Zombies have been the go-to enemies since the turn of the millennium. You can trace this lineage back to 28 Days Later, which started the trend of zombies that could run. Since this reinvigoration of the undead, we have seen all sorts of these enemies. Movies became rife with the ankle-biters. Television got in on the act with The Walking Dead. Gaming has seen numerous zombie games over the years. Shooters have often used the undead as a foe to challenge you. We’ve even had zombies as the hero in Stubbs the Zombie. One genre that has stayed largely clear of the undead, though, has been racing games. That was — until Exor Studios decided to introduce Zombie Driver to the world. Switch owners can now join in the fun as the Polish developer has brought the game to Nintendo’s platform with Zombie Driver: Immortal Edition.
Zombie Driver is a vehicular combat game. You will be tasked with driving missions during a zombie apocalypse. Taking control of several different vehicles you will need to collect items, drive passengers around, and clear areas of zombies. To aid you in this your vehicles are equipped with nitrous and weapons. The nitrous helps you to speed through the turbulence-inducing foes. As for weapons, there are machines guns, flamethrowers, and rockets. Ammo is limited but you can collect it in various spots around the map. You are also able to pick up health and more money. The money is used to unlock vehicles and purchase upgrades for them.
The whole game is played over the same map. It’s a decent-size map and areas unlock as you progress through the campaign. For instance, after a chunk of missions, you’ll be tasked with opening up the bridges over a river. This will then allow access to a new area. You will also unlock bases in these new areas. This makes your journeys a lot more bearable. It also restricts you from trying to venture too far too fast as you will have farther to get back to base. There are some nicely distinguishable areas like a huge park, train yards, and a freeway.
The array of different enemies is limited but is made up for in the number on screen at any time. There are only really about five or six different types. These are easily distinguishable thanks to the way they are presented. Most of these you just handle the same way, but the two bigger types need to be handled a bit more carefully than just running over them. I have to say that I was a little worried about how the Switch was going to handle a zombie horde on screen. I needn’t have been, though, as this version of Zombie Driver performs even better than the Xbox One version I’m used to. Exor Studios has moved the game over to the engine they created for X-morph: Defense. This has resulted in the Switch port being the definitive console version.
Zombie Driver: Immortal Edition is one of those games that’s terrific to have sitting on the SD card of your Switch. It’s a great little game to go in and play a level or two every now and then. This is not to say that you can’t spend hours playing it; you can. It just doesn’t get its hooks into you in the way I would like. A little more variation in mission type and more visually defined areas (e.g., snow or a skyscraper-filled business district) would have gone a long way. Once you’ve had your fill, be that completing the campaign or just unlocking enough stuff, it’s still great to come back to and have a quick blast. The technical improvements are great and help to make this the definitive console version. Avoiding any frame drops with loads of zombies on screen even in handheld mode is a real achievement. If you like racing games or zombies, this is a great title to have in your library.
A review code was provided by the publisher.