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Review: ZAMB! Redux (Xbox One)By Ninjadillo At 08.06.2018 22:22

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ZAMB! Redux is simple enough; you start a level by hacking into a reactor, which sets off waves of enemies. As they are defeated, gems are gained, which can be used to either launch powerful special attacks or set up turrets to defend an area, and the cycle repeats as more and more reactors are hacked. Once finishing taking out the last wave of enemies, the level ends and the cycle is repeated on the next one.

There are two ways to fail a level: 1.) the enemies destroy all the reactors, 2.) both of your playable characters die. That second point leads into one of the game's main gimmicks, which is swapping between two different characters at will, or micromanaging tasks with a partner, depending on the mode chosen (since there are both single- and multiplayer options).

The two characters function much differently from each other. There's Cye, who specialises in close-range attacks and unleashing devastating special powers, and there's also Chrome, who relies on ranged attacks and building turrets that attack enemies that come close enough. As these characters are so unique when compared to each other, switching between them is strategic and keeps players on their toes, as opposed to being dull and tedious.

As an example, you can slash a few enemies as Cye, chuck an electric bomb to wipe out several enemies, and then quickly switch to Chrome to use the dropped gems from the enemies to be able to buy turrets and place them around reactors. It could even perhaps be argued that despite being marketed as a co-operative experience, playing solo might actually be more interesting in this case, but it's difficult to really make a definitive statement on that.

What's unfortunate, though, is that there's not much variation between each level. There are multiple enemy types, but they mostly function the same, or at least aren't creative enough to be memorable from each other. It's very much viable to rely on the same strategy for the majority of the game, and while there are some extra objectives for each level (such as not using a specific turret type), going through the levels on a first playthrough sometimes drags on.

Other elements aren't particularly special, either. The graphics and sound are passable (even if the music is noticeably generic and loops weirdly), there's an upgrade and levelling system that almost feels tacked on with how little certain upgrades matter, and there are a few boss stages, but none of it is especially outstanding. Despite that, though, ZAMB! Redux still has some good things going for it, and it's a pleasant romp overall.

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Final Score
[i]ZAMB! Redux[/i] isn't a spectacular game, but it offers a decent time nonetheless. The two playable characters have some interesting designs due to how different they function from one another, and there's enough challenge and extra objectives to go after to make this sometimes feel satisfying. Unfortunately, the gameplay and enemy design don't change enough between levels to equal a memorable experience, but it's still enjoyable enough while it lasts.

5

/10

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