Posted: April 21
TL;DR: Take the fun of Carmageddon, the viewing angle from GTA (the original ones) and strap weapons on your taxi and you're good to go on a quest to save the city.
In Zombie Driver (HD) you are some dude who drives a taxi. Military ("if they even are the military", says the random hippie) enlists you to save a bunch of civilians in a zombie infested city. Mow those zombies! Mayor will pay you a bonus for their smashed bodies! Gruesome, silly kind of humour is cultured in the overly dramatized monologues everyone else gets to give you when you meet them.
Zombie driving gets a lot more fun once they strap a machine gun to your car. Later, you'll get equipped with flamethrowers, rocket launchers and even experimental rail guns that shoot blue, helical rays of mass destruction. Not to forget, a tongue-in-cheek car game wouldn't be complete without a turbo booster. Between missions you get to upgrade your cars (new ones unlocked every few missions) and weapons.
There are no surprises in the zombie varieties: in addition to the regular, shambling corpses, there are legions of zombie dogs, wailing slingers of industrial junk, bloated monsters of the exploding variety and of course the hulk. Naturally, it is more difficult to ram the bigger ones and especially in large groups.
Story mode has two kinds of basic missions: 1) taxi missions: go and save people from buildings around the town (usually with generous time limits), and 2) slaughter missions: go somewhere and kill everything. Here, everything
includes the zombie spawners (introduced by the HD version): enormous Jabba the Hut creatures that blurt out more of the monsters (it figures that these are not your average zombies after all). In addition, there are the awesome cleaning and destroying special missions where you get to drive e.g. tanks, with infinite ammo of course. HD version also has a couple of bosses that add nicely into the game's limited lore.
Story wasn't the strong part of the original Zombie Driver and it has only been patched partly by the HD upgrade. It ends abrubtly but rather appropriately although leaving your contribution vague: it is unfortunately never explained why the army (or whatever they are) needed a random taxi driver to sort their mess.
Two other game modes are more like what the game was designed for: there's the copy of Death Rally called Blood Race (though you can't destroy your opponents permanently) with several different tournaments and challenge missions. Unfortunately, career mode is missing. You'll get money for winning races and can then buy limited upgrades to your car. On the other hand, Slaughter mode is an endless killing spree of perpetually spawning zombies for higher points to show off in the leaderboards. Here only death ends the level.
Game is fun and pretty awesome. However, it is easy to get stuck in corners and sometimes it is not clear what items can be driven through resulting in further stuckiness. Mob spawning can be ruthless and illogical, especially in Slaughter mode: zombies tend not to walk as fast (or at all?) when you are not seeing them in front of you in the camera and the game considers it fair to spawn a group of exploding zombies right behind you when you are reversing.
Despite the few complaints, I can give it thumbs up. Graphics are nice, sounds are not irritating and gameplay is very nice (I used keyboard and mouse). Also, the improvements from the original Zombie Driver are very welcome: e.g. they made booster a separate item from weapons, added a map and made the story mode more interesting with the zombie spawners, bosses and special vehicles. If you have doubts but are interested, you can also grab it on sale for 2 euros or less.