Zombies Monsters Robots, the title alone tells you almost everything you need to know about this game. That is literally a list of three of my favorite things in video games. But does the game hold up to the lofty expectations set by such an interesting title? I checked out the closed beta and came away pretty optimistic about Zombies Monsters Robots’ future.
Zombies Monsters Robots plays very much like an updated take on Gears of War
Zombies Monsters Robots, or ZMR for short, plays very much like an updated take on Gears of War with a little bit of Killing Floor thrown in. It is a third-person shooter that features both player versus player and co-op modes. The PvP side of the game is pretty straight forward, you kill members of the other team, or everyone else if you are playing free-for-all. The victor is whoever dealt out the most death. Where ZMR gets interesting is in the PvE, or co-op modes.
The PvE section of ZMR are much more similar to Gears of War’s horde mode. Some maps are large, open areas where waves of enemies pour in. You and your teammates must kill every enemy, which will either be of the zombie, monster, or robot variety. Other maps have more of a campaign-like progression to them. Fighting through enemies to reach a certain checkpoint, which then opens up a new area of the map.
One of the maps that I tried eventually led to a stand-off with the enemy where my team was trying to reach the evacuation point across the field of battle. It took us multiple tries filled with many deaths, but eventually we fought our way through and made it out in the nick of time. The tension and fun of these sorts of encounters never really gets old, and I feel like it will be Zombie Monsters Robots specialty when it is finished with development.
In fact, the map design was one of the better elements of Zombies Monsters Robots. The maps were set up with multiple enemy entry points, mixed with the various classes of enemies I found that the game created a lot of tense moments of teamwork. The three titular enemy groups also lend variety to the game. A map with zombie enemies will play very differently than a map with the more intelligent and weapon-wielding robots. Working together is essential, so the game will become much more interesting if you get a few friends to play with.
A map with zombies will play very differently than one with the more intelligent robots
The combat itself felt very familiar, but in a tried-and-true sort of way rather than being derivative. The Gears of War comparison continued getting more apt as I played more of the game. ZMR even utilizes Gears of War’s iconic active reload mechanic. Considering we haven’t seen word of a new Gears of War game in quite some time, I wasn’t really upset at having an updated version of its best elements in ZMR.
Zombies Monsters Robots is a free-to-play title, causing me to have the usual concerns and questions. At the moment you don’t actually purchase items, you rent them for a duration of time that can stretch as far as 30 days. This was a bit disconcerting, but after only a few matches I had gotten enough gear and cash to put up a decent fight in most situations. As long as you continue playing the game you should have enough to afford the gear you want, and if you don’t have the time to play, you always have the option of paying real world cash.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Zombies Monsters Robots. It is nice to have a new third-person-shooter franchise to mess around with. The game being free-to-play also allows for a more robust and active community. It might play a lot like past games in the genre, but it has enough new elements to stand out from the pack. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on ZMR as it gets closer to its Summer 2014 release for PC.