It seems we’re back in the realms of last generation, when the cheap movie tie-in game reigned supreme.
Or at least, that’s what it feels like with Zombieland: Double Tap – Roadtrip, a zombie-filled twin-stick shooter that has launched alongside the cinematic release of Zombieland: Double Tap. It’s a game that also feels decidedly last-gen in terms of its graphics and production values, too. It’s not particularly pretty to look at, it doesn’t try to change up the genre in any way, and it doesn’t do anything at all noteworthy.
For all intents and purposes then, Zombieland: Double Tap – Roadtrip isn’t a good game. However, there’s one thing it does manage to get right: despite its flaws, it’s still rather fun to play.
The core of Zombieland: Double Tap – Roadtrip takes you through 10 levels, mapped across the United States. Each level takes you to a different kind of environment – a theme park, a supermarket, a car lot – but the crux of the game never changes: survive hordes of zombies as you complete various menial tasks. Operate a switch, help an old lady get safely down the road, or simply find an exit. Killing zombies thankfully is as enjoyable as it ever is; there are various types of guns you can pick up along with throwable explosives. Most levels also pack in some kind of environmental kill – for instance, a crane that you can operate to knock out any shamblers in range.
You’ll rack up a score as you play, and at the end of each level your score will convert into XP, unlocking upgrade points that can be spent to increase attributes such as health and weapon damage. It’s a helpful progression system, because as you get further into the game you’ll meet tougher types of zombies that’ll need more hammer to take down.
I mostly played Zombieland: Double Tap – Roadtrip in single player, but it’s been designed with co-op play in mind – and doing so makes the experience more enjoyable. But isn’t that always the case? Up to four local players can join in, which can lead to some rather hectic action on the screen. It can be difficult to keep track of your character when there’s so much going on, which is the only benefit of playing by yourself.
Unfortunately, the main campaign only takes around three hours to complete. A few side missions will unlock as you play through, adding another hour or so to the play time, but for the core experience, that’s basically it. A new game plus mode opens up once you’ve finished, so you can play through again but keep your character upgrades – but aside from gaining more experience to fully upgrade your stats, there’s little point in playing through again.
The only real reason to go back to Zombieland: Double Tap – Roadtrip is for its horde mode, which, like any horde mode ever made, faces you off against endless waves of enemies. It plays much like the rest of the game, except there’s no primary objective: here, your goal is to simply survive. The longer you last, the bigger and more difficult the waves of zombies become. Horde mode is one that definitely benefits from having multiple players. It’s fun while it lasts, but there’s still little reason to go back and play numerous times.
The downfall to Zombieland: Double Tap – Roadtrip then, aside from its lacking visuals, is how short it is. If this was a sub-£20 release, it wouldn’t be a problem. But it’s retailing at £33.50/$40. For what will amount to a maximum of about five hours of gameplay for most players, it’s asking far too much.
Had the campaign run a little longer, it might have been a little easier to recommend Zombieland: Double Tap – Roadtrip. Shooting your way through zombies is entertaining, and when you’re having fun it’s easy to overlook the game’s technical downfalls. But when so many other, much better, twin-stick shooters exist, paying full-price for this just because it ties into a somewhat-popular movie franchise is quite a hard sell.
Zombieland: Double Tap – Roadtrip is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. We reviewed the Xbox One version.
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