E3 2017: Hands-On with ‘Bloody Zombies’

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet with representatives from publisher nDreams at E3 the past few years and they’ve yet to disappoint with their creative, innovative, and ever-improving VR efforts. This year they showcased Bloody Zombies, a co-op beat-em-up designed to work with any combination of online or local, VR or social screen players. Developed by Paw Print Games, Bloody Zombies harkens back to a Streets of Rage gameplay style with all the bells and whistles made available by current gen.

Bloody Zombies takes place in post-apocalyptic London where the brain-eaters we all know and love have taken over the city. You and up to 3 co-op partners will use intricate combos and special moves to take on hordes of enemies with varying strengths and designs in an environment chock full of famous landmarks and secrets to discover.

The demo session began with two devs and I playing on the TV screen while a fourth player, another games journalist, wore the Oculus headset. A cute addition to the on-screen anarchy came by way of her avatar also sporting a VR unit. She hung right in there with us and didn’t seem to be at any sort of disadvantage while we tore through the cartoony, rotting flesh of our foes.

When it was my turn to wear the head unit, I was immediately taken aback by the visual fidelity maintained by the VR display. Perhaps it’s the beautiful art style that allows for a more faithful recreation of what I saw on the monitor and I felt like I would play the whole game in VR, a rare thought for someone who is still skeptical of the tech. Being the VR player even came with certain advantages as I looked left and right to see much more of the surroundings than my comrades could.

I enjoyed my time with Bloody Zombies because it provides a new spin on classic gameplay. There are sequences, such as the one that included running away from deadly machinery, that add variety to the combat and the over-the-top, comic style gore has a certain charm to it. The game works so well in VR that I’m almost surprised it’s completely optional. But on the other hand, it’s incredibly convenient that all types of co-op combinations are supported. Look for Bloody Zombies sometime this year on PS4, PS VR, Xbox One, PC, Vive, and Rift.

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