Exor Studios seem to be keen to put Zombie Driver onto every format possible. After debuting on tablets the videogame made it’s way to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 last year with significant visual upgrades. Now Zombie Driver has made it’s way to Xbox One, under the guise of Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition, and in doing so it’s brought with it new weapons, more zombies and a host of new visual details and graphical finesse. It’s the same videogame underneath, but it has earned that ‘Ultimate Edition’ subtitle.
The campaign appears in Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition much as it did in Zombie Driver HD on Xbox 360. Blood Race and Slaughter modes are also included, rounding out a package that offers a considerable amount of variation on it’s standard gameplay formula. It may not be surprising stuff, but it remain enjoyable throughout; even when the difficulty is cranked up without much of a warning.
The campaign is a series of challenges that offer little indication of their objective until you reach a specific destination. A top-down driving videogame in which the player takes control of one of several vehicles and takes to the zombie-filled streets, Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition is pretty blunt in it’s core gameplay cycle. The awkwardness of the vehicle handling is intentional – similar in it’s interpretation to a Micro Machines videogame – and adjusting to the constant switch between road-and-map views is an important skill. Collecting weaponry mid-level that has a limited use does help widen your options, but isn’t essential. You can mow down weaker zombies without batting an eyelid and as you unlock upgrades for your vehicles you’ll be able to push through larger hordes and bigger bad guys with each sprint, handbrake turn and donut.
Rescuing survivors, clearing an area of infected enemies and defeating large bosses. This is the long-and-short of a campaign that is enjoyable but stutters with an irritating difficulty curve. The secondary objectives can be a source of entertainment that may draw you back once completed, but it’s more likely to be the Blood Race and Slaughter that will maintain your interest in the long term.
The Blood Race mode is a series of increasingly difficult tournaments. Picking their challenges from Race, Eliminator (more vehicle kills equals better medals) and Endurance (checkpoint race) events, the player has to secure first place in every event to win the tournament, though not necessarily to unlock the next. Much like the secondary objectives in the campaign returning to achieve that all-gold tally is an achievement only the most committed zombie slayer will endeavour to own.
The Slaughter mode is simply a survival challenge. Endless waves of zombies will attempt to take you down as you aim to keep your health up and your ammo stocked with power-ups that appear in pre-determined locations. It’s simple, it’s brutal, and it’s an entertaining way to lose an hour or so.
While Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition isn’t going to go down in history as a landmark Xbox One title, it’s no less enjoyable now than it was on Xbox 360. Indeed, the lack of multiplayer remains a hindrance, but the overarching experience is a very positive one regardless. A distraction between larger experiences, Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition does exactly what it was intended to do: fill a few idle moments with a little retro-inspired entertainment.