Burn Zombie Burn Hands-On

We grab a flamethrower and take on hordes of undead in this upcoming PlayStation 3 zombie roaster.

47 Comments

Zombies have been a staple in games since man moved his first pixel. The undead have been friends, foes, and even protagonists in games. The past few months have seen something of a zombie renaissance, with games such as Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, House of the Dead: Overkill, and the recently announced Umbrella Chronicles 2. One more game to add to the list is Doublesix's Burn Zombie Burn for the PlayStation 3--a downloadable game that keeps things simple by living up to its name. We had the chance to check out a near-final version of the game and, well, to burn zombies. Lots of them.

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The game features two main single-player modes, Arcade and Challenge, as well as some variations on those themes. Arcade mode has three variations: Freeplay, Timed, and Defending Daisy. Freeplay is a survival-style run that will let you unlock stages by scoring enough points to earn bronze badges. If you earn silver or gold badges, you'll unlock levels and various rewards, such as different display filters and concept art. Timed mode lets you play any level you've unlocked with a five-minute countdown that you can add to only by killing hordes of zombies. Finally, Defending Daisy has you trying to protect your girl and your car from rampaging hordes of zombies. Admittedly, Daisy could save herself if she just turned on the car and drove off, but apparently she's content to hang out and watch you run around like a madman.

Challenge mode is a series of 10 themed challenges that require you to rack up points under certain conditions or by using specific weapons or items. If you prefer to do your zombie killing with a friend, Burn Zombie Burn will offer a modest two-player offline split-screen mode. You can also play the three single-player modes in arcade co-op, and there's a versus mode that has you competing against a friend for the highest score in freeplay and timed matches.

Burn Zombie Burn's story isn't exactly a Lord of the Rings trilogy. The beauty of using zombies in a game is that you can make things as simple or as nuanced as you like. Rather than spend too much time crafting an involved narrative, Doublesix has opted to take the simple route: zombies come at you in waves in one of six themed arenas, and you have to take them out. As everyone knows, there's only one solution to a zombie problem, and that's firepower, and lots of it. Burn Zombie Burn offers you a satisfying array of zombie-eradicating options.

In case you were wondering how the game got its title.
In case you were wondering how the game got its title.

You'll start out with your base weapons, a pistol and a torch, which serve as your default primary and secondary firearms. As you make your rounds through the enclosed but roomy arenas, you'll rack up points that drop more weapons, such as trusty baseball bats, shotguns, chainsaws, and lawnmowers. In addition, you'll find some less orthodox weapon options: a dance gun that forces all zombies to dance for a few moments and a brain gun that sucks the brain out of a zombie and lets you use it as a distraction for the rest of the horde. If the diverse gun collection isn't enough, you'll also be able to pick up assorted explosives. Another useful method of zombie disposal is using the very obviously placed "big red button" in each level when it's ready. You'll charge the button by taking out zombies in rapid succession. When it's triggered, the button will cause an arena-specific event that's invariably bad news for the zombies and good news for you. For example, a rainstorm slows down zombies and makes it a bit easier for you to shoot them up.

Shooting zombies and earning points, which is key to unlocking later levels and bonuses, is fun and challenging thanks to the scoring system. Shooting zombies earns you a modest number of points, but to really rack up the points you need to get a high modifier going by setting fire to lots of zombies simultaneously. The downside of setting zombies on fire, though, is that while they'll die roughly 30 seconds after being lit, burning zombies are faster than normal and can pose a big problem in mobs. To make matters more complicated, garden-variety zombies aren't the only enemies in the game. Doublesix has tossed in eight different zombie types for you to contend with that run the gamut from the expected slow-moving reanimated corpses to explosive zombies, dancing zombies, and the dreaded super zombies, to name just a few.

While you might expect the control to be the dual-stick configuration seen in most games, Burn Zombie Burn takes a different approach. You'll use the left stick to move and the X button or R1 trigger to shoot in the direction you're facing. When you need to strafe, you'll hold down the L1 trigger. While it's a bit different from most of the recent games, the scheme is put in place to allow you to hold down the fire button and charge up blunt objects, like the bat, for maximum zombie smacking. Overall, the control scheme works well, though it certainly takes a little getting used to.

That super zombie looks like it might take a while to cook.
That super zombie looks like it might take a while to cook.

The action plays out from an angled overhead view that's not quite isometric but that gives you a good enough view of the arena. The graphics have a stylized cartoony look to them that works. From what we saw, the game runs smoothly even when the screen is flooded with burning zombies and all manner of explosives are going off. The performance holds up even in split-screen, though we're not big fans of sharing the screen that way.

Based on what we played, Burn Zombie Burn seems like a fun, breezy shooter for the PlayStation 3. What content there is looks solid, but it's unfortunate that there's no online support for the multiplayer modes. The game is slated to hit the PlayStation Store later this month for $9.99. For those keeping tabs, the game will feature trophies and will clock in at 165MB.

