Burn Zombie Burn! is finally confirmed for the PSN.Here's a trailer.
Developer doublesix is bringing a fresh new arcade title to the PlayStation Network, with Burn Zombie Burn! being bought to the PlayStation 3 towards the end of this January.
Looking like a welcome marriage of Smash TV with hordes of the undead, it's a high-score based game that's got it's tongue wedged firmly in its cheek. Taking a healthy dose of inspiration from schlocky American horror films, Burn Zombie Burn! takes a top-down view on six arenas chockfull of zombies, with players choosing between three characters to tackle the undead swarms.
There's an added element of risk and reward at the games heart – burning zombies with explosives earns a greater score multiplier, but a zombie on fire is faster and more dangerous. But that's just common sense.
Available for up to two players, Burn Zombie Burn! is coming early next year on PlayStation Network.
Burn Zombie Burn! is a new game for PlayStation Network from developer doublesix that takes the best of arcade shooters and mixes it up with the undead – a match made in heaven, if you ask us. Coming to the PlayStation 3's download service towards the end of January, it's a high score based blast through legions of zombies that's taken more than a few cues from some of the best in American B-Movies. We threw a few questions towards the game's creative director Jim Mummery to find out more.
IGN: There's clearly a deep love of schlocky horror running through Burn Zombie Burn! – can you tell us some of the films that have inspired the style of the game?
Jim Mummery: The references are too many to mention them all, though there are obvious references to such greats as: Braindead, Shaun of the Dead, the Evil Dead trilogy (but obviously we hold Evil Dead 2 above all others), all of Romero's Dead films and Michael Jackson's Thriller video. We also reference a lot of other things, but I don't want to get into them all since half the fun is pointing the more obscure references out to your friends.
IGN: Looking at the game we can't help but be reminded of Konami's fondly remembered 'Zombies Ate My Neighbours'. Was that a reference point as well?
Jim Mummery: We didn't consciously use it as a reference and, beyond the general theme, they are very different games. Zombies is a classic however and most of us have great memories of playing it and so, at least subconsciously, it had an impact.
IGN: Arcade shooters are very much in fashion on download services such as PlayStation Network – what sets Burn Zombie Burn! apart from its opposition?
Jim Mummery: There are a lot of great shooters out there both on XBLA and PSN and we're big fans of the genre. However, Burn Zombie Burn! was about taking that same addictive, one-more-go style of game and pushing it. We wanted the game to be fun regardless of how well you're scoring and we did this by creating a game full of style, character and humour so that you're playing in a world that's fun to be in.
As for the game mechanics themselves – Burn Zombie Burn! has a number of unique features but the main one is the use of fire.
Fire is your secondary weapon and you can use it to scare the zombies away, to ignite explosives and set fire to fences to keep zombies at bay. If you really want to do well – you need to burn those zombies. The number of burning zombies is your multiplier; burning zombies drop better pick-ups including upgrades to your explosives. The downside is they move faster and do more damage.
IGN: High scores are clearly the main focus of the game – will there just be an online leaderboard or will these be integrated in other ways?
Jim Mummery: As you say, BZB is a shooter and so scoring is core to the entire experience. To unlock the whole game you have to score high. To collect all the trophies, you'll have to score very high. Scores give you medals and medals give you trophies. Ultimately, when there's nothing left to unlock, you'll be chasing scores simply to climb the leaderboards although we think you'll also be playing for the sheer fun of it.
IGN: Some of your team worked on the Wii and DS versions of Geometry Wars – did this inform any of the design of Burn Zombie Burn at all?
Jim Mummery: We learned a lot from working on Geometry Wars: Galaxies – it was a great project to be on and there's no doubt that Burn Zombie Burn! benefited from the experience - primarily in our approach to level scripting and the fundamentals that underlie arena-based shooters.
However, in many ways, BZB was a reaction to Geometry Wars: Galaxies. It's not that we wanted to correct or fix anything with Geometry Wars – it's such a pure game, there's nothing to fix or correct – but we wanted to create a game that allowed us to have more fun with the ingredients we were using.
For example, there are a lot of sub-objectives: things the player can do that go beyond the usual moment to moment struggle between scoring and survival.
The fire mechanic is part of this: balancing the number of zombies on fire with your ability to deal with them.
In Timed Mode and Defend Daisy mode – burning zombies are vital for your survival but they make your game harder. In all modes, burning zombies are needed to get explosive upgrades and speed-ups that will maximize your scoring potential.
IGN: Do you think that the popularity of games such as this spells the end of the 40 hour epics that have recently defined videogames?
Jim Mummery: No, I think blockbuster games are here to stay – they're vital they sell consoles; they get people interested and they drive the industry forward.
However, big games have to play safe in the same way that blockbuster movies do and so automatically create a need for riskier, more diverse games. Digital download helps fill this need and allows developers to be more experimental, more creative or simply just perfect what they do without the pressures big games have to deal with.
IGN: Will you be supporting the game beyond its release with downloadable content?
Jim Mummery: Yes – we are. We can't talk about it right now but there are lots more exciting things to come for both Bruce and Burn Zombie Burn!