Wideload Games
Aspyr
Action
1-2
10.17.05

Stubbs The Zombie


So I get home one day and I check my mail. I say to myself, "Self, it looks like Aspyr has sent me a fresh copy of Stubbs the Zombie". I remember hearing some hub bub about this game being pretty cool. And I am happy to report it IS pretty cool. So cool, that I beat it in about a week after opening it.

The long and short of the story is you are Stubbs, traveling salesman and total hornball. Youíre hot for the mayorís wife and will stop at nothing to win her affection. Anyone who gets in the way, even the military, will pay dearly!

You see, even though Stubbs is possibly the slowest moving character in the history of video gaming, this game is very addictive and will keep your attention. You can beat old ladies with their own arms, melt the face off a football jock just by farting, or take over the body of a police officer in his very own precinctÖby ripping your own hand off and letting it become its own character!

Gameplay

The biggest problem with the game is the way zombies move. The zombies move SLOW. So slow, that you will probably get very pissed off like I did. Stubbs canít get out of his own way. The few times he actually moves quickly is only when you are rolling as his disembodied head or a detached hand.

I searched everywhere for ways to hurry his ass up. When other characters that are missing limbs are still moving faster than you, something is terribly wrong. They have to increase Stubbsís speed or else Iím not playing the sequel (if there ever is one).

The special moves almost make up for Slow Ass Stubbs. He can control legions of the undead. Itís fun sending 10 zombies after one poor police officer. Keep shooting, buddy because itís not going to make a damn bit of difference. After sending your Zombie buddies after him, 15 seconds later the cop will rise from the dead and join your band of traveling disassembling puking madmen! What an AWESOME feature. The next ďmoveĒ deserves to be typed in all caps, bold, and italicized. YOU CAN BEAT PEOPLE WITH THEIR OWN ARMS! Once you acquire the power to dislodge your hand, the hand becomes an actual character which you use to possess other characters. Play as a cop, jock, woman, kid, or whoever else! (Only problem is SWAT team members wear helmets that prevent you from possessing them.)

Overall, you have little control over the group of zombies that follow you around. You can whistle for them, but canít really control them. If you are across the street, and your zombie followers are on the other side, you can whistle, and they will come over. But you canít really send them over to a particular target.

The farting, and throwing of body parts (organs) acting like a grenades, are very creative weapons. In some levels you can drive a tracker, and use its weapon, which is like a cannon that shooter little black goobers. When they hit the ground they blow up and are pretty powerful because they cover a wide area of damage. There are many ways to kill someone. You can go up behind someone and break their neck, you can just punch them to death, and you can shoot them if youíre a cop.

Anywhere you go, and as long as you have the hand character, you can possess other characters and control them. However, once they die, the hand returns to Stubbs, and you are back to normal. Gameplay wise, itís cool to rip peopleís heads off, but the overall gameplay is limited because you canít explore too much.

Graphics

The graphics are actually very suitable for the game. Since itís based in a 1950s atmosphere, everything is vibrantly colored. People have pastel colored outfits and the buildings all have a nice polished look to them. The cars suck because you canít drive them. It reminds me of the old first person shooters where nothing was interactive. LET ME DRIVE ANY CAR I WANT PLEASE! And since Iím already dead, I AM NOT wearing a seatbelt.

Stubbs is a walking zombie and is a full creature, and you can acquire new ability and use your body parts as weapons. When in comes time to kill a human, the animations are different every time, and that gives the game a nice consistent feel.

I think the designers should have allowed for a bit more room to explore the neat buildings. The levels are very small. You really canít walk all over the place to check things out. Then again, if you were allowed to go inside the buildings, Stubbs would take 3 days to climb the stairs. The levels are well rendered and the levels look huge, but are just a little limited on how to interact with them.

Sound

The sound and music is what makes the game for me. All the music is re-recorded versions of 1950s hits or 1950s-esque songs. The music keeps you in the game. The lighthearted tunes go perfectly with piles of guts and screaming people.

The sounds effects are masterful and range from disgusting squishes, sonic farts, ear piercing shrieks, zombie moans, to whizzing bullets. I compare the effects to a good horror movie. They suck you into the upside down world and make it believable.

Replay Value

Call me crazy, but I like to play most video games by myself, so the multi-player mode really doesnít do it for me. I think it would be great to be able to start the game over as a cop and have to fight off hordes of zombies. You would need a little more firepower than a simple handgun though.

Bottom Line:

Stubbs the Zombie is thoroughly entertaining for one single play through. Unfortunately itís a very linear storyline. The concept of this game, being able to control zombies, wasnít quite executed the way it should have been. I would suggest renting it and beating it in a few days. It will hold your interest and itís a pretty original game formula!

Related Links:

Official Website for Stubbs the Zombie

-Chris Sztybel




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