Yet Another Zombie Defense HD (Xbox One) Review

By Josh Di Falco 20.02.2021

Review for Yet Another Zombie Defense HD on Xbox One

As the title of this zombie-shooter implies, this is… Yet Another Zombie Defense, but with HD graphics. Originally released in 2010, Awesome Games Studio has brought this title back with a new paintjob. While the zombies look scarier, and the atmosphere appears to be even more unsettling, this is still as arcade-like as the original title - a top-down twin-stick shooter, with tower defence elements woven in. At its core, this is all about setting up a good defence that is impenetrable by the ever-growing zombie hordes. With three modes to choose from, there is enough content here to be entertaining for maybe an hour... but beyond that, this is just another zombie defence experience that is lacking any real meat.

The main mode here is 'Defense,' and is split into two parts: day and night. Starting off with night, the hero has to fight an onslaught of meagre zombies with a pistol. These drop various tokens, from cash or bullets to temporary buffs such as increasing the movement speed. Once the onslaught of zombies has been defeated, it becomes day, and here is where the base-building elements come into play. Using whatever money was collected the night before, barricades, turrets, new weapons and ammo can be purchased from the shop to fortify and ready the defences for the second night, upon which more zombies will try to penetrate said fortifications. This is the entire gameplay loop, and it would be fine if there was a lot more meat to get through.

Unfortunately, it only takes four or five nights to be able to achieve the cash required to purchase the more expensive weapons or barricades. Sure, the zombies can be tricky to defeat without clever planning, however, these zombies don't need that much planning in order to quickly mow down waves of them. Though the waves becomes much more difficult with each subsequent night, it really isn't all that hard to get to night 15 - and by that stage, the defences have reached their limit, and the best weapons have well and truly enough ammo to get through the night, while four or so advanced turrets are doing more than enough to justify their existence. The turrets, barricades, and weapons, needed more ways to modify them or improve them, to continue justifying pursuing the mode any deeper.

Screenshot for Yet Another Zombie Defense HD on Xbox One

In addition to this, the character also earns skill points to permanently improve stats, however most of these skills are useless, except for increasing health or increasing gun reload speeds. There are other skills like increase health regeneration speeds, or improve the radius of which tokens can be picked up at, but these are useless in the grand scheme of things, as they won't directly help or assist in surviving the zombie waves, and they merely act as dump stats for when the more useful skills have been maxed out. In addition to these permanent stats, zombies also drop tokens with temporary buffs, such as 'invincibility' or 'invisibility' - which are both handy, provided there is an easy passage to get to them.

The second and third modes are 'Endless' and 'Deathmatch,' and these are pretty much the same mode. In 'Endless' the tower defence mechanics are gone, and the entire mode is about making it as deep as possible into the night, as endless waves of zombies get progressively stronger and plentiful. Starting with a pistol, enemies drop weapons and ammo, which can be used to upgrade to a stronger offensive in order to survive for longer. The main difference between these two modes is that 'Deathmatch' pits up to four players in a five minute battle to see who can slaughter the most zombies. Considering that most 'Endless' matches rarely exceed beyond four minutes... neither of these modes do anything to differ in the slightest.

Starting with the pistol, the other guns that are available in the shop are the useful shotgun, assault rifle, and even the bizarre, but effective, Tesla Coil. Unfortunately, expensive guns such as the laser gun or the blaster are useless, and they struggle to put down the waves of zombies on their own. The rocket launcher is a useful treat that can quickly blast away large groups of zombies, and it's quite fun to use, though when land mines and grenades are considerably cheaper to purchase and they do the same amount of damage, it's hard to justify buying a rocket launcher.

Screenshot for Yet Another Zombie Defense HD on Xbox One

The confusing part of this whole gun-progression is that even though the guns get progressively more expensive, this doesn't necessarily equate to having a better gun.If the $600 SMG has no issues mowing down hordes of zombies, then what is the point in saving up $26,000 to purchase that laser gun that struggles to down three or four zombies? This disparity makes the whole shop-system seem silly. With no rhyme or reason for anything beyond just sinking that cash into new barricades or turrets because there isn't anything else to really purchase.

All three modes can be played locally or online with up to four people - and the longevity and fun of these modes is elevated based on the quality of the teammates. Unfortunately, whether playing in a group session or solo, Yet Another Zombie Defense HD just lacks any real drive for doing anything or for pursuing that never-ending goal. Sure, in the early stages it is exciting to try and create a strategy that can reach the fifth night, and then after a few rounds of trial-and-error it becomes paramount that reaching night 12 was a lot simpler than it seemed. Beyond that, the strategy doesn't change much aside from resupplying with ammo, maybe building a second or third defence around the initial base, or adding three more turrets (despite the fact that the other four are already doing the job), because, why not?! Once this point gets reached, there is nothing else to spend the money on - and the zombie horde just continues to get bigger with some new enemies thrown into the mix.

Screenshot for Yet Another Zombie Defense HD on Xbox One

The ease of teammates dropping in and out, combined with the easy-to-learn controls of this top-down twin-stick shooter, means that there is no learning curve besides running and shooting. While this makes getting some friends together into a quick game easy to do, Yet Another Zombie Defense HD is hardly going to be a huge hit at parties. With only four different character skins and one stage to choose from, there is a major limit to how much enjoyment can be squeezed out of this zombified-sponge. It wouldn't have hurt to have had six or seven different stages to compete in - whether it's in a shopping centre, supermarket or in the neighbour's front-yard.

Instead, the only stage available is a large space of concrete. Is it a car park? Who knows at this stage, as the HD visual upgrade failed to even convey that kind of message. Speaking of, the HD visual upgrade does look more impressive than the original title. The zombies look more unsettling, the atmosphere and music delivers perfectly on the creepy vibes, but considering that Yet Another Zombie Defense HD is still the same core game, it makes this incredibly difficult to recommend to anyone. Sure, it comes with a pretty cheap price tag - but this title will be lucky to appease any group of friends beyond an hour, if that.

Screenshot for Yet Another Zombie Defense HD on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

With no shortage of zombie games to purchase or browse through in the store, it's hard to understand what void Yet Another Zombie Defense HD is trying to fill. It's a top-down twin-stick shooter that doubles as a base-defence zombie game... however it doesn't do anything to push the boundaries that other titles have already established. It is fun to play in short bursts, and its longevity is only extended by finding some local or online people to play with, but even still, the many shortcomings are impossible to ignore. While Yet Another Zombie Defense HD didn't have to bring anything new to the table, it still needed to be a zombie-stew worth eating and unfortunately, despite having some potential, it's still missing quite a few ingredients to make this experience worth anyone's while.

Developer

Awesome Games Studio

Publisher

Awesome Games Studio

Genre

Shooter

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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