Blood Drive

No, Blood Drive isn’t a game about donating blood. Although that would’ve been far better than what it is: a sort of Twisted Metal wannabe clone mashed up with Left 4 Dead, emphasis on the “sort of.” If it were executed well, mowing down zombies with weaponized automobiles would certainly be dumb fun enough to warrant another zombie-game toward the genre’s apparent monthly quota. But it isn’t even executed competently. Heck, Blood Drive hardly feels like a finished product. That’s somewhat offensive, since it isn’t the first title to take a crack at the concept.

It isn’t clear where exactly all the creative effort went here, but what is apparent is the noticeable problems Blood Drive has right out of the gate. The controls are clunky, making for a garage filled with cars lacking precision. There is no tutorial, nor an option to modify the difficulty. You can’t manually save the game—you’ll have to beat an entire event to record your progress—which is less of an issue on the earlier circuits with three or four events, but becomes glaring on later ones, with 14 to 30.

And although the selectable characters are a generic rogues’ gallery of social misfits, from the cross-dressing he-nurse to the blabbering madman clad in all black, each with their own different vehicle type, from a dune buggy to a big rig, they all handle exactly the same. Regardless of how their stats vary, any potential shortcomings can be supplemented with a pre-race loadout menu, which dumbfoundingly includes a “triple threat” option that maximizes the amount of damage you can dish out and take.

Worse, the events and circuits themselves are repetitive. They run the gamut from requiring you to blow up everything (zombies and drivers) to demanding you only blow up certain things (zombies or drivers). Then there’s a more driving-oriented respite requiring you to pass through checkpoints. The latter is the weakest outing, as each checkpoint crops up not along a circular path, but in a manner that necessitates backtracking. Some confusingly emerge behind sizable obstacles—on one level, the flaming wreckage of an airport tarmac, checkpoints keep appearing behind a plane in the corner of the map. The game also comes with a self-destruct button, an escape plan that your fellow drivers use an awful lot. If the game doesn’t even want to play the game, why should anyone else?

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