Undead Highway [Review]
Share Game Description: There you were, watching television and minding your own business when BAM -undead apocalypse comes smashing right through your front door. But don’t go feeling sorry for yourself, there’s some survivors holding down a fortress at a place called Haven Island. Fortunately, you’ve got a brain for making gadgets. Send those creeps back to the smelly world they came from by finding junk and assembling it into devastating weapons. Keep an eye out for car keys, some of those zombies carry them around. Once you have them, find a car and drive the hell out of there!
The difficulty relied on you either, one, running out of ammo, or two, not being able to run fast enough to escape from the onslaught of zombies gathering in masses throughout the highway. If one of those two inconveniences aren’t in play the game is simple and easy and most of all, entertaining. I often found the difficulty unfair, or plainly unjustified, as soon as you were overrun by zombies, in which instances you’re going to run away, you tend to not be able to collect and ammo, and before you know it you’re relying on “pity ammo” (ammo given to you after you run out of your initial ammo) which only slows your undeniable death and only makes the game so, so unfair to the new player. The only quick fix to this problem is building new weapons, but since that only came up once in a blue moon, there wasn’t much hope on relying on that to save you in your most desperate situations. Overall, Undead Highway undoubtedly needs a little work done on the difficulty system.
The concept is something that is way over-used, but, hey, what game isn’t a copy of another, eh? I think that Undead Highway added a couple of new things to the genre, (in casual gaming that is) such as the almost 3D effects of the zombies or being able to construct weapons. For example, I build a “Marble Shotgun” which thinned out the crowds of zombies in a flash. Your overall goal in Undead Highway was to reach Haven Island, a location that you hear of on a radio message, unfortunately the announcer also informs you that they will be closing the doors to uninfected survivors tomorrow to reduce risks (I’m missing the logic there). The game then goes on to rush you towards Haven Island, but several car problems halt your progress when you embark on your journey, leaving you stranded on the highway until you can recover your keys. Overall, the concept was unique, but the storyline was interesting and entertaining.
There were two very different art styles in Undead Highway, there was the semi-realistic version, displayed when you fight the enemies and then another, almost cartoon-like and vectorized (as shown above). I thought that, that was an odd combination, you rarely see realistic visuals mixed with cartoony ones. It was apparent that each one was equally beautiful and had its own charm. The battlefield looks especially amazing, with the textures and other realistic effects at work, making the game seem ever-so pulchritudinous. Just the opposite of realistic art, is probable cartoony art, Undead Highway mixed those two themes together and the cartoony art was amazing. I loved all of the small details the developer added, for example the image above displays you driving past a field, but as you drive there is this amazing 3D effect at work, that just blew my mind away. Overall, the visuals were amazing, but there was a weird combination going on with the cartoony scenes and the realistic ones, which was interesting.
Undead Highway purely focused on sound effects and did not contain any music whatsoever, when a developer chooses to have only sound effects they’re aiming for a more realistic value from the game and Undead Highway delivered. The sounds were perfect, zombies screaming, guns being fired, and much more was featured. The sounds during the cut-scenes were perfect also, narrating the world around you, as if you were there. Overall, the sounds were fantastic and worked well with the game.
There didn’t seem to be a difficulty ramp (from what I can tell), it remained consistent the entire game. Obviously there seemed to be more zombies each level, but it never felt as though it was an increasing threat. Actually, if anything, the difficulty ramp went backwards, since over time you collected more and more powerful weapons that made killing zombies as easy as it is to cut through a melted stick of butter with a chainsaw. An extremely powerful weapons early on in the game was the “marble shotgun” which could effect several zombies, instantly impaling and killing a mass of them. The game started off so difficult, as you carried around a weak 9mm that is was almost a relief in later levels as you could plow your way through large crowds with a shotgun, that I earlier explained, or dual wielding nail guns. Overall, the difficulty ramp seemed a little messed up, but the game was still fun.
Replay value just wasn’t there. Once you completed the storyline there wasn’t much to do, unless you wanted to replay the game, there was no incentive to come back. Actually there was a little bit, but nothing that I would consider doing, which is the Kongregate API, but the developer only submitted one state, score, which is totaled once you completed the game and no one is going to come back, replay the whole entire game just to get a better score. I suggest that the developer adds more to the game, I wouldn’t mind seeing more game modes, survival mode for instance. The developer could also incorporate in-game achievements for users to earn. Those factors could make this game better than it currently is and would attract more views.
In conclusion, Undead Highway was an amazing game and cis a must play, especially if you like apocalyptic shooters, dealing with zombies. There were a few flaws, but overall the game was entertaining. The difficulty seemed off, the game was more focused on killing you through your lack of ammo than dying from an onslaught of zombies. The difficlty ramp seemed backwards, as levels progressively became easier as you collected bigger and better weapons, while earlier on in the game you had to fight swarms of zombies off with a 9mm pistol that took up to four shots to kill a single zombie, which only lead to the lack of ammo and your death. Moving on, the art was amazing, I liked the combination of realistic visuals with cartoon visuals. Also, the sound effects were wondrous and gave the game a realistic value. The replay value was low and I wish that there were more modes for the users to experiment with, or at least in-game achievements; anything that could bring the user back would be a terrific addition. Overall, Undead Highway was a beautiful game, be sure, when you have some spare time to play it! [Play Undead Highway]
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