Stubbs the Zombie full review

Stubbs the Zombie takes place in the late 1950s, in a utopian city called Punchbowl. The city is filled with flying cars and robots, is impeccably clean, and populated by well-groomed, peaceful inhabitants. Then Stubbs arrives. This former travelling salesman is looking for love and a quick bite to eat – and there's nothing he likes better than a little grey matter fresh from the container.

At its core, Stubbs is a traditional third-person brawler. You, as Stubbs, shamble around Punchbowl eating anyone within reach, and hitting and punching those who won't submit to your will. Eating your enemies' brains reanimates them as part of your loping zombie gang.

Stubbs has special defences that can help get him out of a pickle. For example, he can pass highly noxious wind, which sends nearby civilians into paralytic fits, or temporarily tear off his forearm, which you can then remotely control as it scuttles up walls and through windows to possess humans.

The game looks and sounds fantastic. It features a phenomenal soundtrack made up of 1950s pop songs performed by modern indie bands: Death Cab for Cutie covers ‘Earth Angel', for example, and The Dandy Warhols take on ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream'. (You can even purchase the soundtrack separately.) However, due to the complex pixel shading and robust artificial intelligence, the game's system requirements are relatively steep.

Stubbs the Zombie is absolutely soaked in blood and gore. Fart jokes, crude language, and intense violence definitely help this game earn its Mature rating. But there's also a good dose of dark humour. Stubbs is at times ribald, absurd, and sarcastically funny.

I only wish the game were longer. You can easily finish the single-player game within a few hours. It does offer multiple levels of difficulty that help keep things interesting, but the story line doesn't change; the action just gets faster, and there are more bad guys to eat. The Xbox version offers a mode that lets two players revisit the single-player game; sadly, this feature does not feature in the Mac release.

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