Review – Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip
We don’t get a lot of movie tie-ins nowadays, especially on consoles. If someone decides to develop a licensed game based on a movie, it’s usually based on something big and ridiculously lucrative, like Star Wars or Alien, instead of a sequel to a small (but unexpectedly successful) movie released ten years ago like Zombieland. Yet, that’s what we got. Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip rekindled my morbid curiosity for cheaper licensed games that were all the rage in the PS2 era. Even though it ended up being much better than expected (because I expected nothing from it), it’s still not that good nor impressive.
The concept for Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip isn’t bad. In fact, turning it into a four-player twin-stick shooter, with each player taking control of one of the movie’s protagonists, was a very smart move. You can play as Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock. Each one has slightly different stats and a completely different screen-clearing special move. You’ll mow down literal hundreds of zombies and other canonically nonsensical enemies that come along your way. Conceptually-wise, it’s alright. The problem lies in its execution.
Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip is the definition of “cheap licensed game”, because oh boy, does it look cheap and unpolished. My worries began when I first booted up the game and was greeted to a menu interface that made Steam asset flips look creative in comparison. I then proceeded to the main game and noticed the “quality” of the four main characters. To say that they don’t look like their real actor counterparts is like saying that eating a rotten egg isn’t a pleasant experience: can’t say you’re lying, but that doesn’t convey the truth as well. Everything else looks very cheap, from the excessively reused assets to enemy models. The only two solaces of redemption when it comes to the visual department are the somewhat decent framerate and the explosion effects that look a lot cooler than the rest of the game as a whole.
The sound department can be best described as a mixed bag. It’s not terrible, as it’s not glitchy or poorly mixed, but I can’t say it’s good either, as, just like the visuals, it suffers from the fact that it’s really cheap. The soundtrack is generic and uninspiring. There are no licensed tracks. There is no “Salute Your Solution” by The Raconteurs, a song that instantly reminds me of the entire Zombieland franchise. The soundtrack is comprised of your typical harmless and generic tunes that won’t annoy you during gameplay, but will instantly vanish from your brain the second you turn the game off.
The voice acting is bad, but also enjoyable in a weird way, because nobody (with the exception of Columbus’s voice actor) sounds at all like their movie counterparts. Bless them, they really tried, but they just couldn’t make things work. The guy hired to voice Woody Harrelson’s character is the prime example, as he ended up sounding like Larry the Cable Guy instead.
The thing that saves Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip from being a completely bad title, making it a mediocre one instead, is its gameplay. No, it’s not creative, deep, nor impressive. It’s your generic twin-stick shooter loop, with a metric ton of zombies (and clowns, for some reason) to kill, lots of guns for you to collect, passive boosts, and so on. It’s generic as hell, but I won’t lie, the controls are actually quite good. They are very easy to learn, as you basically use the four trigger buttons on your controller, and are responsive enough. This game might be cheap and generic, but I have to admit that enough care has obviously been put into it in order to make it playable and (very occasionally) enjoyable. It’s also more fun with friends, if you manage to find people willing to play a title like this with you, that is.
All in all, Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip is just another movie tie-in game, one that oddly feels like it should belong on the PS2 catalogue. Just like your typical licensed title, it’s a game that will pander to fans of the Zombieland franchise, or at least those willing to spend a hefty fee on such a title, but won’t appeal to anyone else, as there are dozens of much better (and cheaper) twin-stick shooters out there. I expected a lot worse from it, and it even managed to entertain me for a few minutes at a time, but it’s very unremarkable.
Yet, for some sadistic reason, I’m kind of glad that this game exists. The fact that movie tie-ins are finally back on consoles after a large amount of years being relegated to mobile app stores makes me feel like I’m back in 2004 once again. Please try not to judge me.
This game doesn’t look much better than a cheap PS2 title, but at the very least, it does feature a solid framerate and some impressive explosion effects.
A very standard and totally unremarkable twin-stick shooter gameplay loop. The control responsiveness is pretty good at least.
The voice acting isn’t terrible, but nobody sounds like their movie counterparts at all. The soundtrack is just passable, yet not memorable at all.
Fun Factor: 5.0
It fails as a comedic title and it doesn’t cater to anyone but fans of the Zombieland franchise. It’s not a completely awful game, and it’s somewhat fun in co-op, but there are dozens of better titles out there.
Final Verdict: 5.0
Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.
Reviewed on Switch.
A copy of Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip was provided by the publisher.