Road of the Dead Game

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Road of the Dead - Drive-by zombie killing's never been so vogue

If you thought that Earn to Die's four-wheeled zombie antics were fun, then you need to get your mind around Road of the Dead. Earn to Die's side-scrolling format takes a back seat  as Road of the Dead puts you in the literal driving seat as well as the metaphorical one. Don't like driving? Well, the consolation is that you get to run over zombies. Lots of zombies. Though you won't be busting caps or blasting your way through the dangerous streets where the undead roam, you'll be slamming and ramming zombies in a world where the highway code - as well as the law itself - no longer applies.

That's The Fourth Apocalypse This Week

Post-apocalyptic scenarios should be a home away from home for most flash gamers, or at least flash gamers that enjoy a good shooting game that is. It seems you can't go five pages on any game page without coming across a zombie-related apocalypse. This is of course good news for those that enjoy the genre, but even fans of it may become a little tired at the usual zombies shoot-em-up. What relief these gamers must feel when they lay eyes upon Road of the Dead, however, and its enjoyable blend of on-road action that's so violent it may as well be off road and not forgetting the  clinching factor: getting splatter hundreds of zombies in whichever manner you please. That's right, Road of the Dead is a road-based, zombie-killing extraveganzas, and first-person is the only way to play in this original title to what is now a series of eye-catching and addictive road-based zombie games.

Dead Set

Other zombies shooters be damned: Road of the Dead takes killing zombies to the next level, and indeed to the next state if you manage to make it out alive. It's pretty easy being the person in control of things, using the W, A, S and D keys to steer left and right as well as accelerate, and the Spacebar allows you to brake sharply.

The real action starts when the streets become crowded however, since you'll be encountering zombies more frequently and in greater number the longer you are on the road. When things really get gory you can flip your windscreen wipers on with the R key, you know, just to bat away the blood, guts, and body parts that accumulate on your windshield and block your vision. You can even honk the horn with the E key if you think it'll help. This is only a default key configuration however since Road of the Dead's key assignments are entirely customisable from the main menu, making this instantly more enjoyable than Earn to Die.

Open as Usual

If you think that using a run-down car to escape the zombie apocalypse is a dead certain way to escape then you're clearly in more denial than even the game itself is in. Playing in the game's main mode involves not one journey but a series of them that are intended to be part of a sort of grind to earn Road Points (RP) which can be used upgrade your car. Road of the Dead (or should I say developers Evildog Productions and SickDeathFiend) knows that your journey will be treacherous and that repeated failure is a certainty. You're actually counting on this failure so that you can keep earning RP to upgrade your car to the point where you will be able to make longer and longer journeys. It's ok though, you're given a reprieve in the form of checkpoints that you can start from, providing that you manage to reach it before you perish.

Applying upgrades is a s simple as returning to your garage - which is remarkably still open and in working order in spite of the massive zombie apocalypse - and adding to various facets of your car's performance such as its windshield, engine, bumper and tires as well as your own body armour and things like your perception of the environment. It's impressive that the main character manages to find the time to pimp out his car after every journey, but this is the gameplay mechanic that makes the game interesting.

On to Better Things

Whilst the thought of smashing up a load of zombies with a car is quite appealing, there are a few downsides such as the scenery being fairly repetitive and the action becoming a little samey after a while. Avoiding civilians is something to make it a little more interesting, but even this gets very boring. The graphics are a few levels above respectable and the gore is satisfying if zombie games are your thing. The problem is that this game can now only be seen in the shadow of its successor, Road of the Dead 2, a game that is better in every way since it addresses the gaping hole in Road of the Dead's CV: the lack of shooting. If this game did have the ability to shoot then it would be more interesting, but those looking for an experience with more dimensions should check out the more refined and generally superior sequel.