Every year there are a few games that just come out of nowhere to take the gaming market by storm and just bring the lesser known developers or publishers to the forefront. This year we haven’t really seen any of these games come out and jump at us, but one game that has that potential is Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse for the Microsoft Xbox. Can this game be one of the sleeper hits of 2005? Read our full review to find out!
Right off the bat you can see that this game tries not to take things too seriously. It starts you off with a pretty light-hearted storyline that takes place in Punchbowl City. Basically the game leaves you with some basic outlines of what is going on, and leaves the rest of it for you to find out yourself. Now the thing about Stubbs is that this is one of those games that you have to enjoy "stupid humor", because this is exactly what the game gives you. I for one enjoyed the storyline. It wasn’t much in terms of narrative details, but for what it’s worth, it was entertaining and fun to sit back and watch.
Now one of the things that caught my eye on the game’s cover was that it was developed using the Halo engine, something which has never been done in other games, as far as I know. With that being said, the main objective of Stubbs the Zombie is literally to eat brains. Sure this may sound gruesome, gross, and maybe even just plain dumb, but if I was you I would say anything until you actually give this game a shot. Like most action games, you start out with a pretty limited amount of abilities. But as the game progresses, you will find more abilities at your disposal, attempting to help freshen up the game.
The game gives you an abundance of enemies to get through, and they’re not all that hard. The game does give you some variety, with some boss fights and even some vehicle segments to go through that kind of give a break from the typical drive of decapitating countless enemies. I have to say the developers of the game did a fantastic job with the boss battles, as they have a good deal of variety and I found that they were pretty enjoyable to play.
One of the big downsides to this game is that it is not that long. I found myself feeling pretty let down come the end of the game, because I was thoroughly enjoying my time decapitating a bunch of enemies and having a few laughs along the way. The game really just gave you such a nice approach to an action game that it was disheartening to really see the game end so quickly.
The game did a nice job of using the Halo engine, which makes the controls feel very smooth and allowing you just really enjoy the game for what it is. I went through the game not having really any problems with camera or controls. In the end, Stubbs the Zombie is really a solid game that is definitely for the older crowd that love humor and doesn’t mind a shorter experience.
Like I mentioned earlier, the game uses the Halo engine to its advantage. The camera in the game actually works pretty good and never really causes a problem. The biggest downside I had with Stubbs the Zombie was the fact that the character models, besides Stubbs himself, are actually pretty bland and could have used a lot more work. The environments in the game are good and have a solid amount of detail. While the overall presentation of the game was good, it is not one of the highest detailed games out there. But still, the Halo engine works so well for this brain snatching game.
I must say that with the game being set the 50’s and the background music going right along with that style, you will just be having a lot of fun as it has a lot of nice fun qualities that really keep you intrigued from start to finish. The game starts off strong and as you progress so does the game and it stays very enjoyable through this. I must say that Stubbs the Zombie does not have the depth/length to really be as fun as it could have been. Had the game thrown more into the story and had more side missions, this would have been one of the most fun games of this year. But without the much needed depth, the game sort of loses its enjoyment much too quickly.
Stubbs the Zombie is one of the more surprising games of 2005 and I would consider it one of the sleeper hits of this year. Unfortunately it is hard for me to recommend this game as anything more than a rental, simply because you can complete it in one sitting. However with that being said, this may be one of the best games you rent all year, especially if you enjoy zombies and the fifties.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.