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Stubbs The Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse Review

Developer: Wideload Games Publisher: Aspyr
Release Date: October 18, 2005 Also On: None

Just about anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past 4 years and has an Xbox has heard of Halo and its widespread success in the gaming world. You may enjoy slaughtering your opponents with the Master Chief, but why not eat their brains as a zombie? Stubbs the Zombie has been made out of the Halo engine from former members of the original Halo’s development team. Creating their own company, they have created a brand new way to use the Halo engine to create a game that is more bloody than Halo and satisfying than Halo, just not nearly done as well as it could have been.

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Just from booting up the first level, you can easily see the resemblance between Stubbs and Halo. The most obvious difference you will find is that Stubbs plays out in third person rather than the first person view of Halo. The screen is made to feel like it’s in the 50’s with a faded picture that you may see on some older movies. The art style is a bit humorous that fits right in with the not so serious game that Stubbs is. Character animation is smooth and the frame rate is solid. You rarely experience chugging unless you are going through a checkpoint. Just like Halo however, Stubbs is hampered down by repetitive rooms and hallways as well as bland textures that barely give you a true feel for the world.

The soundtrack is superb, offering all new versions of 1950’s era songs by modern day artists. The list of artists includes The Flaming Lips, Death Cab For Cutie, and Phantom Planet. The music really sets the mood of the game as being set in the 50’s and plays throughout the game in different areas. Voice acting is well portrayed, ranging from the high school bully to slack jaw yokels from Western Pennsylvania. Stubbs himself really doesn’t speak, but he makes quite a bit of noise through his devouring of human brains. The squishy sound effects tie in well to the genre and really add to the effect of being a zombie.

Being a Zombie allows you to do all sorts of things you never get to do while playing as a human. While your primary attack is to grab a person’s head and eat their brains, there are all sorts of ways you can attack your enemies. There is a simple melee attack that helps to stun your enemy if they are resistant to you grabbing them. For larger enemies, you will be able to tear off their arms in order to expose their head, or you could beat them to death with their arm. This is quite disgusting yet satisfying at the same time. Then the rest of your body becomes a weapon rather than carrying guns yourself. Gut buster has a whole new meaning as you will throw your stomach at people and have it explode as a grenade. Chemical warfare has nothing on your atomic fart that sprays noxious gas into the air stunning those in the blast radius. This will leave them wide open for you to munch on their lovely brains. Tear off your arm and use it to posses the body of someone else to use their weapons or grab a vehicle for you without exposing yourself. Using your head has a new meaning as well when you tear it off and use it as an exploding bowling ball to easily mow down a group of people. While this is all fun, it really gets repetitive and boring by the end of the game.

Speaking of vehicles, you are offered 6 different vehicles to drive in Stubbs. Not nearly as many as there were in Halo, but still sufficient for it being a game based on a zombie. Being the first game that really puts you in control of such a creature, it does a decent job of it. The cooperative play is fun and you can have fun every time you play, but it still doesn’t beat throwing a sticky grenade on somebody and watching them run around in panic before they explode. Stubbs is well worth a rental if you need something fun to play for a while. It won’t keep your attention long, but every so often it will be fun to pick up with your friends. I’d recommend one of the many other fall titles out there first over Stubbs.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 7.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.2
Written by Shawn Review Guide