There are tons of zombies games littering the market, but no matter how many we see arrive year after year, there is always one more just on the horizon that hopes to bring something fresh and enjoyable to players once more. The latest title to bring the undead to our living rooms is 2URVIVE, a game with a title so artistic that it leaves the hairs standing on end.
2URVIVE is played as a twin-stick shooter and is nothing overly original in design. The camera sits at a top-down viewpoint, the visuals are akin to that of the original GTA PS1 titles and your overall objective is little more than the title suggests – to survive.
The core mode of 2URVIVE is the story mode, which is spread over 10 episodes as well as an additional hidden one. Through brief dialogue between missions, players are told the story of a ragtag band of survivors who have managed to scrape themselves away from becoming the next meal of the undead. By taking down hordes of swarming zombies, hunting for supplies, destroying various objects, and more, they’ll be able to make it to safety.
The story mode isn’t really one that you can get overly engaged in though, and that is mostly due to it being over and done within an hour, and so it comes down to the gameplay side of things to really push players on. Sadly, despite proving to be a playable twin-stick shooter experience from start to finish, and ticking the boxes of what makes such a game work, it doesn’t exactly have anything to make it really stand out from anything else on the market.
What makes that more apparent however is the lack of defining features. To make a zombie experience rise above the rest you need more than just hordes of shambling corpses, hails of bullets, well-illuminated explosions and a little character. You need something big and something special, but disappointingly 2URVIVE doesn’t really have that, instead lending itself to the breed of mediocre zombie adventures that are already saturating the market.
That’s not to say that 2URVIVE is a poor game, as what it does do, it does well. Within each level players takes on hordes of enemies, and by way of manoeuvring through and around these large groups – before placing a firm bullet through the brain – you begin to progress. If that’s the core experience you’re after, then this is a game you can find it in. If however you are looking for something new and fresh from your zombie adventure then that is where 2URVIVE starts to struggle.
You see, the issue is that the gameplay either comes across as being too easy, or too hard, with a middle ground between the two rarely seen, and certain weapons such as the Sniper Rifle failing to make much of an impact beyond the very early waves.
Between each wave players have 30 seconds to set-up shop before a new wave commences. In this period, you can buy defensive weapons such as turrets, pick up some extra medkits, or upgrade weapons – with 10 weapons available in total. The best way I have found to progress however is to simply upgrade and stick with the basic assault rifle, rather than mixing up any loadout, whilst making the most of turrets. With those actions in place you can pretty much guarantee gunning down most enemies you’ll come across.
That is one area where balancing is required at present, as new weapons should be seen as a welcome addition. Instead, in 2URVIVE they are almost seen as a burden as enemy numbers increase; more often than not you can find your new weapon failing to pierce the surface of the enemy onslaught, whilst the likes of the sniper rifle prove absolutely pointless as you become surrounded. If you are able to get to the later rounds, you’ll soon find that the mass of enemies attacking from all sides turns 2URVIVE into a near clone copy of fellow zombie survival title, Yet Another Zombie Defense HD, leaving you with poor weapons, and left to make the most of well placed defensive items to stand any hope of progressing. It’s things like this that can make a game feel unfair, especially when it comes down to relying on luck to help you through.
Of course, you could instead take it as a strategic battle and look at weapon/turret placement as the key to success, but let’s be honest, this is a top-down game, and it’s not meant to be played like a tower defence adventure.
Should you find yourself tiring of the Story mode though, then Mission mode is available and here players will run and gun through 10 waves of increasingly difficult enemy attacks. It’s not that much different to the Story in terms of gameplay, but it is an extra option for those that like a little change.
There is also the option of running through both the Story and Mission modes in full local co-op, which not only ensures the chance to play through with a friend but also goes a long way to making the combat feel a little more fair and manageable. Having someone else join in to take on the role one of our protagonists is certainly a welcome feature.
Finally let me mention the visual side of things, and for some, this will disappoint, particularly given that we left the era of PlayStation 1 and the OG Xbox many years ago. For those who cherish the retro look though then 2URVIVE on Xbox One will certainly feel like a breath of fresh air with classic pixelated visuals making the environment feel akin to that of a recent zombie outbreak, all while still retaining a cartoonish and ‘old school’ feel to proceedings. It could be argued that the game could have done with a little more variation in terms of combat, but the visual appeal is certainly far from lacking with great detail throughout.
This all comes together to ensure that if you like zombie adventures, then considering the super cheap price, there’s no reason not to at least give this one a shot. However, should you want something that will keep you on the edge of the seat then you may just be hoping for a little too much here, as while 2URVIVE is a capable top-down experience, it leaves very little to be remembered besides some fun visuals, which in today’s gaming era isn’t enough to live long in the memory.