PSN Review – Burn Zombie Burn!

March 30, 2009 Written by Anthony Severino


Burn Zombie Burn! has been added to the ever increasing list of wonderful PSN Exclusive games.  This game is brought to us by Doublesix in Guildford, UK and Sony’s newest Dev perk, the “Pub Fund“.  This game is an arcade shooter that is absolutely packed with content.  Burn Zombie Burn! sets itself apart from the competition with tight controls and wonderful humor.  So is this game worth your hard earned $10 in this hard economy?

You may think that you have played enough games like Burn Zombie Burn! Sure, it is similar to the other arcade shooters on PSN, but how many of them let you set zombies on fire?  That’s right, none.  There are quite a few different zombies that you will take on in the game’s six levels.  Each level has unlimited waves of enemies.  There are even a few Super Zombies, or “bosses” that you will take on.  Those are the only similarities as far as I am concerned, as this is not another dual-stick shooter.


Burn Zombie Burn! has very tight controls and they work very well for the game.  You control Bruce, the games protagonist, with the Left stick while you shoot with either R1 or X.  You fire your vast arsenal of weapons in the direction Bruce is facing.  You will most likely want to use L1 quite a bit, as it is your auto-aim button.  While holding L1, Bruce will aim at the closest zombie and take them down as fast as you can shoot.  The best part of the controls is the R2 button, this will pull out a torch and allow you to run through hordes of zombies, setting them ablaze.  Setting zombies on fire is the name of the game in this case, and doing so will allow you to herd them wherever you run.  This is important for the next control, Triangle, which allows you to detonate TNT, decimating entire crowds of zombies.  While the control set also allows for strafing with the L2 button, I did not find myself using it at all.


The levels are laid out fairly nicely and work well for herding zombies.  There are a couple areas in some levels that have tight areas to squeeze through, which could cause some problems and allow things to get out of hand.  With this game you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times, as the constant waves of zombies don’t allow much time to take a breather.  This game is relentless, but far from impossible.  The best thing about Burn Zombie Burn! is that it stays fun all the way up to the 70th wave.  The ever changing zombies that come at you such as the Dancers, Rushers, and Exploders require different strategies, which helps switch things up a bit.  The Dancers wear tutus and hop and twirl towards you.  These guys are quick and you should take them out in a hurry.  The Rushers wear football helmets and will bull-rush you.  They cannot turn while bull-rushing, so they aren’t too hard to take down.  The Exploders wear a flashing light on top of a hardhat.  They will explode if they get near you, and any enemy they take out will result in no points for you.  While there are several other enemy types, these are the most common ones.


The zombies are afraid of fire, but once you set them ablaze they become faster and more intelligent.  They are very dangerous and have the ability to dish out a lot of damage.  This is all part of the game’s awesome risk/reward system, as the burning zombies will drop better items than the normal zombies.  The burning zombies are also your source of a multiplier; the number of zombies ablaze is equal to your multiplier.  There’s a lot of game content included for such a low-priced downloadable title.  First up is the Arcade mode, in which there are 6 levels and 3 modes of play on each level.  You earn medals for how well you do on any certain level and mode you play.  You must earn at least a Bronze medal to move onto the next level.  To add to the possible 18 levels in Arcade mode is the Challenge mode.  In Challenge mode, there are 10 various challenges that will give you an objective that you must complete with your given number of lives.  For those of you unfamiliar with these types of games, there is also a Tutorial.  There are a total of 8 tutorials that will teach you the basics of the game.


The 3 modes included in the game are Free Play, Timed, and Defend Daisy.  Free Play is just that…you play through the hordes until you loose all your lives.  Timed mode you start with a time and the burning zombies will drop time pickups.  Defend Daisy you have to protect your sister at all costs from the zombies, she does not move she stays sitting in a car in the center of the map.  Best of all the game includes 2 player split screen action.  You can play co-op through the all modes or you can play versus in free play and timed.  My one major complaint with this title is the lack of online co-op.  In this day and age, this should pretty much be standard for all current-gen games.


There are plenty of rewards to be had in this title.  You unlock rewards by earning medals on the arcade and challenge levels.  The rewards range from vision filters, art gallery, character bios, and a music player to play the games soundtrack.  There are also 15 Trophies to be had here.  Sadly, the game does not support custom soundtracks either.  I really wish that I could romp through this game, blasting zombies with some death metal music playing in the background.  Sure you can just turn your computer on to listen to music, but then you don’t get to hear the quirky sound effects.  The game has quite a few references to Evil Dead and Shaun of the Dead, which is very nice.  The engine that this PSN game is running off, Phyre Engine 2.40, is very powerful and definitely gets the job done. During my play time, I have had over 120 zombies on screen that were on fire, yet never experienced any hitches in the frame rate.  This game is very fun and very bloody.  So I do highly recommend picking it up, as it is only $10 and well worth every penny.  Happy zombie burning!

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Impressive grapihcs and perfect framerate.

Has split-screen, but online co-op is missing.

Addictive gameplay with plenty of Modes and Unlockables.

8 out of 10