Oh yes, another counter intuitive zombie adventure is here, but this time rather than playing a perky manga samurai with enormous sweater puppies, we are portraying Frank West — douchebag photojournalist-come-zombie-slayer. Now while Frank may not be the most attractive protagonist ever imagined — he’s got more of a Quasimodo style lurch than a run — his skill at beating the snot out of the living dead in novel and exciting ways more than makes up for his lack of agility and grace.
Fearless Frank, on a mission to get the scoop of a lifetime, hires a helicopter, and throwing caution to the wind, jumps right into the middle of the biggest damn zombie infestation small-town America has ever seen. Why would anyone chopper themselves into a situation so fraught with mortal peril? Let’s consider some of the reasons. They:
- Have a death wish;
- Are a necrophiliac; or
- Are a misinformed douchebag photojournalist.
If you chose C, then you’d be correct—our hero, thinking he’s off to take some nice photos of a riot, gets a nice surprise when zombies try to chew his face off.
Lucky for us, Frank chooses Willemette Parkview Mall to set down in. As all zombiphiles would know, malls are positively bursting at the seams with wonderful weapons with which to decapitate, dismember or disembowel the undead—or any other still living but otherwise batshit crazy people who seem to emerge from everywhere at first sight of the living dead – but I digress. Even science agrees that malls are awesome places to be on Z-day, and here’s why: there are baseball bats, skateboards, foam swords, chainsaws, soccer balls, frying pans, buckets, picnic umbrellas, shopping trolleys, mannequins, lead pipes, knives—the list goes on, and on. This particular mall has a gun shop too, but there’s just something so much more satisfying about heating up a skillet on the stove till it’s red hot then…well you get the picture.
On to the action:
There are a number of “case” based (for Frank’s scoop) missions as well as rescue style missions. Rescue missions are timed and ranked upon completion. Pro Tip: Kill lots of zombies quickly to get a higher rank. These tend to last about 10 to 15 minutes and often involved escorting one or two civilians to safety. Case missions last considerably longer, depending on how many zombies you stop to kill, and have multiple segments.
- Melee weapons a-plenty
- There are quite a few amusing ways to dispose of the undead
- Zombies are slow and fairly easy to avoid if you’re just trying to get somewhere quickly
- Not entirely mission based – you can explore the mall to your heart’s content
- Fun boss battles
- Jessica McCarney’s cleavage
- Zombie poodles and parrots – they approach from head or knee height which is bad if you’re trying to swing a melee weapon, but on the plus side, many of them drop fruit
- Cut scenes are a bit weak
- Aiming guns with the Wiimote can be a little tricky at first
- A little repetitive as you end up running the same route back to your safe spot pretty often in order to complete missions
- You can’t jump so you’re forced to take the path that’s laid out—the one with all the zombies on it
- It’s a port from the Xbox 360 game (of the same name), so graphics are not as good
If you’ve played and loved the 360 version, you might not care for this port. But anyone who is a fan of the genre should get a kick out of the action and sometimes unexpected results of an attack. Definitely worth a try.