Burn, Zombie, Burn! is an interesting return to old-school arcade gameplay; comical in its nods to retro exploitation vogue, yet complex in its scoring structure.
What’s It All About?
Bruce, a rad quiff-sporting stereotype, was hoping to spend his weekend cozying up to bubble-gum popping spouse Daisy. Sadly, there’s an unannounced zombie invasion issuing him with the task of clearing out the undead. Thankfully Bruce has a stash of crypt crocking weapons available.
Burn, Zombie, Burn! is an old school arcade shooter inspired by classics such as Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Smash TV.
What We Liked:
- Scoring structure. Burn, Zombie, Burn!’s interesting scoring mechanic is what makes the game so compelling. Essentially, in the standard arcade mode, you’re playing to set the highest possible score. Score is achieved by ridding the screen of zombies, who appear in waves. To achieve the highest scores you need to set the zombies on fire (by activating a torch via R2) — the more zombies you have on fire, the more your score gets multiplied when you take them out. It sounds simple, but you realise how incredibly deep it is the more you play. Essentially, by taking out the zombies you’ve set alight you are minimising your multiplier, so the gameplay becomes a balancing act of who to set on fire and who to kill. And of course, naturally things get evermore difficult as the screen gets littered with enemies.
- Sheer number of zombies. We kid you not, there will be times playing Burn, Zombie, Burn! that there will 250(+) zombies on screen. The pace is constantly frantic thanks to a thumpy soundtrack and excellent enemy animation. While the initial set of zombies are particularly slow, later enemy types include ballerinas and American Football players, all of which are much more nimble. The design is also particularly hilarious, with nods towards both comic strips and retro-B movies.
- Content. Burn, Zombie, Burn! could probably get away with being just an arcade mode at £6.29 ($9.99). However, developers DoubleSix have packed the game with content. There is a “Challenge Mode” which gives you a range of “alternative” tasks to complete, a timed mode, a “Protect” mode and tons of artwork and screen filters to unlock. The game also has trophy support, however some of the trophies will require massive commitment.
- Weapons. One of the best things about a game like Burn, Zombie, Burn! is its weaponry. Besides the standard shotgun, pistol and uzi there is a chainsaw, lawnmower, baseball bat, flamethrower and dance gun. The latter of which leaves the zombies grinding to the music while you chop them in half with a chainsaw. Jesting we are not.
What We Didn’t Like:
- Loading times. As an arcade game we couldn’t help but feel that Burn, Zombie, Burn! was a bit slow to the action. Things like moving on to the next level and starting a new game took a little longer than we would have hoped for, particularly given the frantic style of the gameplay. It’s games like this where loading times hurt the most because you just want to jump straight into the action.
- No online co-op. While Burn, Zombie, Burn! has an excellent local co-op mode, we couldn’t help but feel that an online mode is sorely missing. Perhaps the developers worried they couldn’t get a frantic game like this running smoothly enough online, but even if that’s the case, you can’t help but wish it was there. The local co-op makes up for this if you have a buddy nearby and online scoreboards do add a competitive twist.
- Aiming. The biggest problem we had whilst playing Burn, Zombie, Burn! was the aiming, which half auto-locks. At times we found we weren’t shooting who we wanted to be shooting, not good considering the pace of the game. We feel like the game would have benefited from a dual-analogue stick shooting mechanic as opposed to the movement and aiming being mapped to the left-stick.