Legacy Review, Critic Reviews (5)
In I, Zombie you play as the leader of a zombie horde and your goal is to infect all humans on the map. Whenever you infect a human you turn him into a one of your kind and you can use him against armed soldiers. You’re also able to command your horde to either attack the enemies, follow you or wait for orders. Each scenario requires tactical approach and careful planning to achieve success.
I've always been a Zombie fan and I've certainly played my fair share of zombie games, most of those involved either running from or shooting as many of the flesh craving zombies as possible often with mass amounts of blood spattering rewarding my failures.
I Zombie is a very different type of zombie game you will still run around the various levels and you will be responsible for many a zombie death in the game but that’s not a good thing!
You're the leader of zombies and it’s your mission to fight back against the usual gun toting good guys and make the zombies successful for once.
You’ll normally start with just a single zombie and the usual task is to turn every non zombie into one of your loyal, obeying mindless zombie minions.
Other scenarios involve trying to take out a special scientist placed at the end of a level while trying to avoid soldiers armed with super weapons that will take you out within seconds (created by that pesky scientist you’re out to kill)
And another example involves you starting at the beginning of a level facing certain death if you were to step out into the open but thankfully there is another zombie usually towards the end of the level that can be controlled with various button commands that will hopefully ensure your zombie slave kills a good number of the enemy and help free your almighty zombie leader from his current locked down position.
While these variations in level design help mix things up the game would still benefit from a little more variation and this along with the number of levels on offer is its biggest disappointment for me.
While it's always nice to find a game you aren't really ready to end it's still a shame the game featured so few levels.
With just 20 standard levels and 10 winter levels even chasing all 3 stars on each level the game came to an end sooner than I expected.
(It is worth noting the Steam version includes a level creator where you can play other players levels or create your own but this isn't considered in for this review as it's not the steam version being reviewed)
The 3 star system while not dramatically increasing playtime it does help at the very least give you something more to aim for.
All 30 levels have a 3 stars target that are accomplished by having a set number of Zombies alive or beating the level within a certain time frame depending on level scenario.
Half of the games 30 levels will probably result in a 3 stars on your first clear run through but there are a few that will require a reasonable amount of strategy and a small handful of levels that require an almost perfect plan to have any hope of getting the 3 stars.
Once all 90 stars are obtained the only thing really left to do in the console version is speed runs.
To help with motivation for the competitive type there are online leaderboards for the fastest times to complete each of the games 30 levels where number of surviving Zombies is not a factor.
I'm not the most competitive player in the world (most of the time) but I did spend a little time on this knocking even a few seconds off my best time to help me move up the overall leaderboard but i'm not sure it will be much of a selling point to the majority.
A few years ago I even managed to rank number 1 in the world for a few hours on the winter levels before being overtaken once again If only I had a screenshot!
Perhaps one day I’ll be back to try reclaim that crown and I can start a Legacy Word record series in the features section.
The music is repetitive but inoffensive, while the graphics are a little basic looking but the cartoon style is bright and colourful enough for the type of game it is.
Your main zombie character (at least to me) looks something similar to that creature from Futurama (I don’t know his name it’s not a show for me) and the rest of the characters have their own unique little zombie transformations once they’ve joined your undead army like everything else there is nothing amazing about them but it all fits in with well enough given the likely budget of the game development and the very low selling price of the game.
The game controls very well, movement is smooth and the buttons are assigned to make your Zombie horde follow you, wait where they are, or attack.
They will occasionally not take the most perfect route when you give your orders but for the most part any failure on a mission is down to you and you alone.
I would like to seen more variety in level design and hopefully at least a couple more scenarios if a sequel is ever considered.
30 levels feels like it ends far too quickly especially with winter only having 10 levels compared to 20 in summer.
The game is sold at a very low price and it would be hard to argue that you aren't getting enough value for your money regardless how competitive you might be post game but I still feel at the very least 10 more winter levels would have left me more content.
On the whole I enjoyed almost every minute with my little zombie Army, and every little change in strategy to try and save that one extra zombie or knock those few extra seconds off my best time.
I just picked up the steam version where I'll be making recordings of a number of user generated levels at some point in the future and that is probably the best option for those that have a choice.
However console players who like little bite sized strategy games can still have fun here as long as your willing to take into account like the price tag the game is pretty small.
I found I, Zombie to be particularly uninteresting. I’m not saying it’s bad but it doesn’t have much to offer. The idea of being the zombie instead of the survivors has been visited before but I, Zombie places that idea in its simplest form. The problem is the sparse content, repetitive gameplay, and dull environments. The lack of creativity or motivation to make meaningful changes left a bad taste in my mouth. The short experience failed to stand out and, though fun while it lasted, was entirely forgettable.
The Switch, as a portable console, is great for this game. It’s always nice to have an infectious zombie on hand to pass the time when out and about. And though the gameplay itself is repetitive, it's a solid game with its tactical challenges and a great design.
It’s also a horribly, horribly plain looking game. Because each level plays out on a single screen panel, there’s a lack of a sense of scale, which is generally appreciated in a strategy game. Environments look like they were done in ten minutes in Microsoft Paint, too. This kind of game flies by okay as a little mobile time waster, but a PlayStation 4 experience needs to offer much more than this.
I’m doubtful that anyone will be able to get any long-term enjoyment out of I, Zombie, but if nothing else the game does a okay job of killing an hour’s worth of your time with some easy timing puzzles. It’s a shame that the game doesn’t make better use of its planning and problem solving, otherwise I, Zombie might have had the potential to be something greater.
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