Saturday, December 7, 2013

The End of the World as We Know It [Earn to Die 2012: Part 2 Review]

          While we're being annoyed at weather getting more apocalyptic by the minute (what with those 200 km/h storms ripping off our rooftops), we don't stop to think that it could be a lot worse. A zombie outbreak-type of worse, more accurately. This situation is what Earn to Die 2012: Part 2 by ToffeeGames tries to replicate... quite inaccurately. By "inaccurate", I of course mean "so unrealistic it looks like it came out of a sci-fi movie", but we'll get back to that later.
(But you get to destroy a bridge, so who cares about accuracy?)

          First, let's start with the story. Continuing on from the part 1 of Earn to Die 2012 (which is actually more exciting), we have a hero who has to start with a small car in a zombie-infested world, to reach a spot on the West Coast where an airplane is waiting for him. So, we just have the plot for every single zombiepocalypse movie ever.
          The graphics are one of the high points of this game, and it is obvious that this is perhaps the aspect which had the most thought poured into it. The zombies and the car are well-detailed, complete with a realistic-looking background and rocks on the terrain to complete the feeling of a truly desolate place.

          Audio, not so much. The zombies don't have any kind of sound apart from a groan signifying you just shredded into pieces with your blades in front of your car. No blood splatter (which, for this game, would be most accurate), no slash, nothing. The crashing sounds are satisfying, though, up until you realize that exploding an entire tower produces less sound than hitting a few boxes. The background music doesn't do justice, either; with a mere few drum beats and notes, it can't be possible to think it'll compensate for the few sounds made by your utter killing spree.
          Then, off to gameplay. While destroying absurdly large constructions is and always will be awesome, the game had missed a huge lot of chances to further improve it. For example, the zombies. A zombie has lot of potentials, as the movie industry and this game proves many times. For example, they can catch up to fire trucks moving at 60 mph (which, according to this game, is a bone-crushing speed which can destroy brick walls without a flinch), leap while still moving at a faster speed and land to do... er... absolutely nothing, I guess. Well, other than hanging on your back tire like weird souvenirs from a foreign country before they get ripped off in 10 seconds.

(...And I got that left one in Ethiopia. Oh, and that one, now that has an interesting story, son...)

          Then, that makes the only-zombie-shooting gun also just a piece of fancy decoration, eliminating a truly awesome feature. Of course, this also means your vehicle is an indestructible hell-bursting tank that zombies can't possibly damage, which makes you wonder why are you actually fleeing from the place at all. 
          Then we have innovation, which is a low point in the game. Not only is it just a generic racing game with many features unexplored, but the concept is almost exactly the same as the prequel. Adding to that is the fact that every level is an exact copy of the previous, only with larger prices that scale with the rewards, and cooler names. (No, your 18-Speed Gearbox is not going to do any better than the 9-Speed one last level.)
           Finally, the minor issues. This game offers almost zero challenges, as the game only consists of pressing the up key continuously and maybe boosting on hills. That's because, even if you stop, the vehicle still consumes fuel. Oh, did I mention the game's littered with other annoying flaws, like consuming fuel at normal speed when in the occasional slow-motion sequence or when going downhill?

          Graphics: 5/5 (With very detailed cars, terrain and zombies, this will make mowing down zombies as realistic as it should be always.)
          Gameplay: 3/5 (While destroying stuff is awesome, this game missed a lot of chances to be better than the rest of the games, and there are some flaws that sour the experience.)
          Innovation: 1/5 (Being a near-exact copy of the prequel, which was also a generic racing game, I doubt I could give more than this.)
          Audio: 3/5 (Being a bit silent and not-detailed, this only gets more than 2/5 because of the intro's walkie-talkie part (which is the only thing there not taken from the prequel))
          Other: 2/5 (The game gets a bit of a minus for offering near to no difficulty apart from pressing the up key madly.)

          Overall: 14/25, 2.8/5 (rounded: 3/5) (This game is good for racing or destruction fanatics, but for others, there are plenty of other games out there which would be much better than this one.)

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