If you thought toilet paper was more precious than gold about a year ago and you like Zombies, chances are Zombieland: Headshot Fever is a game for you.
TL;DR – a Zombieland (movie) fan, a really fun game with Zombieland branding that doesn’t match the feel of Zombieland.
We initially got this in for review for the Steam version a few weeks ago, but on install as you may recall my computer turned into a zombie. (This was unrelated to Zombieland.)
The fine folks in Zombieland PR sent me a Quest 2 code for the game and between building a new machine and trying to get good enough at this game to totally not embarrass myself, well, we’re not exactly front of the line on pushing game reviews out.
Zombieland: Headshot Fever inspired me to re-watch both Zombieland, and Zombieland: Double Tap because playing this game I suspected I didn’t remember the feel of the movies. Also because my 8yo has been demanding scary movies and I recall that it was not particularly scary, just profanity-laden.
They did a pretty decent job of recreating the characters and fitting them in, but you don’t play any of the characters from Zombieland, and as far as I can tell you don’t contribute to their story. At least at the level I’m at I still feel like there’s little other than some people watching me and running snarky commentary.
More like I’m being MST:3K’d rather than helped or that the people have anything to do with the story or development of my character, which as far as I can tell is absolutely nothing. Maybe I missed something but I feel like I’ve got as much backstory as Pac-Man did when he came out.
During one of the missions there’s mention that I’m letting an ex go, but that’s about as invested in character development as I’ve run across. A title mention that we’re finishing the ex, and then some commentary after finishing the ex off (who didn’t really appear to be much more than just another Zombie,) that you loved her.
This is not a bad thing mind you, I just notice that I’m setting into this world as a tabula rasa, and that might be Zombieland’s goal, playing as Bella Swan from Twilight but with slightly less empty girl, but the movies tended to give me some reason to care. The missions in Headshot Fever, oh man they’re fun, do not get me wrong, but there’s no connecting story behind them. It’s go and shoot with a Zombieland sticker stuck over them.
Once again, not a bad thing. This is a fun game. We don’t have to learn Tallahassee’s puppy was actually his child he lost in order for shooting zombies in the head to have some personal meaning. We don’t have to hunt down Twinkies (which I have not seen, just weed, bears, and some food as bonus items.) We don’t have to learn tragic back stories. But the refrigerator girl ex mission just felt… refrigerator girl. Oh yeah, that mission, we learned you loved someone who became a zombie and you ended her at the end of the mission.
The Zombieland rules feel like they’re universally ignored.
Rule #52: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
During all of this we get a little bit of advice and can purchase weapon upgrades with toilet paper. While people are talking to you running through scripts, there’s never any actual help. No “whoah look out on your right.” Just “death is a part of life, just the last part.”
Rule #1: Cardio
You will not use this – your journey consists of going room to room and standing dead still and shooting at zombies. You are a sitting target backed up against a wall.
Rule #22: When in doubt, know your way out
There is no exit from any room, no retreat, you go in guns blazing and if you don’t finish the room off and keep the advancing zombies shot back, you’re done. Your only way out is forward. No backing up. You’re glued into the room and good luck with that.
Rule #17: Don’t be a hero (modified: Be a Hero – for loved ones, some risks are worth taking)
This one is where the feel of the game diverges completely for me. I mean, I know, we’re dealing with limitations of what the game is, but we right out start with 4 snarky people commenting on various missions that we’re out there being a hero on for not loved ones. There’s a line I’m probably butchering from the second movie that more or less is “sometimes love is shooting them in the face so they don’t become a flesh eating monster.” An easy addition to the kill the ex mission and a reason to use rule 17 modified.
The aiming feels pretty solid, but the holding of the secondary weapon just is annoying. The moaning audio cues help to know when you’re being snuck up on, and things generally only attack from a 160 degree field, at least from what I’ve found. Occasionally you’re going to get hit from out of the blue because there’s a zombie chucking things from a stairwell you didn’t catch.
While sitting I’ve noticed I tend to lean a bit which makes it harder to reload as sometimes my gun will be further forward than the magical floating ammo clip I need to get the gun over.
I might not be far enough in the game for an overarching story to emerge – I know a few more rounds and I’ll reach the Zombieland Invitational, but that’s in the future.
I asked my contacts whether there were any differences between the Quest 2 versions and Steam versions of the game. Never got a response. From what I can tell they appear to be the same although the Steam version will probably work with a wider variety of headsets.
I’m standing now, can I not dodge thrown cans?
It’s fun. Like really fun. Do not get me wrong. It just feels like a zombie shooting game was developed, a fun one mind you, and then they got the rights to Zombieland and skinned it over the game.
It’s got Zombieland movie branding and voices which I enjoy, very little in the way of a story which I guess I wouldn’t notice as much except that it’s a game based on two Zomcom movies with a pretty decent amount of story that wasn’t just snark.
As my first real extensive VR game, I don’t have a lot to compare it to. I’d buy it at the current price (at least on Steam,) and not feel disappointed.
Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever is available on Steam, and Zombieland: Headshot Fever is available on the Oculus platform. I don’t know that there’s any difference between them other than that one has “VR” in the title and the other is on a VR platform.