Who doesn’t love fiction? Whether it’s mindless brain eating zombies, monstrous creatures from the depths or futuristic robots, there’s a game out there that has something for everyone. From Yingpei Games, formerly that of Epic Games China, the appropriately titled Zombies Monsters Robots comes in form of a third person shooter that has players defending against hordes of hazardous beasts. We were able to get some hands-on time with the upcoming online shooter, giving us a taste of a world that has become a brutal and dangerous environment.
The most apt comparison that could be made for ZMR is that it’s Gears of War’s horde mode mixed with various creatures from human lore. There’s even bleed out and active reload systems in play, but most weapons we got to try out had a much longer wait before you were able to replenish the ammo stock. This is a cooperative third person shooter through and through with an over the shoulder camera, roadie running, rolling and other features that are standard with the genre. In each match, there are upwards of eight cooperative players (depending on the game type), all of which can customize their own unique avatar to their liking. Weapons are plentiful throughout the level with ammunition coming as purchasable material mid-game.
The demo we were able to get our hands on featured a level set in a prison or dungeon like area with various zombified psychopaths rushing towards you. These range from big Maulers who swing around a spiked club to agile hounds that will rip out your throat. While short, I felt like the demo hinged more on constantly pushing the same enemies rather than diversifying them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially considering there are over sixty maps and fifteen different modes, but as long as the opponents are different enough to allow for a change in strategy in the midst of heavy combat, then gameplay should be varied enough. There are also various traps set up around the level, one being a giant spiked roller that would flatten anything in the room. It definitely comes down to strategy and using these to your advantage as enemies will swarm and take players down quickly.
Outside of shooting from the hip and the shoulder, players will be able to place turrets around the map. These include standard high rate projectiles and grenade, doing great damage to foes if properly positioned, otherwise, if they’re not guarded correctly, they can be a waste of time and resources. Alternatively, there are defensive beacons that can be activated, such as ones that will grant unlimited ammunition to all who stand in the area. If you expect just going in and shooting whatever moves, you’ll more than likely find yourself on the wrong side of the barrel as it comes down strategy more than mindless shooting.
At the end of each stage there’s a big boss battle to reward you for your hard earned progress. In this area, it was a chained up hulk of a man who seemed to have elemental skills attached to his chains, allowing him to strike with much damage than expected. Additionally, he has the ability to enclose the walls of the arena if the player isn’t fast enough, causing much concern considering close quarters combat isn’t a strong focus. At the end, with many deaths on our side, we were able to take the beast down and to great satisfaction.
Being a game available at no cost, there are various mechanics built in that might influence your purchase of various items. For one, you will earn tokens at the end of each match, and these can be used to revive your character when death occurs in combat (and that will happen a lot if you’re not well organized). Alternatively, players don’t have to spend their hard earned coins to bring their characters back to life, but it’s generally around a two minute wait before you can jump back in with your partners. There are also weapons, clothing and skins that can be purchased, but everything can be unlocked if you just put in the time.
There’s a lot of content Yingpei Games is bringing to the table, with updates coming at a frequent basis, and we only just got a taste of it. With sixty maps, fifteen different modes featuring both PvE and PvP, a strong variety of visual aesthetics, and tons of unique scenarios, Zombies Monsters Aliens is shaping up to be a monstrous force in the online shooter space. Now all that the game really needs is aliens, and then it’ll truly cover all its bases. ZMR will have an alpha available in April with an Early Access version coming in May and hopefully its final release in summer.