Grab your best running shoes: this Corridor Z Switch review is fast-moving with some simple RPG techniques to keep you in the running.
This title flew through the Nintendo eShop faster than a scantily clad teenager chased by the undead in a zombie-infested high school, which is the perfect setup for the game.
The end of the world is nigh, and you play a series of survivors shelled up in Massville High School running from one hallway to the next in Corridor Z, from Mass Creation. How does it fare?
Corridor Z Switch Review
The zombie genre is a little old hat now, and outside of the Resident Evil series and The Last of Us, I’ve never been a fan. However, put me in an environment where I can blast some flaky skinned nasties, and I’m game. The only thing is, you’re the game: they’re hunting you.
Like zombies? Blatant plug for another review – Yet Another Zombie Defense HD.
Survival is the goal here and with a cast of three to choose from, you can either take turns going through each one, or you can stick with the same character until you need to rest them, wait for the timer to fade then rinse and repeat.
There are three starting characters (with more to unlock? Is there? Is there? Yes. There are additional characters). Our lineup consists of:
- Logan – the school jock.
- Megan – the cheerleader.
- Sgt Williams – either a very OTT gym teacher or special forces went AWOL.
Without any differences between them other than cosmetic, they serve as a further option for your runs. When referring to RPGs, the go-to word for a raid or loot-session would be a run. In Corridor Z, a run is exactly that: stay clear of your pursuers, completing missions along the way.
Having The Runs
With minimal fuss, and after a brief intro, a tutorial follows which affirms that Corridor Z is a QTE (quick-time-event) based game. Each survivor will automatically run the lengths of the corridor towards the player, with triplets of zombies often in pursuit.
To slow down these fiends, pressing left, up or down at the right time will pull environmental hazards in their way, giving just a little more time to widen the gap. Other than running in a straight line, there will be sharp turns where you have to turn either left or right to keep the pace; otherwise, you’ll be caught and eaten. A bit.
Death in the game isn’t permanent, but after so many tries, the character will be put in a timeout, and you have to wait for a timer until they’re available again.
Throwing objects into the way of the undead doesn’t cause them harm, but a bullet in the head does. There are numerous guns (and traps) that are available, and while you can ‘kill’ the assailants, they’ll keep coming back until you’ve covered a reasonable distance.
For the first few attempts I felt it was impossible to pick up items, but there are plenty of audible queues, and you can press down on either the d-pad or stick to pick up a gun, even when you’ve passed it.
There’s plenty of time to react to a corner as there will be a green safety light on the wall you need to turn into. For a while, it felt a little too simple, so I didn’t react and within seconds, was dead.
As simple as Corridor Z is, it’s pretty addictive.
Corridor Z is separated into the days of your survival (the full week is the goal) and further broken into missions.
These missions are mandatory, but you can do them in any order you wish. As a bonus, you can complete other objectives on the fly as each of them occupy the same corridors.
Some of the objectives include:
- Shooting a number of zombies (carried out between runs).
- Accumulating a total of 10 headshots.
- Collecting all diary entries.
- Throwing enough obstacles in front of your pursuers.
Between a run is a menu screen to stock up on weapons, choose your runner and rent or purchase outfits. The currency in the game is rations which are either collected in-game or awarded for effort.
Weapons can be upgraded, but you can also get new skins for your survivours. They don’t do anything other a cosmetic update. With a smaller amount you can rent a costume, but it’s discarded after your run/death.
The countdown mechanic while your character heals felt very much like a paywall mobile game, and considering I purchased the game, didn’t feel like I should have to wait until I could play a character again, but it doesn’t take that long until their in action again.
Corridor Z doesn’t aspire to be anything other than how it appears on face value. If you think about the mechanics, it’s a QTE with fundamental RPG elements (upgrading weapons, unlocking characters and collectables), and it’s this simplicity that makes it enjoyable.
The visuals aren’t the best, and it does feel like playing a title that is on par with PlayStation 2 graphics. But you didn’t come to the Switch to be wowed by visuals; you want gameplay and portability, right?
The gameplay is fast and fluid, and the upgrades and unlockable characters give the game a little bit of extra life, but the objectives are all very similar. It’s apparent in the first 15 minutes that there aren’t going to be any surprises, and other than the pursuit for unlocking all the extras, there’s not much scope for repeat plays.