quests to occupy the most attentive of players. They are all executed well and add much needed depth and diversity to a game struggling to create a unique identity in an overcrowded market.

Calling All Zombies Must Die a twin-stick shooter with some RPG trappings is fair assessment, but at its core it can best be described as a arena shooter. The difficulty can be brutal -- especially going solo since there is no way to revive -- but what truly makes the game a challenge is the way players must complete a mini-task before being allowed to leave any zone. These tasks range from collecting specifically dropped items to killing certain types or amounts of zombies. Unfortunately, these tasks tend to blur all into one big rinse and repeat cycle after a while and ultimately show their true purpose of only stretching out the length of the game.

The game does its best to keep things fresh by introducing new zombie classes throughout -- adding a little strategy to the mix. What makes each set of zombies even more entertaining is a range of effects that can, often inadvertently, be bestowed upon them by the player. Flames make faster zombies and sirens from police cars bestow a greater sense of strength to the undead. It really makes every encounter a life and death situation and forces players to be mindful of their weapons' status effects and any environmental hazards that may be lurking nearby. There's a great sense of chaos created by All Zombies Must Die, which is only amplified in the case of multiplayer thanks to the scaling difficulty.

It generally goes without saying that most games are more entertaining with friends. Sadly, I found all the robust RPG, questing, and crafting experiences in All Zombie Must Die better suited for my single-player excursions. Now this isn't to say that I had more fun going it solo, it'd just that with the many layers and length of the overall game, seeing this game to its completion with a four couch-camping companions may be a tad unobtainable.

There is a lot to love with All Zombies Must Die, from its more humorous writing to its charming visuals, but ultimately the game fails to deliver the in-depth multiplayer experience it set out to. There's a solid experience to be had from start to finish, but unless you've been in a coma, or underneath a rock for the last few years, you've probably already played this game.



All Zombies Must Die! - Reviewed by Wesley Ruscher
Amicable - A presentable but unmemorable time. Focusing on the bright spots helps, and I appreciate the effort, but I won't be playing this repeatedly.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Wesley Ruscher, Former Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure wesleyruscher Tips
Former Dtoid Weekend News Editor / Mash Tactics Host. Current Game PR Monkey Twitter @wesleyruscher more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Cynic without a Cause avatarCynic without a Cause
I just wanna get drunk and listen to J-pop
extatix avatarextatix
Spiel was mightily expensive. Holy shit... Good thing I didn't bring more money with me, too. Saw enough stuff I'd love to own.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
In memory of Lesser Dog of the snow fields. 1 spaghetti = never forgetty
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Trialling PS Now - review to come later - has reminded me of a piece of little-reported PS3 news. Owners of hacked PS3s could turn any PS2 game into a 'Classics' title and run them on a bog-standard PS3 with few issues.
nanashi avatarnanashi
Wanna ask a question for tomorrow's PStoid? You still have time! While you're at it don't forget to ask one for Riobux too!!
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I caught a reflective mumbling about MGSV's open structure and how it doesn't sit well with me, to be published whenever I litter it with images.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, an article today got me thinking about this so without further ado, whats your favorite pokemon? This is mine:
Clarence Sheridan avatarClarence Sheridan
Winter is Coming and so is the new mobile game: “Frosty The Assassin” New Mobile Game coming soon... [img][/img]
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I cast my little worm in to the pond for a topic to try to make a blog about today. I fish fish fish but nothing bites bites bites.
Perro avatarPerro
I cracked and bought Final Fantasy Dimensions on Android last night. Half off sounded like just the right price, though I wish this came out on 3DS or even the Vita but at least it gives me something to do on the porcelain throne!
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Coming soon in Mortal Kombat XXX DLC - HUMILITALITY [youtube][/youtube]
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Those N64-era THQ wrestling games have actually held up really well over the years. Take that, nostalgia!
Halflocke avatarHalflocke
Underhero a 2d side scrolling rpg on indie gogo
extatix avatarextatix
Heading off to Spiel in a bit. A whole lot of games there, just of the cardboard variety. I love me some board games.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Finally finished The Witcher 3. Definitely one of the best games I've played in my 30 years or so of gaming. Now onward to Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
*playing an old ps1 game* "START and SELECT don't bring the menu up?! WELL WHAT THE FU-oh, it's Triangle..."
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
If anyone's playing Marvel Puzzle Quest (any platform) you should join my Alliance, RedRightHand, and help me kick some Galactus butt for their second anniversary event. (Please?)
Shinta avatarShinta
MGS Online Day 3. I have 3 character up to level 10 now, one in each class. They're all pretty handy, but I do miss the scout's mark speed the most on other classes.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The SW: Battlefront is pretty and has great sound design, but the gameplay is so shallow and has seemingly no depth! If the full game is like this I will be disappointed.
Torchman avatarTorchman
*looks at Amazon preorder* This one's for you Chib'
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
All Zombies Must Die!

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -