If, like me, you enjoy watching Let’s Plays where people act like complete jerks to each other, laughing your head off when something spectacular goes wrong, or you enjoy watching original web animations and surprisingly intricately-plotted machinimas based on popular games, then you will no doubt be familiar with a little known company called Rooster Teeth. I love these guys. They bicker and fight but they enjoy what they do and they enjoy working with each other.
Well now you too can experience what it is like to work with these fine people as, in conjunction with Team Chaos, they have developed a game! Just one thing, it’s a game about an alien invasion. And, in true Rooster Teeth fashion, the aliens are also zombies. They go by the appropriate name of Zombiens. It was a normal working day at the Rooster Teeth offices – as in people were playing games and goofing around and getting paid for it – when an alien spaceship randomly crashes into the building. Zombiens come pouring out of it and it’s up to the RT crew to survive against ever more astronomical odds.
Initially you have a very limited choice of characters, mainly interns who have only just started their new jobs when all things alien and undead let loose. As you play the game you can unlock more familiar members of the crew, who will join you in your fight and also become available for choosing to play. As you’re playing a mere intern at the start you probably won’t survive for very long.
The goal of the game is simple – zombiens appear, you kill them, you get money and/or crafting items, you buy weapons or unlock new members, the next wave appears, rinse and repeat. What stops this being a repetitive drudge is the fact that – aside from the first couple of waves – the enemies are randomised, as are the available weapons, pickups and recruitable allies. Oh, and there’s no end to the madness. The game only ends when your initial character dies. You can quickly get a feel for how a session will go by what weapons are immediately available – good weapons means a long session, poor weapons means a quick trip to the game over screen.
There are a few factors that make this game a must-buy for any RT fan. First of all is the office map (and also the bungalow map, available via DLC). It’s actually based on the real RT building. If you watch the podcast or Achievement Hunter videos – especially the VS series – you will see that the locations used in game have been very accurately modelled on the real life locations. For example, the podcast stage looks exactly like what you see in the videos, only it’s covered with green bile and other zombien juices. The other locations are similarly accurate to real life.
Even more than the accuracy of the map, what will keep you coming back is the cast. A number of RT crew members have been rendered as caricatures of themselves. Which in itself is awesome. But to take it further, they’ve been voiced by the actual people! So as you click on them and order them about they will respond in the same way they would if this were a real situation – not that alien-zombie invasions are all that common in Austin, Texas. At least so I’ve been told.
There are a few in-jokes for the long time fans as well. The best example of this is one of the trap items you can craft. As well as barriers, landmines, bear traps and shotgun stands you can craft that most legendary of devices – Headlight Fluid! For context please listen to the Rooster Teeth Podcast episode 31, where Gavin makes what is probably his most spectacular gaffe of all time. All the craftable items have uses, whether it’s slow enemies down or cause them a huge amount of damage. There’s a lot of fun to be had in experimenting with different combinations.
If you’re a Rooster Teeth fan of any description there really is no reason not to have this game. It only costs a couple of our English pounds and is available on Steam, IOS, and Android. Just one thing to note though, the game is built and optimised for a touch screen interface – moving, zooming and rotating feel very natural and you can quickly go from one side of the map to the other planning your next move. The PC version replaces touches with mouse clicks and, while the higher resolution graphics look prettier, it feels a lot clunkier. Having it on your phone also means you can quickly pick it up and play it any time. And trust me, it’s worth it. I don’t know why I haven’t picked this up before.