This year was the first time I ever got to attend E3, and being part of the media allowed us to get appointments with different companies to preview games behind closed doors. The first game I got to try out was BLOODY ZOMBIES by Paw Print Games and published by nDreams. I would be lying if I said I was initially interested in this meeting. For one, I had no idea who Paw Print Games was. Two, I have no interest in VR games. Three, I’m really burned out on anything zombie. I was expecting to be less-than-intrigued. But, this first meeting taught me something very important that I have forgotten over the years, and that is: never underestimate the little guys!
Bloody Zombies is a side scrolling beat-em-up that takes inspiration from classic games like STREETS OF RAGE. The whole game can be played in couch co-op or online with up to four players. The game is, of course, VR compatible, but due to current VR limitations only one player can use a headset per PC. If all players are using their own computers, then each can play in VR. Characters playing in VR even get a wonderful headset placed on their in-game character. Being not as interested in VR, I was more than happy to let my fellow writer Nick strap on the headset while I tackled the game on the TV.
First thing I want to say about Bloody Zombies is it was seriously fun to play! Characters are easy to control; dodge and attacks feel great to execute and specials provide variation to standard attacks. We got to play through two levels of the game and each introduced new enemies to overcome as we progressed. The game is set in London and each of the levels we played had two sections, outdoors and indoors. In true beat-em-up style levels have hidden secrets that can include health weapons or new specials! Levels also include traps that can be activated to help defeat zombies, but be warned, they will hurt you just as much as them. I had a good laugh watching Nick try to lure a zombie over to this rotating trap just to get mowed down himself. The end of each indoors segment brings players face to face with the boss of that level. Bosses really prove just how necessary it is to master the dodge mechanic if you want to make it past the fight alive.
Even after spending 45 minutes with Bloody Zombies, I just wanted to keep playing it! The wonderful enemy variety and settings really kept things fresh compared to more recent beat-em-ups that I have played. I am also glad that the game turned out to not be VR only like I originally thought, but is a cool option for those who want it. If you are in the market for a new game to play with friends, keep an eye out for Bloody Zombies when it releases later this year on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.