Steam Game Review: Rock Zombie (2014)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Wednesday, December 10, 2014 0 comments

"Rock Zombie" is a three-dimensional horror based beat 'em up game with a B-movie twist.  This game starts off with an all-girl rock band named "Rock Zombie" playing a live gig in front of a huge crowd.  During the guitar solo we notice something going wrong and that is a mysterious green mist has seeped into the concert hall turning all the crowd into flesh eating zombies.  Lucky enough the girls were safe on the stage because the ground was higher and so they manage to get away before the mist could get to them.  Now the girls are on a mission to find the source of the zombie outbreak and put a stop to it so the world can be safe from this horde of chaos.  (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

The story in this game feels like it was ripped right out of an old grindhouse film that you would see at a drive-in theater.  I wouldn't say that the story is anything special though as it is quite generic.  The way they tell the story in this game is though comic book panels and I was mixed on them as some panels looked cool but the other half looked awkward and weird.  The dialogue in the comic book scenes were passable and does get the story going but expect to cringe during some panels.

The controls are simple and work well with both the traditional keyboard and mouse combo and with a controller.  But just because they work well with a keyboard or controller doesn't mean that the game plays well.  Walking around is fine but the combat is clunky when you are battling the undead the hit detection isn't always spot on, there will be times that you are hammering at a zombie only to be missing them even when you are hitting them right in front of you.  The magic system was actually pretty cool as when you fill up your magic bar you can pull up to three different kind of magic attacks.  The magic attacks depend on how much magic you have in your magic bar and it felt very satisfying pulling off an attack that will clear the screen full of enemies.  You also have a shield that will block projective attacks and I didn't find myself using it outside of the tutorial level as it wasn't very useful at all.

This game does have a combo system and depending on the move combination you will see titles like "Death Metal Combo" and "Rock and Roll Combo".  While it was a little fun seeing those words pop-up on screen, the combo system is redundant as it doesn't add anything to the gameplay and are just used to unlock achievements.  What you will find yourself doing to beat the game is just spam the basic attacks as they are all that you will need to beat the game.  The difficulty in this game ranges from easy to very cheap as you'll find yourself dying over and over but the standard difficulty has unlimited continues so this game is very beatable.  Each credit consists of having five lives and when you die you'll respawn in the same area you died in but when you run out of lives and use a new credit you will respawn at the start of the last level you were on.  This can be a little frustrating as a level can take up most of your lives, so when you start the next level you'll find yourself having a feeling of dread as you know you won't be able to beat the next stage in one or two lives.  What I did when I was low on lives was that I just died on purpose so I could restart the stage with a fresh set of lives.

You can find items scattered around each level that will help you out and those items are: Jars full of green liquid that will help fill up your magic bar, cassette tapes that will help you regain health, vinyl records that will give you an extra life.  You can also gain golden coins by either smashing stuff, unlocking achievements, or from just finding them on the ground.  What do the coins do?  Do they help give you more lives?  Fill up your health and magic by spending them at a store?  Not at all as the coins are used for unlocking bonus items that can be viewed at a mode called "Zombie Museum".  "Zombie Museum" is a place where you can find artwork, 3D models, and even stuff that can effect the gameplay...  Okay so maybe the achievements have some use to them after all.

I do have some problems with this game and those problems did ruin the experience for me.  First one is that the levels ran for way too long and they got to the point where they become very dull and grueling to play through.  Another problem is that I found myself becoming bored with the gameplay mid-way through the game and if I wasn't reviewing this title I would've given up completely.  I wouldn't say that this game plays the same on every level as there were some levels that had you riding a vehicle.  The first time playing the vehicle stages was very cool as it added some freshness but the second time around it wasn't as enjoyable due to level design as the stage became so crowded that there was no way to to beat the level without getting hit at all.

Graphics in this game look very clean but the designs of the characters and backgrounds have a cheap look that adds to the "B-movie" theme of the game.  Designs for the main characters are very sexy with tight outfits but the thing I found weird was that they have shiny hair like if they were wigs made from plastic.  The designs for the female characters also looked like that they hired porn stars to be acting in a game, while that might sound like an insult it's really not as I found that to be perfect for this game and it's theme.  Designs for the enemies aren't that great as they are just very generic looking and while that works well with the start of the game you'll find yourself being very bored with the enemy design very quickly.  Background designs were also very generic looking but I didn't suffer from being bored from the designs like I had from the enemy designs.  One problem I did have with the backgrounds is that the last few levels of this game looks like it uses the same level design as the first few levels of the game and it did look lazy but it also gave me a feeling that this game was ending on a "Full Circle" note.

Overall this wasn't really that great of a game nor was it that terrible either as this game is just very average.  I wouldn't recommend you go out and buy this game at full price but it might make for a decent time waster when on sale or in a bundle.  One thing I can see is that the company that made this game will improve with their next game as I do also see potential in the game makers.  Rough game.

Game: Rock Zombie
System: PC
Developer: Quaternion Studio
Publisher: EnjoyUp Games S.L.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror, Beat 'em Up
Price: $6.99 (Steam)
Recommended: No


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