Stubbs The Zombie
Set in a retro-futuristic city, Stubbs the Zombie follows the titular Stubbs, a travelling salesman who is murdered during the great depression and dumped in the wilderness to be forgotten. 26 years later Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel without a Pulse is revived and returns to the city he once knew with a taste for both revenge and brains.
An Undying Diegesis
Zombies rise from the grave, they’re here to take names and munch brains and Stubbs doesn't stray far from the horde with his story. Unjustly murdered over a fling with a lunatic’s daughter, Stubbs returns years later with an eternal grudge to make those responsible pay for his death. The story is filled with so many clichés that it is only saved by the games willingness to poke fun at itself and the genre in general. Although at the beginning you root for Stubbs, the gratuitous cranial crunching slowly turns us away from his cause and causes the player to wonder whether they are anything close to the good guy or simply the monster munching on him. The biggest thing that keeps this game fresh is the take on 'being the monster.' A premise that breaks a certain mould found in stories and something a lot of game companies don't often have the brains to pull off. Though, due to the lack of diversity in its gameplay, Stubbs couldn’t hold up against titles like Destroy All Humans, which had a similar premise of a monster attacking civilisation. However with Cryptosporidium’s sundry arsenal of interesting weapons and abilities that truly reached for the stars, it turned out to be a far more engaging adventure overall.
Stubbs has unique and interesting 3rd person action melee combat that is funny and interesting; for about an hour. After I crested the 60 minute mark I found the action to be repetitive and grating. The battles consisted of simply striking your opponent, throwing your explosive body parts at them to kill them or alternatively, eating their brains to turn them into a member of your growing zombie horde. The formula falls down to move to an area, eat some brains and gain some followers, fight the police to win and move to a new area. Rinse and repeat. There are a few moments throughout where you may possess an enemy and turn their conventional weaponry against the living, small reminders that although this game was good for its time; it could have been even better. It failed to keep my attention for prolonged periods of time which is a shame for what I consider to be one of the best zombie games available.
A New World
I personally enjoyed the setting of this game, a neo-1950's metropolis with hover cars, laser guns and a mind numbed populace that fail to stop a single zombie from causing the entire cities downfall and inevitable nuclear destruction. The only wish I have is that the game be remastered, so that the style and textures of the city can be fully realised instead of being held back by the limited technology of its time.
This game had an amazing soundtrack of classic tracks covered by modern artists. The talents of bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Cake, The Dandy Warhols and Phantom Planet turned the OST of this release into an instant classic that will last with you for years to come.
Overall, although I found Stubbs to be a funny, satirical take on a well worn theme; I also found that it sadly fell into a very oversaturated genre of zombie toting madness and very narrowly fails to stand at its pinnacle.
- Amusing take on the zombie game trope
- Interesting retro futuristic world
- Great NPC dialogue
- Repetitive gameplay
- Unrealised potential
- Lack of combat diversity
Download Stubbs The Zombie
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
As undead traveling salesman Stubbs, you'll turn the residents of a sleepy town into the shambling undead by eating one brain at a time. Stubbs moved a little slowly ("We're working on it," said a rep), but this quirky third-person action game (with a killer soundtrack) has the makings of a sleeper hit.