Switch version tested
Review code provided
Love them or hate them, zombie-themed games have been entertaining and terrifying us for generations. From Resident Evil through to Plants V Zombies, there are few genre’s that haven’t had the flesh-eating undead involved in one way or another. “Sometimes You” look to continue the trend of zombie fun by splicing third-person shooter action with tower defense mechanics. Blood Waves see’s you taking control of an unnamed female protagonist who for no reason in particular is in a giant circular room defending herself against waves of zombies. Sadly, this isn’t as fun or engaging as it could or should be.
From the start you are given a decent tutorial on how the general gameplay works and also how progression is handled. Blood Waves saves between rounds so if you need to take a break you can do so and come back later but if you die, you have to start all over again and you are not gonna want to do that too many times. Much like most hoard themed games, you fight wave after wave of enemies until they eventually overwhelm you, then you go back and try again always working to last longer or progress further than the last round. Blood Waves differs slightly as between rounds you are granted a skill point and upgrade point to use in the workshop to amp yourself with enhancements from a nicely stocked skill tree ranging from health increases, damage resistance and increased stamina (which drains when sprinting, performing melee attacks and dodge rolling) and beyond. You can also upgrade your weapons, buy ammo and a selection of traps and barriers with currency gained from the previous round. Enter the tower defense.
From spiked barricades, turrets, flame throwers and spinning chainsaw traps, you are able to prepare the killing floor before each round with as many of these fiendish fancies as you can afford. As the rounds progress the waves increase in number and the enemies types begin to get tougher with acid spitters, electrified zombies and exploding heavies. The layout and use of these tools will be invaluable for managing the hoards and picking them off. Enemies do drop ammo, money and buffs throughout the rounds but these need to be picked up quickly before they vanish. Not managing your ammo correctly will soon have you resorting to running around swinging a machete like Danny Trejo at a tea party!
That is pretty much the whole game in a nutshell, sounds bare bones? That’s because it is. Unfortunately, there is nothing in Blood Waves to entice you to keep coming back nor anything to work towards other than shooting zombies that move haphazardly towards you like mini titans from AOT fame. Not even a plot (even a substandard one) is present, there is no explanation why the heroine is in this situation, why she looks like Michael Jackson in Lara Croft drag or even a selection of arenas. You stand in the same circular room, running around in circles shooting zombies over and over. Even with the game being this minimum it isn’t even pretty to look at, at best it could be described as a middle of the road mobile phone game with bland textures, mediocre lighting, repetitive guitar riffs that sound like a generic create a wrestler entrance from WWE that doesn’t even suit the gameplay and sloppy animations.
Blood Waves could have been much more fun if it had a few simple things added, co-op would have been a great addition. Varied arenas or even an arena you could unlock new pathways in or progress through. Given the heavy emphasis on flesh tearing traps it would have been more fun to plan your next round by setting up traps in corridors or at the bottom of a stairway to lure the hoards into some grim scenarios. Even adding some challenges throughout the rounds, get 10 headshots with the shotgun, kill 3 heavies with a pistol etc. Blood Waves has none of the above and considering there are much better alternatives, most of which are probably included with some of your back catalogue of games, Gears of War, COD Zombies, Resident Evil Mercenaries etc all have this formula mastered. After a couple of hours I had seen everything Blood Waves had to offer three times over.
Blood Waves had potential to be the next Resident Evil Mercenaries but fell short of the mark by being a lacklustre, unfinished feeling experience. With no variation, nothing to drive you forward and despite showing a few sprinklings of promise this felt more like a demo that overstays its welcome instead of something worth purchasing.
Beard Score: 2/10
Nintendo Switch Essentials:
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC Steam
Release Date: 15/03/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Shooter/Tower Defense
Publisher: Sometimes You
Download link: eShop