One of my favorite games will always be Hotline Miami. In my opinion, the high-octane, adrenaline-pumping pure chaos of gunning, punching, and stabbing down enemies coupled with ultra-smooth and satisfying gameplay is near perfect. That’s why, when I saw Splatter – Zombiecalypse Now and its similarities to Hotline Miami, I knew I had to try it.Sadly, the only real resemblance to Hotline Miami is the top-down view and the high level of blood.
Splatter is a top-down shooter in which you control a “hero” and must blast your way through an endless horde of zombies in the zombiecalypse (yes, I read it as zombiepocalypse first too). In terms of the game’s plot, this is essentially it. There is a story, but it is incredibly thin. So much so that you could boil it down to ‘shoot everything and move forward.’
That’s not to say Splatter isn’t fun. There will be times when you will be literally surrounded and will have to bob, weave, and gun your way through. You have infinite pistol bullets, so you can get very trigger-happy wherever you are. Many of the objects in the environment are also destructible, so zombie bites and splinters are a real possibility. Destroying items will occasionally reward you with money. This can be used to upgrade your weapons at certain stations, making them more powerful as you progress. Each level is broken up by a short story, which is accompanied by gritty graphic novel-style imagery and a very generic ‘lone wolf’ voice saying nothing. You’re then in another area now, spamming the ZR button in every direction. Again.
The main problem with this game is that it lacks strategy. Looking back at Hotline Miami and how it used the top-down camera, you could plan ahead and observe your enemies’ movements, as well as use doors or melee weapons to aid in your attack. There is no real strategy with Splatter other than to run and shoot. With all of your opponents being zombies who will literally run at you, there is only one way out – point and shoot. There are three difficulty levels to help you tailor the gameplay to your skill level. This only makes the same zombies a little more difficult to shoot down.
It’s a lot of fun at first to keep shooting and navigating from room to room, level to level with a variety of guns at your disposal. But that’s all there is to it. After a few levels, you’ve seen pretty much everything that Splatter has to offer.
“Watch as colors shift and the level shakes to the beat of the music,” says the promotional description for Splatter. I’m perplexed because the music was nowhere near as prominent as this description implies, and there was no shaking at all. It may be present, but the only sounds you will hear unless you change the settings are gunshots, explosions, and zombie groans.
Review: Splatter – Zombiecalypse Now (Nintendo Switch)
Splatter – Zombiecalypse Now is a wild, over-the-top, trigger-happy shooter where your ZR button will be worn out if you stick with it for more than a few levels – and well done if you do! Don’t get me wrong, the visuals are gory and chaotic, but they clash with the dark, gritty setting and zoomed out top-down view, resulting in a pretty messy and ‘gets old pretty quickly’ experience.