Zombie Derby 2
The original Zombie Derby was little more than a mobile port, but despite its limitations, it still offered a few hours of fun. It was soon followed by Zombie Derby 2, which is basically more of the same. However, the sequel does have a little more content to offer than the original. The basic gameplay remains the same, though, so those who did not enjoy the original won’t find anything drastically new here.
Zombie Derby 2 follows in the tracks of its predecessor and once again there isn’t any story to speak of. Instead, you are presented with a vehicle, a zombie-filled road to drive it on, and a destination that has to be reached. Unfortunately, there is zero chance of reaching the end of the level until your vehicle has seen some substantial upgrades. These upgrades are once again for your engine, nitrous, tires, weapon, and bumper. To afford these upgrades you need money, which is earned by killing zombies. Since a fully upgraded vehicle is pretty much required to complete a level it means that some grinding is required while playing.
The original Zombie Derby only had eight levels, but this sequel offers a bit more variety in this regard. Along with eight new levels, it also features nine Halloween levels. These levels are shorter and Halloween themed with pumpkins littered throughout for players to destroy. Next up are eight “Extreme” levels that will give pros a run for their money. There are even six “Delivery” levels that see players trying to deliver three fuel canisters to the destination. To make these missions a little more challenging nitro is not available and the fuel canisters can fall off your vehicle if you are not careful. Rounding out the package are two randomly generated levels and a survival mode where the goal is to get as far as possible. All of these add up to a more substantial overall game compared to the original.
The visuals of the game have also been given an overhaul with high-resolution textures and even real-time shadows. In addition to looking better, the backgrounds are now also more detailed thanks to the inclusion of more scenery. The environments range from snowy mountains and desert sands to post-apocalyptic city ruins. Along with the usual assortment of zombies from the original game, there are also a couple of new zombies to deal with, including some mammoth ones that can blow up your vehicle with an exploding barrel if you don’t take them down quickly enough.
The mobile roots of Zombie Derby 2 are still very visible though, especially when looking at the sparse options menu. Here you’ll only find “low,” “high,” and “ultra” presets along with a FPS counter that can be toggled on or off. The cars look great, though, especially the new ones like the Delorean. The upgrades for each vehicle look different and some like the aforementioned Delorean even shoots bolts of electricity instead of the usual bullets.
While Zombie Derby 2 is very simple to play, that doesn’t mean its easy. Even with a fully upgraded vehicle, it is still possible to fall down a chasm or accidentally hit a mine and instantly die. The physics also feels a lot more unforgiving now and if the roof of your car ever touches the ground it will explode. This makes it a lot riskier to attempt those mid-air flips for extra points. The game features a tutorial to teach players the basics, but it is very much a case of driving in a straight line and trying to conserve your fuel as much as possible. Mastering the art of releasing the gas pedal during jumps is essential for completing the game, but soon becomes second nature.
The soundtrack for Zombie Derby 2 features a few more tracks than the original, but its the same type of guitar-driven tunes. We think it fits the theme of the game nicely, but some players might find the music a bit tedious after playing for a few hours. Sound options are restricted to enabling or disabling the music or sound effects, so there is no way to adjust the volume. There are also a few speech snippets, such as “That hurts” and “Wasted” if you manage to destroy your car along the way. Zombie Derby 2 perfectly playable with a keyboard, but it also has gamepad support, which works great. For the Steam version, the developers also added support for Steam Achievements and leaderboards.
It does seem like some effort has been made to balance the game better than the mobile version there is still a fair bit of grinding involved. The game is also very linear and you are pretty much restricted to using a new car on each new level if you want any hope of completing them. The additional modes and levels are a nice touch, though, and overall the game is better looking as well as more polished than the original. It still plays the same, so fans of the original should enjoy it while those who didn’t will want to give this one a pass too.