Do you have a mate that likes their toast lightly done, drink ale because they like the taste, has their ‘sensible’ car lowered, or truly believes grunge isn’t dead? All of those apply to me and are often accompanied by the line, “Well, I like it”. That’s how I feel about Splatter – Zombiecalypse Now.
A matter of taste? Perhaps, but it’s almost exactly what I had expected (and hoped it would be): a mindless top-down shooter that’s a little repetitive, action-packed, and easy to pick up. Again, that’s what I like in this type of game, within reason, and Untold Tales and Dreamworlds’ game on the Nintendo Switch fits the bill. The elephant in the room would be the storytelling bits.
Part Sin City, a little Max Payne (a Wish version), and a bucket-full of cliche, there was an element of the ‘bits in-between’ that felt like a reboot of the FMV in C&C: Red Alert. The artwork was nice – that black and white comic book style with some popping blood splatters looked the part, but the story was pretty cringe. It didn’t help that the voiceovers in these scenes and in-game were quite poor – like a straight-to-video title, only not so bad it’s good. But do you know what? The game is a blast! There’s a cliche for you.
Splatter – Zombiecalypse Now Switch Review
If Splatter – Zombiecalypse Now is poor in storytelling, it sure as hell dismisses it with its gameplay. Repetitive, yes. Enjoyable? Absolutely. Within a New York Minute, you find your first weapon – a handgun with infinite ammo – and shoot your first zombie. At first, it’s not clear who the enemy is – the characters are pretty small on the Switch (when in handheld), but once the bullets connect: BLAM! The undead almost explodes all over the screen, which is immensely satisfying. Before you can spoon any entrails for a closer inspection, a wave appears, and you have to take care of them. It’s a twin-stick shooter, and the accuracy is spot-on.
As you’d imagine, things have gone tits up, and you must survive the zombie hordes by blowing them away. The pistol is a surprisingly good weapon, not just because of its unlimited firepower, but it can be upgraded, along with all the other guns such as the shotgun and machine guns. Getting kills and collecting as many drops as possible will award you with the cash for the upgrades, but I did feel the game was a little stingy with the dough, so don’t expect to max out your arsenal in one. Other items, such as the flare, will clear a path of zombies or burn through some of the bosses while you pick them off from a distance.
There are about 16 levels of mayhem, and it’s not all the same sprites either. New enemy units are introduced, and though it can be hard to pick out individual characters, they all have their defined move sets/characteristics that make the baddies appear unique. That comment about repetition wasn’t a negative criticism, but you can expect to see what the game has to offer, albeit the locations, units and weapons, in the first 20 minutes. If you like this sort of thing, I’d wager you’ll stick with it in one sitting. Once you’re done with the story, there’s a survival mode and multiplayer deathmatch (and survival) for up to four players. Note that I didn’t play multiplayer matches as my only option was to play with my girls, which isn’t the game for them.
As mentioned, Splatter – Zombiecalypse Now does feature some cringe narrative elements and hammier voice acting. But maybe you like that sort of thing? It’s all subjective, friends, so make of it what you will. When it comes to the gameplay, which arguably is the highlight of a game(!?), Splatter – Zombiecalypse Now is one I can recommend. A part of me wants to say it’s like Dead Nation on the PS3/PS4. There: said it. That’s a bit of acclaim, as I loved that game. Apparently, you can get Dreamworlds’ game on Steam, and it’s been out since 2014, but if you want my tip? I’d get the Switch version. I’ve been playing this entirely in handheld mode, and it’s a bloody marvellous indie shooter.