Tag Archives: KILLBOX

REVIEW: Vector Madness ZOMBIES

You know, I’m a pretty laid back dude most of the time. Being such, the dude abides a great many things when it comes to the indie channel. Lengthy release droughts, middling mostly-clones of far superior originals, developers using XBLIG purely as a fundraiser or a glorified Kickstarter, and oh, lest we forget, dozens and dozens of zombie games.  So imagine my dramatic ‘facepalm’ at seeing Vector Madness ZOMBIES ($1.00), and forgive me for my Bill Murray / Groundhog Day moment, thinking I’ve already done this review.

Vector Madness Zombies - Screen

Wait. Let’s roll that back a bit. Tell you what, I’ll gladly relinquish my Lebowski self-comparison and all the quotables, as I’m almost positive that no one is more laid back than Warlock Development Group. They’ve (basically) released the same game three times in less than six months now, and this newest monochromatic version of the non-monochromatic KILLBOX is essentially a cheap knock off of a feature that was already present in the original original game: Zombies1.

What is essentially a virtual test-firing range for 190 gunsVector Madness ZOMBIES drops you (or you and a friend, locally) onto a nondescript grey background. In two settings, Campaign or Experiment, you can choose from a very large arsenal of unlockable weapons, and put them to use— ‘bullet time’ included— mowing down waves of faceless zombies, in the hopes that you’ll be entertained for longer than thirty seconds (Spoiler: You won’t.).

Vector Madness Zombies - Screen2

See, certainly no shortage of firearms here.

You can buy new guns with cash earned during battle, with selections from the usual (and some obscure) suspects of shotguns, assault rifles, pistols, etc., as well as eclectic stuff like paintball and stun guns. The game’s sole ‘new’ feature, upgradeable weaponry, makes the process  a little deeper, allowing you to swap out attachments and options in order to boost (or lessen, depending on your choices) things like damage or bullet penetration.

There’s something to be said for shooting off a zombie’s face with a flare gun at close range, but that something isn’t enough to carry an entire game. Let alone one that’s been through three iterations already, and getting progressively more derivative with each passing version. So once again, I’ll end with the line from the previous review; if you’d love to play with hundreds of guns, go with KILLBOX. It’s a more complete product, and already features the undead as an enemy type, leaving no reason for Vector Madness ZOMBIES to even exist. And yeah, that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

  1. So the tagline would be: ‘Less guns! Less variety! Less colour! And look, zombies! Which we already had two versions ago!’ I thought sequels were supposed to get bigger and better? 

REVIEW: Vector Madness

You know, I liked Vector Madness ($1.00) a little bit more when it was released two months ago, under the more-appropriate name of KILLBOX. A level’s backgrounds don’t normally make a game what it is, and they are far from the focus of this new version, although the sparse visuals here do tend to make things… well, more boring to look at, in comparison. Anyway, my trigger finger digresses.

Vector Madness - Screen

Dude is super dead, dude.

Guns are the real draw here. Guns, Guns, Guns, and yes, more Guns. So many guns you’ll have bullet casings flying out of your ears, stacking up around you like the so many faceless corpses you’ll leave in your wake. Over 200(!!!) firearms, if you’re putting a number on it (and I am), spread across the entire spectrum of human weaponry. Assault Rifles, Shotguns, Handguns, SMGs, and some specials (nailgun, anyone?), each with its own stats, sound, and kick. Top it off with some ‘bullet time’ for good measure. If that sounds like your thing, you’ll be a kid in a lethal candy store for this one.

‘Campaign’ works as a simplified wave shooter and a means to an end, rewarding you with plentiful unlocks and the ability to purchase said guns between rounds with the dough you’ve earned. To experiment with your new weapons in a less stressful environment, there’s, ah… ‘Experiment’ mode, which hands over your entire mess of (unlocked) guns to play with, without the constant money drain to worry about.

In that way, Vector Madness and KILLBOX are less a ‘game’ and more of an actual murder simulator. And no, I’m not ringing any moral alarms or instigating a social conversation on ‘Second Amendment Rights’, just stating a joke-y sort of fact. Case in point, the ‘wave shooter’ format here is totally under-cooked. Between the occasional item drops, like ammo or health, or, you know, more guns, enemies just sort of wander in, asking to get shot. No real challenge or big deal.

Vector Madness - Screen2

Dude is still dead, dude.

Sure, there’s the real sense of progression, unlocking weapons (and zany character accessories!) as you advance, but the entire thing lacks emotion, merely an excuse to test out your favorite brand of gun against largely feckless targets. The initial thrill of that starts to dull (no future pun intended) quickly, and the stark grey backgrounds just make it feel all the more clinical.

Heavy arsenal aside, you’re still just a dude, dressing up like a dude that’s shooting other dudes disguised to look like bad dudes, without much meaningful variation. If you’re dead set on the idea, though, I’d recommend picking up the former version of KILLBOX over Vector Madness. Least you’ll have a little something more to look at than the fifty shades of grey on display here.