Sticks and stones may break bones, but artillery strikes, zombies and missiles will kill you. Blood Drive is an old school arcade game made new with zombie splattering action. While the game is much like many before it, no single game alone can come close to the ridiculous bloodshed that will ensue. A dash of Carmageddon pedestrians, a splash of Vigilante 8 weapons, a cup of comparable Left 4 Dead zombies and you have Blood Drive.
The game in its essence sounds like a great idea, but there were quite a few things lacking to effectively compete with games being released parallel to it. For starters there is a major lack of a story, which is only touched on in the intro video and after your complete all of the tournaments.
In Blood Drive you become one of eight zombie killing death dealers in a post-apocalyptic city called Las Ruletas. The goal is to compete against other drivers for the most zombie kills, destroy the most cars, hold onto a skull the longest, hit the most checkpoints or a few other similar game types. In relation to most other zombie games though there really aren't stories, so there isn’t much to complain about. That said, it is not quite on par with Resident Evil. The graphics are okay, but the gameplay has everything in it to keep you entertained.
As a fan of arcade games, Blood Drive satisfied my love of killing zombies and blowing stuff up. There was still quite a few issues preventing it from being a great arcade game though. From the beginning you should have an option to select single levels rather than only tournaments (you can jump right into the action by going into the multiplayer mode though). To unlock the single missions you have to find BD tokens throughout the tournaments, and that defeats the purpose of having an arcade game. Lacking a story is fine in this game genre, but when you have to unlock single missions it reduces the purpose behind them. Jumping in and out of a game is what makes an arcade game great, but as previously stated multiplayer lets you avoid the initial setback.
At a first glance, Blood Drive has a few downsides but once you really get the throttle moving it is a nonstop hell storm of blood and car parts. The cars handle quite well once you get a feel for the controls, which should be expected as developer Sidhe Interactive has several racing style game awards on their mantel. Some cars have terrible handling and consequently makes playing a pain, but the character Superstar was easy to work with as a beginner. Add in the e-break and sliding into hordes of zombies became delightfully entertaining.
Weapons are effective in different ways, but of them mines were pretty worthless. Drunken rockets were probably the most powerful and though rockets appear to fire randomly, they always manage to hit every car in front of you. Auto-aim seems to be consistent with each weapon, which sort of takes ramming cars out of the picture and reduces some of the skill involved.
Depending on the game mode, each weapon can be more useful to complete your task. Mini guns are extremely effective when killing zombies, and rockets are great against other cars. Each character has their own special move like an artillery strike, and as you get to the more difficult tournaments the AI loves to use them. Blood Drive gets progressively more difficult, so much that if the car stops for any period of time it's as good as dead.
The $50 price tag affixed to Blood Drive is a bit steep, but overall the game is enjoyable. On those days when you are tired of listening to 12-year-olds berate you on Halo: Reach, a great zombie smashing smorgasbord awaits. Unfortunately, it would appear that nobody really is playing the multiplayer mode of the game, as only one person jumped in during a four hour span. The AI does get rather intense though, so it is not a big deal.
Looking past the semi-outdated graphics and lack of a plot is quite easy when you have a genuinely satisfying game like Blood Drive. This game could easily find its way to arcade units, which would definitely raise the appeal. If you enjoy Twisted Metal or Vigilante 8, Blood Drive is the game for you.
Blood Drive is now available for the PS3 and Xbox 360.