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sleepdoctor

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this game is awesome, but the silver is impossible to crack

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OneShot45

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Pretty cool. I'm trying to get it right now.

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rockatanski

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Lol! Dance gun!!!

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mooooo99

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looks quite fun. we all love killing zombies!!

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8bitLuzur

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@joelgargan way to be a toolbag

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backatcha

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I'm getting this game for several reasons, but top on the list is for a chance to use the dance gun!

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simonsworld

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lol, with a name like this its a winner already in my corrupt mind.

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psycho_spaceman

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zombies ate my neighbors.... meets.... monster madness

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joelgargan

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@ savageandres way to spam up the comment listing

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bellolugosi

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Not very interesting... Even for 10 bucks!

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argo477

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dead rising

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nightshade869

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It's not even out yet, how do you know that lol

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jcarroll70

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the last zombie game with great graphics was dead rising but they have never made another one like it thats the anoying thing and this game is rubbish aswell

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fmobliv06

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good, it's a pretty small download. the controls sound a little strange, but i still can't wait for this game.

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MrHenadonia

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Reminds me of Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Can't wait.

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Adramelech-

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This game most resembles an upgraded Super Smash TV. Which is good, because Super Smash TV + zombies is a pretty awesome equation.

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king_bobo

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GameGodDerek - I think the game your looking for is Dead Rising (possibly on 'Infinite Mode') - it's open world, you have to survive, and boy is it good.

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king_bobo

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This game just keeps reminding me of Monster Madness - that's not necessarily a bad thing, I enjoyed it quite a lot, but I just can't see it getting more than 7.0 on Gamespot. I like the small file size, and I hope the trophies are well thought out (and that there are quite a few of them), but I think that lack of online will seriously jeopardise this games chance for success.

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savageandres

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oh and by the way you don't necessarily have to go to that website, just type in Boxhead in any search engine. (sorry for three comments in a row XD)

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savageandres

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oh and GameGod, the game your talking about is L4D, nuff said

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savageandres

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wanna play this game for free? simple, just play the flash version from which these bastards copied from. << LINK REMOVED >> sure the ps3 graphically looks better, but trust me its the same...

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IPwnNooBs666

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Looks like fun. Sign me up!

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Jshaw71

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looks ok, but not really speaking to me, almost all zombie games are played this way on the web, tell why i am going to pay money to pay another zombie game the same way countless others have... even at $10

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ratchet200

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It looks almost cartoonish/childish. They should have made it a serious game instead of funny sound effects and kiddy graphics.

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GameGodDerek

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When are they going to make a good, open world, zombie survival game? Not a kid friendly flash game.

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Jak_Napier

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looks like Nazi Zombies with a splash of colour and a mix of left for dead elements in there. All mashed up into some kid friendly environments.

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uno-dos

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looks fun even though it kinda looks like some of the zombie flash games

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Roncore

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Did i just see ape escape monkeys in there?

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Roggirek

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Here's to long nights of zombie incineration with a sibling/loved one/friend! Splitscreen co-op is the best form of multiplayer imho.

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THORINATOR

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This game could be fun, it looks a bit like monster madness. Hopefully they'll have a demo, always good to try b4 u buy!

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PSdual_wielder

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Looks fun. I might get this for the co op.

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hemdos

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I don't get why Gamespot is wasting it's time publishing those 10$ games' hands-on instead of releasing a review about games like RE5.. I just don't get it.

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joshiwa46

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This looks extremely similar to cash guns chaos... but awesome none the less

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Tikicobra

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I'll pass. It doesn't look like anything special, and with games like Flock and Fat Princess, it seems like it would be dumb to waste my money on this.

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bsman00

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Weak...

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dark_gender

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well for 10 bucks I could afford it, but...for 11 bucks NEVER 8)

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jawshoeuh

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@perfect_chao looks a bit weak compared to left 4 dead well no sh#$@, sherlock. did you expect a ps3 l4d for $10?

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Witchsight

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Cool, looks like Robotron and State of Emergency had a baby.

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cloud345

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im gonna have to say this... Day one buy for me :D

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backatcha

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Sign me up. This looks like an excellent waste of time. I like the cartoony graphics and simple gameplay. I hope they give us a few addons as well.

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perfect_chao

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looks a bit weak compared to left 4 dead

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red-orc

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The concept reminds me on Gauntlet.

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bullitt29

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This game is VERY close to the Super Nintendo game Zombies Ate My Neighbors.

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Cafffeinated

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It reminds me of Crimson Wave? a little game on the PC which, thinking about it now would be a great multiplayer for marketplace arcade on the Xbox 360...

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deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

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This looks more like it was made for the Wii.

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deactivated-594be627b82ba

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this actually looks fun

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Sonic7777777

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Reminds me of zombie mode. It would have been cool if they took the extra time and polished it from head to toe and made it a whole game.

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