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+ Missions are fast-paced and brutally fun
+ Satisfying visuals and audio
+ Slaughter mode provides hours of fun and leaderboard competition
This isn't a game that wastes its time delivering compelling narratives or experimenting with some new spin on dispatching contemporary gaming's most overused enemies; it's just you and your car. You smash through them and the destructible terrain with taxis and school buses, you fry them with rocket launchers and flamethrowers, and you level up your weapons and armor to do the same job more efficiently. It's not the most imaginative game around, but it's dumb, gory fun.
In single-player, you’re challenged with over 30 different missions, each set in a huge open-world environment. Sadly, the campaign’s variety doesn’t live up to its scope, with most objectives finding you driving to different locations and relieving them of the undead.
There are secondary errands for you to complete, but these often slap an arbitrary time limit on the endeavour, or force you to plough through a specific number of corpses in return for monetary bonuses.
While the campaign might yield its share of kicks, it's nowhere near as engaging as the survival-style Slaughter mode, which pits you against escalating numbers of zombie hordes and rewards you with weapon upgrades for surviving a round. As you progress through the campaign and the other game modes, you’ll constantly be earning cash. The game boasts a combo system, which sees you richly rewarded for initiating kill chains.
In order to maximise your score, you need to use various different kill tactics in a single string. For example, you’ll need to kill enemies with the front, sides, and behind of your car, as well as with different weapons, turbo boosts, and more. Making the most out of this mechanic is essential, as it enables you to afford the aforementioned vehicle upgrades, and makes you more versatile in combat.
As in the campaign, there's a welcome variety of enemies, including run-of-the-mill zombies that swarm the car, hulking brutes that throw bricks, and fat zombies that rush you and explode.
If there's a problem, it's that the tiny maps feel cramped after the spacious landscapes of the campaign, and the limited space ensures that you spend much of your time in Slaughter mode simply driving around in circles
The game boasts some outstanding visual effects, but these can be overwhelming. Some missions take place at night with only your vehicle’s headlights and the crackle of lightning to illuminate your path – but while these stages look stunning, it can be near impossible to navigate your way through the open-world’s windy back roads with so little lighting.
It doesn’t help that the compass system and map overlay is dreadfully clunky, making it hard to know where you’re going in even the clearest weather conditions.
Zombie Driver HD features a more varied narrative campaign that is twice as long as the original, adding epic boss fights, demolition missions, new enemies and special vehicles such as a fire truck, bulldozer and even a tank, as well as many more gameplay enhancements. Zombie Driver HD does its job well enough for you to overlook its lesser aspects; after all, it understands what makes the concept so appealing to begin with.
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