Two years ago, En Masse pitched its first game, TERA, to the public promoting a “revolutionary” MMORPG combat system that has not been seen prior. Through personal experience I would have to agree that it lived up to its claims and is now free to play with a stable community. With this in mind, I happily gave Zombies Monsters Robots a go. Besides, who isn’t a fan of zombies monsters and, or robots, anyway?
To create an abundantly unique persona, carefully select one of seven faces, your skin color, a painfully common hairstyle, and one of five virtually similar voices. After which, you may proceed to enter the game and, against your will, accept a five to ten minute tutorial explaining the basics of weapon swapping, movement mechanics, target practice and… You guessed it, ZOMBIES! All narrated by your typical cocky military sergeant who respectfully prefers to be identified as, “The Boss”.
In ZMR, you are a soldier for a corporation primarily involved with running missions and making monies. If you don’t read much on their website, you may not realize that you are actually battling dimensional forces that all seem to want Earth for some unexplained reason. Beyond this, there is no plot whatsoever, most likely to save you the headache of another redundant apocalypse theory. It’s best to keep in mind that this game is very arcade.
Being the seasoned PvP gamer that I am, I immediately jumped into PvP where I got to rock it out with a few other lowbies. I loved juking around corners and the ability to shoot my gun from cover without actually aiming down sights. This is not common in games that utilize these types of movement mechanics and allows you the element of suppressive fire as your team mates attempt to flank and gank. I also enjoyed the reload feature which allows you to speed up (or fail to) reload times. But be careful of weapon jamming!
There is no matchmaker in ZMR. Instead, players host lobbies and lobby control is passed in succession as players come and go. Most often, a game lobby will last about three to five games. This can get a little irritating, but at the same time you may find yourself switching between game modes quite often as the gameplay in each gets to be a little redundant. One positive (and sometimes negative), however, is that you can invite entire lobbies to your game. So be ready for the mass invitation spam.
Free for all / Deathmatch / Team Deathmatch / Elimination
The primary objective of each of these modes is to eliminate the opposing team. In deathmatch, team deathmatch, and free for all, there is a respawn function with a time limit and or a number of kills to reach before the game ends. In elimination, there is a set of rounds and one life per round. Friendly fire and weapon restrictions are optional to the host, and you may also choose to have set teams or balanced teams.
Demolition / King of the Hill
Demolition features your typical plant/defuse scenario where one team plants a bomb and the other attempts to defuse it within the time limit. King of the hill, of course, is point control. Don’t expect to find many of these games on the list.
Depending on your experience in shooters, you may realize that Call of Duty made a baby with Gears of War. In the majority of the modes, the movement mechanics and camera functions of ZMR are nearly a carbon copy of GoW while in PvP modes, you remain as fragile as glass. All in all, the arsenal of modern day weapons to select from is pretty well balanced considering the practice needed to master each of them. Plus, you will find yourself adopting numerous tactics to stay alive. If you happen to be up against an experienced player during your first few hours, prepare for the rage.
Mercs vs. Monsters (MvM)
If you’re playing PvP but still want to get your zombie on, there is a game mode called Mercs vs. Monsters but let’s be honest, it should be called Undead Vs. Cyborgs. In this mode, there is a point system in place that rewards you for kills which you may then spend to spawn stronger monsters, or mercs after you die. This mode is very popular among the unfortunately miniscule PvP community and stands out as a signature characteristic of the game.
ZMR features a set of PvE lobbies, separate from PvP, that offer up a plethora of game modes each with four levels of difficulty ranging from normal to nightmare and rewards appropriate to their corresponding difficulty. First off, it’s best to categorize the six original game modes as three that pertain to zombie invaders, and three to the alien “dominion” forces. Finally, a recently added mode called “Threshold Defense” has to do with both and functions as a point defense against zombies and dominion forces invading simultaneously.
Assault & Massive Assault / Kill Everything & Kill Everything 2
While they may try to make each of these modes look different on their website, they are, in reality, all the same. But in different sizes! In these modes, you fight against multiple waves of either a small or large dominion or zombie force depending on the game mode you have selected. If you are a fan of survival, this is definitely the game for you. In assault/kill everything and massive assault/kill everything 2, you’re objective is to make it to the final round. You don’t have to eliminate all of the waves, although you get a better score and therefore a better payout.
Assault Ops / Paranormal Ops
Instead of preventing impending establishment by dominion/zombie forces, you are now doing the opposite and removing establishments of said forces. In this mode, you will move through a series of areas in a sort of “campaign” fashion from start to finish. Switches, weapons, ammo and point currency are all inclusive. However, in this mode, you will find one or more mini-bosses followed by a final boss. “Land of the Dead” (Illustrated above) features Anubis, Horus, and the “Shadow Queen” (Hatshepsut…?).
This recently added mode is a point defense where you battle waves of both dominion forces and zombie invaders. I’m not sure if this means that their dimensional rifts got mixed up? This mode can be rather challenging at higher difficulties and most do not attempt it without an organized group and specific load outs. As far as design structure, this mode was confusing to me because it is the only one with flying enemies which you generally aren’t even aware of until you’re getting attacked by them. Furthermore, a lot of the spawns will simply ignore you and charge toward the threshold as though you aren’t even there. This is a very botchy gameplay mode to say the least, and very well may change in the future.
By this point, you’re probably thinking, “Hey, it can’t be too bad, right? Let’s give it a try”. Well, before you do that, finish reading this last bit. ZMR uses three kinds of currency, EMP, gold, and rep. Rep and gold are achieved through just about anything, and EMP is achieved through the cash shop. Most weapons that you will expect to buy, such as desert eagles, AWPs, and combat shotguns, are timed purchases only until very high levels. Weapon mods cannot be purchase permanently. And there are only a handful of outfits you can purchase without EMP.
Furthermore, there are very few players during the week and at night with a high load of about 50 during the weekend. With 5 PvP lobbies, and 6 PvE lobbies, only one of each is ever active. There is no community, considering people don’t talk in-game. If you so happen to be unlucky enough to get matched up against the “Hentai” or “Demon” corporations, you will wonder If the game was popular or actually active at one point.
Overall, if you are looking for a free to play shooter that promotes earning your rank; this is not the game for you. ZMR is focused around the cash shop as I had originally expected. I have had plenty of experience with both F2P and B2P shooters and this is by far the most uncreative I’ve ever played despite its few unique gameplay modes. However, if you happen to have 500 dollars and a group of 15 other friends that only play video games when you do, by all means give the game a shot. You may end up burning quite a bit of money on replacing mods every month, but that’s the cost of single handedly supporting a game seemingly developed to bring in money. No revolutionary systems here!
En Masse, I expected better from you.
- Variety of game modes
- Good use of the game’s engine
- Smooth movement
- Relatively decent graphics
- Very tactical
- Minuscule community
- Cash shop gives players an unfair advantage (Pay to win)
- No in-game VOIP
- Invisible walls
- Widely exaggerated humor
When looking at it on the whole I give it 6/10.Related: North America, PvP, Review, Shooter, Zombies Monsters Robots