Review: Zombies On A Plane
This game was reviewed on PC.
Shangri-La Game Studios first game puts you in the cockpit of a Jumbo Jet that is getting attacked by zombies. In the air. It is just silly, but it does not have to make sense. Anything can happen in video games.
Your objective as the pilot is to shake those pesky zombies off the airplane. They will slowly crawl their way towards one of the main components you need working to keep the plane in the sky.
After reaching the crucial parts, they will slowly start ripping them apart. If the zombies destroy all the vital parts of your plane, it is game over. You will be scored through your journey, you can even get some really nice multipliers to pump up your game.
There are three game modes to play around with, but basically only two. One of the game modes is just free flight without zombies. The game itself is not a flying sim, so this mode makes almost no sense at all.
There is also survival and wave. The game generally lacks variety as there are no pick ups, modifiers, or other planes (only a few different skins).
The gameplay is just not there. It is fun to shake zombies off your plane for about ten minutes. After that you realise that there is nothing more in this game. Most of the time the plane will have its own mind, anyway. It is very easy to lose control and just spin around helplessly until you can stabilize again. Sad thing is you are better off spinning, since the zombies will start ripping the plane apart as soon as it is stabilized. It just feels like there is very little personal skill involved in the game. At one point in a survival run, I just let go of my keyboard to see what happens. The plane continued to spin, until I got a new high score without actually playing. Eventually I got bored and let the zombies take the plane down.
Control-wise, you have your standard arcade plane controls. It feels a bit unresponsive, but considering it is a Jumbo Jet, they can get away with it. All the keys are rebindable, which is always nice. There is just one big problem with the controls, but that is mainly caused by the camera.
The camera is not sticking to the plane. It always stays at the same angle and that is pretty bad. Especially when flying upside down, trying to maneuver. It would be hard enough with the camera attached to my plane, but it is even harder to navigate while watching from an outside point of view.
The game runs on the Unreal Development Kit. It looks reasonably good for an indie title. The planes look good and the constantly changing weather makes things look more crazy. The problem lies in the lack of graphic options. They are basically non-existent in the game, except resolution and a windowed check box. There are slowdowns, especially when all four engines are on fire. I don't think that the graphics justify the slowdowns. Apart from the slowdowns, the game looks good, especially when in motion.
The audio is alright. Music in the menu is nice, but in-game most of the time it is hard to hear it over the roaring engines and the screaming zombies. It is in the style of L4D or Dead Island music and is actually quite nice. The engine sounds are alright, but the zombie sounds does not really offer a big variety. There is also some random 'oh yeah' announcements when you do something awesome, but they get annoying very quickly.
I think it is a missed opportunity. This game could have been fun. The game itself is well put together, but there is just so little content. With other annoying things like the camera or the slowdowns, I just can't really recommend it. It is not an expensive game, but not a really good one either. Maybe there will be some new content patched in or a harder 'wave' mode, but for now, it gets boring real quick.
Elijah BeahmApril 7, 2014, 12:35 amFeatured Columnist...how did this title get approved? I'm really surprised someone said "YEAH! THAT'S THE GAME I WANT TO MAKE!" I mean, I understand the zombie game genre and all that but it just doesn't add up. A game about flight where the normal means of flying is the worst way to survive? I am also kind of left to balk at that "Free" mode with no zombies. It sounds like someone was trying very hard to be creative and failed, sadly.
Good review, cheers!
pixmaaApril 7, 2014, 6:14 amFeatured Contributorit is also coming out on iOS and honestly, I can see the appeal on iOS. It was just a bad idea to bring it to PC. You simply can not release something with this little content, or lasting appeal on a PC.