by Ben Petchey
reviewed on PC
So bad it's good?
Zombies on a Plane is absolutely terrible. The game is nowhere near finished enough to be flung onto shelves. The gameplay is buggy, there’s only a couple of maps, and it gets boring pretty quick – you can’t even change the language in the menus. But no matter how much bad stuff I see, I can’t help but enjoy myself.
The best way to describe Zombies on a Plane would be to compare it to one of those movies which you know is objectively awful, but you can’t help but enjoy it anyway. Take The Room for example. It’s a terrible film, to the extent that you actually kind of enjoy it.
When playing Zombies on a Plane you’ll immediately notice the assets used were not created with the intent of creating a wave-based, zombie-killing-shit-show on a plane. Unfortunately, it’s all too frequent nowadays that a developer will buy a bunch of assets online, throw them together, release a game, and call it a day. But again with the "being so bad, it’s good" thing – it still kinda works here. I mean, sure, it makes zero sense that one second you’ll be shooting a hell-hound, and the next second a bloke sporting a Tartan shirt is running at you with a chainsaw. None of it makes sense, but somehow it’s a lot of fun.
There are a few game modes (I don’t know their names, I could only play the game in Portuguese), my favourite sets you on top of the airplane with hordes of zombies pouring out of the interior. The zombies will start heading towards a random crucial part of the airplane and will start destroying it. It’s up to you to stop this from happening, and repair the parts if necessary. That doesn’t sound so bad does it? It’s actually not. The gun-play sucks and there’s no artistic cohesion, but if you were to say that this game mode is boring, you would be a liar.
The others include: fighting it out inside the plane – this is by far my least favourite due to getting stuck on just about everything you could possibly imagine. “Defend the cockpit” is pretty self-explanatory, and in another mode you have to try and survive 10 waves of zombies.
Nope, just bad
Now, I’m not going to ignore all the problem Zombies on a Plane has – there are a lot. The first being that you are unable to change the language in the menus – that’s a pretty big oversight. The gameplay could do with a lot of improvement; gun-play is poor and isn't fun, the mishmash of creatures doesn’t make any sense and gameplay generally feels like there’s been no fine-tuning whatsoever.
You’ve probably noticed at this point that I’m referring to Zombies on a Plane as though it’s an early access a game, but it’s not. And this is really disappointing. Remember Dead Island? Much like Zombies on a Plane, it was an objectively terrible game, but it was a lot of mindless fun and I spent countless hours playing it. Zombies on a Plane could’ve been the next Dead Island – and I mean that is the most positive way possible. If only longer amounts of time had been spent on fine-tuning the gameplay, if only the assets had been created for the game specifically, if only the game was still in early access. If only. If the developers had fine-tuned the gameplay and gun-play, worked on new assets, and added a co-op mode, Zombies on a Plane could have been a brilliant bad game.
For a reasonable price, I sure as heck would have picked this game up. I’m always looking for a mindless shooter or a ridiculously bad game to poke fun at and have a laugh with friend about. But unfortunately, Zombies on a Plane is a “finished” game - there’s little chance that any significant changes will be made now, and that’s really sad. If this game were still in early access, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. But with the state it’s in now as a “finished” product, I can’t say it’s worth your time, or your money.
Mindless shooting fun
Buggy, poor gunplay, no artistic cohesions, gets boring quick