REVIEW: ZDQ II Ghost Dogs

Although they’ve long passed the threshold for burnout and outstayed their comeback, you just can’t keep the Zombies down. Not even with a headshot. They’ve come in all shapes and sizes, all manner of decay and speed. As the whole story, or as the backdrop for a larger one. In novels, in movies, and in video game form. And certainly combined with Minecraft. Though like many others before it, the Minecraftian look in ZDQ II Ghost Dogs ($1.00) is merely there as a means to an end; to get you to mow down a bunch of block-headed zombies.

I wouldn’t call it a full-fledged sequel to Zombie Death Quota, either; more an update to take advantage of Activision’s most recent Call of Duty title. While dogs play a large role in that game (often as allies), the canines in ZDQ II are anything but your furred friends, relegated to a spirit form that will occasionally spawn to attack you. Hence the title. Inspired stuff. What is new for this game is the two-player offline co-op.

Which helps to alleviate an otherwise-identical zombie wave shooter setup. As large parts of this game are carried over from the original, you’ll find yourself on a pretty familiar island map, using the same HUD and weapons. Your objectives remain the same as well; killing a set number of zombies, and collecting a few crates that are scattered around the level, after which you wait for extraction and advance. The ‘quotas’ for completion vary, as does your loadout. A fogged-over version of the map is also used in rotation, mimicking the settings from the first.

ZDQ II Ghost Dogs - Screen

Not your best friend. Not at all.

Rampant déjà vu aside, the game still features excellent controls and enough variety that you don’t necessarily feel locked into the same cycle each playthrough. Enemies are crafty and quick, meaning you’ll have to pay attention and use the environment to your advantage. The level itself has plenty of terrain, alternating from the high ground to beaches, interiors and caves. The guns feel different from each other, and are satisfying to use (you also get a brief infusion of Dubstep whenever you roast an enemy with the flamethrower).

It all comes down to how many zombies you can stomach. If you haven’t played the original, then ZDQ II Ghost Dogs is certainly the version to buy. For everyone else that has, and is already suffering from undead fatigue, the lack of new content here might make this version of the game a trifle bit unnecessary.

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15 thoughts on “REVIEW: ZDQ II Ghost Dogs”

  1. “It all comes down to how many zombies you can stomach.”
    When I read that, I can’t help but think about a zombie eating contest. “How many Pyramid Heads and Witches can you eat in five minutes? GO GO GO GO.”

    1. Pyramid Heads would be like… 1/2 eaten, tops. You got that pointy metal head to chow through, and that’s challenging for any set of teeth. If you somehow manage that, you just know that it’s going to rip up your insides. Plus, the blade that dude is carrying? No way he’s going to just let you eat him. Silent Hill employs him full time (with full health benefits) for a reason, you know. Basically he’s uneatable.

      And as far as Witches go, if you’re referring to the L4D Witches, they scream way too much to be worth the trouble. And the amount of ‘Expert’ difficulty runs she’s sabotaged over the years? She can fuck right off.

  2. I like this one more than I thought it would. I genuinely enjoy the Doom-esque character skins, and although it uses Minecraft’s schtick of chunky, blocky, exaggerated over-simplicity, it really does nail a sort of early FPS vibe very well. The guns are all pretty darn fun to use, too. Now if only they’d built a game that actually was like Doom out of this rather than a somewhat by-the-numbers wave shooter. :/

    I always thought the Minecraft’s pseudo-Lego block building world creation style would’ve lent some absolutely massive potential for level building in this sort of game. It’s kind of a shame that even with all the MC clones out there, it hasn’t been used that way much.

    1. Yeah, there’s some that use the Minecraft look to good advantage, but plenty more use it just to bring in the crowds. Which is okay, I guess. Developers have to eat too. At long as you make it fun, I’m all for it. Just wish this game wasn’t such a copy-and-paste from the first.

      There’s a few Doom-somwhat-likes out there, if you dig. Although it’s more steampunk-y than Doom, I highly recommend Demon House (https://thexblig.com/2012/10/31/review-demon-house/); great visuals and fun gunplay. Good length and replay value.

      If you want a blocky, more old school Doom-like, L.A.R.A is another overlooked gem (http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/LARA/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d80258550a70) Dismantling the robots piece by piece is excellent fun in that one.

      Alien OverKILL is okay (https://thexblig.com/2013/07/22/review-alien-overkill/), but an acquired taste.

    2. L.A.R.A. is honestly one of my favorite FPS on the 360 full stop. 😀

      A bit sad to say that the enemies in that are vastly more menacing than those in nearly the whole lot of XBLIG zombie games, too.

    3. Nice! And agreed on the enemies. Their inability to stay dead sometimes felt cheap, but that certainly added to the tension. Especially when your health was already low. It is sad to think that we will most likely never see a sequel to it. 😦

  3. All I want to know is where can I get a handgun that can rip off shots as fast as that? Can I mail order it? Mind you I don’t have a use for it right now but when the zombie apocalypse does hit I’m sure I can find a use for it then.

    1. In my completely unprofessional and un-knowledgeable opinion, I’m sure you could find a machine pistol that fires pretty damn quick. Although you’d probably have to sacrifice accuracy for speed. In a zombie apocalypse, I’ll take accuracy. And a blunt weapon, because you don’t need sharpen or reload those. 🙂

      But, since I’d probably wind up dead sooner or later, I’d take the flamethrower that spews dubstep. If I’m going to die, I want a soundtrack!

    2. Very good point! Maybe undead wouldn’t be so bad. I could do the ‘Warm Bodies’ thing; hang out with Rob Corddry and eventually meet a nice girl / regain my humanity. Then, have the same human relationship problems…

  4. Twelve year old kid checklist:
    ZWS
    Minecraft style
    Generic name with “zombie” and “Death” in it
    Poster rips off latest COD game.

    1. Had there been ‘boobs’ thrown onto that checklist, you’d have a riot on your hands.

      Honestly, it controls well and is fun for a little while, so I can’t hate on it too much. Unoriginal, though? Definitely. More or less a cut-and-paste of the first game with some new art assets? Definitely. I realize XBLIG isn’t a huge market, but methinks these developers are just releasing the same stuff and adding a number or subtitle to the name and hoping that no one calls them out on it.

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