True to its name, after finishing Night of One Million Billion Zombies (NOMBZ) the player may have in fact killed one million billion zombies
True to its name, after finishing Night of
One Million Billion Zombies (NOMBZ) the player may have in fact killed
one million billion zombies. Upon completion, and a celebratory
dance/jig, said player may receive congratulatory remarks from his or
her friends who have only seen the art and heard the music; those who
have actually played the game offer only pity.
NOMBZ is about killing zombies. The developer,
newcomer PowerUp Studios, knows this; eschewing story in favor of
immediate hands-on time with protagonist “Mot.” We know he’s the
protagonist because his character description says “Mot is the man.
All other characters you pick up are expendable, but if Mot dies you
will have to restart the level.” These “expendables” you later meet
have much more colorful descriptions. The burly lumberjack Jacques
Dubois apparently “enjoys putting on women’s clothing, hanging around
in bars.” Cute. Three more characters can be eventually unlocked
including a cop, a nurse, and a postal worker aptly named Postal Pete,
by far the game’s most destructive character armed with a sub-machine
gun and a “mail bomb.”
This will knock your hopes back down.
This is a part of level 11. Look familiar?
Let’s back up. Until you get these characters the game is boring.
Running through the same drab labyrinthine city levels, increasing in
complexity and length as they progress; presumably with David Bowie
observing, cackling maniacally, while attempting to unearth some
mystical tradeoff between zombies killed and time spent will only end
in tears. The only way to destroy these undead speedbumps is by
shooting them in the head, a completely random occurrence. Sometimes
Mot, or whoever you have in your posse, lands one and you want to give
the emotionless bastard/s a hug, only you remember it would be like
showing affection for your toaster every time it did what it’s supposed
to do. As you progress you’ll find a few more ways of dispatching
them, but for most of the game a bullet to the brain is the primary
method. To keep the metaphor express running on full steam and into
the tunnel of unrealized potential, the only thing separating the
characters are their appearances and weapons. Seeing a postman, a
lumberjack and a cop simultaneously repeatedly shoot a wall to
eliminate the dirty brain eater on the other side really makes you
wonder if your toaster might have a bit more personality than these
little armed hobgoblins.
If the walking dead aren’t shot in the
head and instead absorb a particular number of bullets (a number this
reviewer is apologetically not privy to) they’ll simply fall down, only
to rise again and engage in their five foot damage dash. This wouldn’t
be so bad if Mot had a weapon he wasn’t afraid to fire more than once
every two to three seconds. Herein lies the games greatest problem.
The game is obviously about having fun killing scores of zombies with
wacky characters but the tools provided are so limited and with such
low firing rates level progression becomes dependent on ones ability to
be patient and advance at a crawling pace. This style of play is
completely counter-inducive to the mood and pacing set forth by the
wonderful music, sounding like Danny Elfman’s work on Beetlejuice, and
comic book style art.
This is a part of level 2.
This will get your hopes up.
NOMBZ: NIGHT OF A MILLION BILLION ZOMBIES VERDICT
If NOMBZ had gameplay to match the artistic
style it would be an above average third-person shooter, but it
doesn’t. The gameplay improves as the levels progress, but even at its
best it doesn’t become more than a sub-par third person shooter with a
lot of missed opportunities. With a price tag of $14.99 you might want
to steer clear until this thing gets spanked repeatedly with the patch
TOP GAME MOMENT
the correct path in the labyrinthine levels which are devoid of any
noticeable landmarks. Choosing the correct path means not having to
backtrack for any number of minutes after hitting a dead end.