Please note I was very kindly given a review copy by the generous developer. However this has not affected my review in any way.
HordeZ is a game where you fight off waves of approaching Zombies with an impressive arsenal whilst standing on a moving platform*. I’m going to be honest, this game scares me a little too much. I’m not a fan of scary movies, I don’t mind gore but it’s the psychological and jump scares that gets me. You’ll have noticed I’ve not written any articles on horrors games! HordeZ has zombies coming at you from every direction and if you don’t keep a constant eye on each corridor, you’re going to have zombies all around munching on your limbs.
I’ve had HordeZ in my Steam library for a while now, I’ve had friends round who’ve played through the first level. Each time I’ve watched it’s the same swear word inducing, panicked expressions as the zombies try and feast on their face, it’s great to watch! But I have to admit I’m a wuss. I’ve tried on a few occasions to play this alone, at night (the only time I get to play VR!), but each time I’ve been too pathetic, switching it off when the zombies get within a few feet.
However, this weekend I manned up! Now I feel I’ve played enough to give my honest opinion.
You start the game with a slightly overwhelming menu where there are plenty of options to choose from which allows you to set the game up how you like. After you hit the play button you’ll find yourself in a dark corridor standing on a small, round platform. You don’t get to move much in this one, other than spinning on the spot, which you’ll do a lot, as the platform will slowly move through the level. It makes the game more interesting than the stationary wave based shooters yet it doesn’t travel fast enough to make you any feel motion sickness, well not for me anyway.
As you travel through the dark, eerie levels waves of zombies will come wondering towards you and you have to attempt to stop them using your varied selection of weapons, which range from a pistol and shotgun to a sword and hand grenades. There are plenty of ways to take down the zombies. One of the most fun moments I’ve had in VR so far is duel wielding guns, pointing them in opposite directions, arms out stretched, shooting the zombies, feeling like I was in a John Woo action movie!
As you shoot the enemies they drop the usual ammo and health, however to get these needed items you have to switch one of your weapons to a tool that pulls the items towards you, which means you have to sacrifice a weapon for a short while to replenish your items. This adds an interesting challenge, do you put a gun away to grab that much needed health, or do you risk going without so you can continue to fill the latest swarm of zombies with bullets?
HordeZ looks nice, the graphics are not stunning, but with it’s dark and spooky atmosphere it sets the mood really well. The zombies have the same feel as Doom 3 had with their slightly shiny textures. The sound is horrible, in a good way, as you hear the zombies coming towards you with the traditional moans. I can’t comment on the difficulty as I’ve only played it on easy, and I doubt I’ll be ramping it up anytime soon! There is also co-op multiplayer but I’m afraid I’ve not tried this out, however I imagine playing this with a friend would only add to the enjoyment.
Overall if you enjoy zombies games and you appreciate jump scares then this is certainly a game you should add to your library. For me personally, being a total wuss, I’ll only play this when I have friends in the same room, but for everyone else this is a top shooter that deserves your attention.
* Apparently there is now a teleport option for movement but I’ve not tested this so can’t comment. I would imagine that would be pretty good though!