For sheer numbers, Burn Zombie Burn is the ultimate zombie game. There can be hundreds of the cartoon corpses on screen at any time – and only one of you to put them down (or two if you’re playing in co-op). It’s essentially an update of SNES classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors but distilled to its pure arcade core. That’s you, loads of brilliant weapons, and hordes of the undead to use them on.
First and foremost, this is a co-op title. You can enjoy it on your own but, like Smash TV or Gauntlet before it, Burn’s been constructed around its multiplayer. This doesn’t mean you should expect a lengthy co-operative campaign though – actually, there’s no campaign at all, just a series of unconnected arena-like environments. There are only six of these tiny stages too.
But to criticize it for this would be to miss the point entirely. You’ll be strafing, shooting, and lawnmowering – yes, lawnmowering – the undead so furiously you’ll be thankful the levels aren’t bigger as the space would just be filled with more zombies. It’s a game where the numbers in the corner of the screen – the kill counter and score – are actually important. You’re required to keep one eye on them at all times. Hero Bruce (and in co-op, his brother Bruno) is remarkably easy to control, while weapons – including a flamethrower, shotgun and cricket bat – carry a real heft. As your kill counter increases, you’re tossed new guns, ammo and health items, which will help keep you alive for longer.
Multiplayer is handled via split-screen but you’ll never get that far from each other. There’s also Freeplay mode which continues ad nauseum until your demise, a timed variant, and a mode which tasks you with protecting your sweetheart, Daisy. Online co-op is a frustrating omission though. If there’s no one willing to sit beside and slaughter zombies with you, we can’t totally recommend it. But to everyone else: get stuck in.
Mar 31, 2009