Burn Zombie Burn! Preview
Whenever we start previews with “back in the day,” we’re typically referring to the ‘80s and early ‘90s. See, watch: back in the day, I remember having a sweaty-palmed blast with a game called SmashTV. Basically, it was like a sadistic game show where the competitors were faced with endless hordes of swarming enemies that would come at you from all directions. We had a top-down view and simply needed to keep killing as many enemies as possible for as long as possible. Clearly, the boys at Doublesix took a cue from this and decided to produce Burn Zombie Burn! for the PlayStation Network, but don’t think this is a direct rip-off. No, this may have a similar concept bit it also has a whole new flavor, and we can’t wait to get our hands on this zombie torch-fest.
The premise is as simple as simple can be (which is appropriate): you play as this dude – name o’ Bruce – who only wants to spend quality time with his girlfriend, but unfortunately, a zombie raid is on his hands and he has to suspend their romantic night for a bloody undead war. Yep, we do get that aforementioned top-down view, and there are going to be gobs of enemies and plenty of fun weapons. You run about like a chicken with its head cut off, desperately attempting to stay alive and sometimes, you’re even required to protect your girlfriend, Daisy. As for the control, there are a number of different ways the designer could’ve approached this, and Doublesix decided to bypass the option of allowing the right analog stick to dictate the character’s direction. Instead, you just fire in the direction you’re running; you can even hold down L1 to lock-on to the nearest enemy and use LS2 to strafe! The latter features certainly weren’t included in SmashTV and they should most certainly come in handy here.
As for your arsenal, it apparently can include everything from melee-type objects to obscenely powerful mega-guns. One of the most entertaining aspects of the game will most certainly center on your weapon selection; how do you want to dispatch hundreds of marauding zombies? What cranks your chain? If you want to get super nasty, you can always toss around some explosives, but be forewarned: the enemies have explosives at their disposal as well, so you’ll have to kick ‘em away with the Circle button if you wish to stay alive. Obviously, the biggest challenge of the game focuses on the ever-increasing number of foes. The longer you play, the more zombies there are to kill, which also means there’s always a greater chance of biting the dust in a most gruesome fashion. Oh, and don’t expect any help from your distressed girlfriend, as this game is a throwback to the days when the ladies were damsels in distress. But hey, Princess Peach paved the way for the likes of Lara Croft, right?
We suppose we can’t finish the preview without issuing an explanation of the title, “Burn Zombie Burn!” This is where the fun comes in: the default weapon in many action games is usually something simple and not exactly powerful or particularly effective. In this case, Bruce always has a torch in his back pocket and he can whip it out whenever he wishes with the simple press of the R2 button. He can carve a path through even the most dense collection of brain-seeking ghouls by setting them all alight, but bear in mind that a zombie has no more fear of fire once he’s already burning. Therefore, you can’t just run around in circles, spraying fire all over the place; that will only result in a bunch of flaming baddies rushing you, and your torch is suddenly useless. You just have to balance brute force with…well, other kinds of brute force. It certainly stands to reason that you’ll have to think on your toes, and if you’re incapable of rendering swift justice, than you should try playing something less taxing.
Burn Zombie Burn! is scheduled to release on the PlayStation Network on March 26, and we would like to compare its appeal to that of Flower. Clearly, we’re not talking about a content or style comparison, but rather, we’re talking about a purpose comparison: the purpose of both games is to relax. One offers one form of relaxation and the other offers quite a different kind of relaxation. But it’s still similar, we say. For more on the game, check out this new video and feel free to visit the official site.
3/16/2009 Ben Dutka