Bloody Zombies Hands-On at E3 2017

nDreams Shows How VR Can Add an Unexpected Extra Layer of Depth to Flat 2D Platformers

June 20, 2017 by

One of the most unique games we played at E3 this year was Bloody Zombies. Developer nDreams’ zombie game might seem like just another two dimensional co-op brawler on the surface, but when playing the game in VR it made for a side-scrolling experience unlike any other brawler we played at E3, or even ever played before.

While the game’s beat-em-up combat felt rather generic, it was the level design combined with VR that brought the game to life. Developer nDreams explained that this is why they brought the VR experience to E3. When playing Bloody Zombies on a normal screen it looks and plays like any other side-scroller. But when wearing an Oculus or Vive headset, the player is able to see a much wider perspective of the map. With the headset on, there are no longer hard edges where the screen ends and the world opens up immersing you in the beautiful London level design.

What was especially awesome when playing in VR was how you could look to your right and see everything coming up as you make your way towards your objective. While looking left allows you to see where you just came from and creates a sense of distance that made the level feel more like a journey. Looking up allows players in VR to notice traps and other potential hazards before they fall down into the normal field of view on TVs.

Playing with the headset on also allows everything to be right up in your face and made the characters feel like live-action tabletop figures — something that I could see a lot of other games in different genres utilizing in the future. Using a 2D side-scroller to showcase the power of VR might seem like an odd choice, but after seeing how much of a difference VR could make in our hands-on demo, we’re excited to the dust off our Vive and get our hands on Bloody Zombies again.

While there’s no official release date, Bloody Zombies is set to launch later in 2017 on PC, PlayStation 4, PSVR, Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and Vive.