Developer: Moonbite Games, Padone Games
Genre: Action / First Person Shooter
Released: 22nd January 2014
Download Size: 1.4GB
I had not heard anything about this title when it came to us for review so I was interested to see just what this PSN title would have in store for me. It didn’t take me long to find out!
The storyline is ‘loosely’ based around the premiss that doomsday has hit while you were passed out during what looks like a Halloween party at university. You need to find your girlfriend that has been captured but you also find that in order not to become one of the zombie masses that now roam about, you need to consume the Zombeer beverage that can be found everywhere around campus. In doing so you must complete certain tasks such as opening locked doors and finding certain pieces of equipment.
Ok, that’s the standard part of the review and it was hard to even write that. What are my thoughts on Zombeer, well…….
Where do I begin? This game is downright awful! I mean terrible. I will try to explain why. Firstly, graphically it looks wrong on the console somehow. The graphics have a feel to them that I have only really experienced on a mobile platform i.e. on a tablet game etc. There’s a basic quality to the characters and levels that may have felt ok on the PlayStation 2 but they should be much better and more refined on the PlayStation 3. Colour schemes feel garish and overbearing. They have gone for neon greens and purples and seem to feel that this can be thrown about everywhere and somehow make the game look good. Sorry but it doesn’t. It looks as if they ran out of budget to create a better colour palette and give the game a more rounded feel. They obviously ran out of budget before they could do anything with lighting as well as the game is far too dark. Yes its set at night and yes being a dark and scary environment is where they must have wanted to go with this title but they went far too far. There are sections of the levels which are in pitch blackness and are in fact areas that you need to go to as hidden somewhere in the darkness are stairwells and doors but good luck as on the off-chance you can actually find one of these in the darkness you will then have to also be lucky with the way that the game realises you are next to a door and will show you the on-screen icon to open it. This happens occasionally and can become infuriating. I have stood next to a door in rare areas of full light and had to walk up against the door multiple occasions before the door icon will show. Very poor triggering mechanics.
Talking of poor triggers, This is at its roots a first person shooter although don’t tell it that as it has no clue. The first weapon you get in the game is a neon pink dildo. Why? no idea? what use is it? not much. You can take out zombies with it but you get no real sense of contact when you hit them. There are no real sound cues to go off etc. After that you can pick up nail guns which have the potency of a wet Kipper and then there’s the ‘Octogun’ an organic creature shotgun for some reason. The Octogun does do more damage at very, very short-range. Both of these weapons have the accuracy of a government opinion poll and are about as reliable. You can be virtually face to face with an enemy and still miss the target. If you play as a sniper or a purist in other first person shooter then the only accurate shot you will get is when you throw your controller at your screen!
Levels, yes there are levels and they all look pretty much the same, lots of green pipes and purple scattered around. As you progress through the game you will come across certain objects that you may recognise. Why they are there I have no clue but they are there. I saw the head from Saw, a hatched egg from Alien, the tricycle from The Shining, A carbonite casket from Star Wars and a dragon from somewhere that has a dragon (does it really matter at this point?).
As the game progresses you do catch up with your girlfriend and events unfold as she is taken away from you so you have to hunt her down again. I’m not entirely sure why I’m trying to hold plot spoilers back from you as I would guess you are getting an impression of the kind of game this is and what the score will probably be. Anyway, to add variety to the levels there is a sniper section where you have to help the university ‘cosplaying supermodel’ escape across the football field by shooting the chasing zombies. The shooting mechanics here are laughable. At first I took the serious approach and went for headshots etc and was lucky if I hit the mark 50% of the time. Now I freely admit I’m not the best shot in FPS’ers so that could have been my issue and not the game’s, however, I then attempted the same level pulled back on the sights a little and adopted the blind shot approach where I just fired in the general direction of the target and lo and behold I hit every target almost with ease. You can almost aim at the floor and it will count as a hit.
As I played Zombeer I became aware that what the developers have done is play a lot of great games and take parts out of some of them and throw them all together in a pot, add far too much booze and god knows what other substances, mix it all up and come up with this. I say this because during the game you have to hack vending machines which comes straight out of bioshock. The pink dildo is an obvious reference to Saints Row 3. The overly busty bouncing breasts of the zombies and other characters has to have come from something like Dead Or Alive. There are references to Call Of Duty, Mario, Pacman, Uncharted and more besides. The game also has an overall look as though the Joker from the Tim Burton Batman films was hired as a graphic designer for most of this as well.
I really want to believe that the designers were going for the ironic take on a FPS and wanted to throw as much clichés and nods to other games sarcastically as possible. I want to believe that. It feels however as though it began as that and then just went downhill. Other games have had nods to different games and movie references and have done them well or at least subtly. Zombeer is neither of these.
I played this for a while and it was the first game that since starting JoypadAndMe that I considered giving up on and walking away and not writing the review for. However, I wanted to give this game a fair shot at coming back from the brink so I played on. I gave it every opportunity to show me that it had something more to give or that there was a reason to play on. All I was looking for was any reason to be able to tell you that maybe, just maybe there was something here for even a niche market of gamers. All I can come up with is that in a couple of sections for a short time there is somewhat of a good soundtrack and that at least there’s trophies for the hunters out there, not many of them but they are there.
Overall this game feels like it is intended for the student market but I think that they will probably have missed this. It feels too puerile and adolescent to be of interest to all but a few people. The draw of large breasted, rabbit headed female zombies has to be a small market surely. I can see where the developers wanted to go with the joke references and pop culture nods but I feel that they missed the mark. Other games have done similar and have found a balance to it all or at least a way to keep it fresh, Zombeer felt too much like a random mix of everything else and not enough of its own identity.
All in all I would say that this game is a bad mash up of Saints Row 3, Catherine and Call of Duty with bits of others chucked in. This game would be overpriced at £3-5 but at £11.99 its just insanity.
Just like zombies, Best avoid at all costs!