This game was reviewed using a review copy of the game.
Z-Run is a PlayStation Vita exclusive title, available as a digital download from the PlayStation Store. The game revolves around running through the streets, trying to survive the undead army that follows by jumping, sliding and kicking your way to victory. The concept of the game on paper seems entertaining, but sadly the game doesn’t deliver and expectations are dashed.
The game in many ways feels like a simple mobile game port, it looks like one and plays like one. The game feels similar to Temple Run with its third person camera angle and emphasis on charging in one direction. Z-Run features two game modes: Campaign and Survival Mode. The campaign allows you to choose a path through the city, although there is no reward for taking or missing particular routes and the survival mode tests your wits and strength against the flesh eating hordes. The story mode becomes repetitive and boring after ten minutes of gameplay and survival is a little more interesting with its neverending flesh fest, but once again it doesn’t warrant more time than what the story mode has to offer. The game doesn’t offer much in the character customization department either, with the only choices being male or female.
Running if your main objective and as you travel in each location you will be able to jump, slide and dodge out of the way of enemies as they try to grasp you. This is all well and good, but doing too many acrobatic moves and your stamina bar with slowly deplete, let it deplete completely and you’ll become helpless. Likewise, too many hits and you’ll soon be knocked down, although there are healing items strewn throughout the levels.
This type of game isn’t fresh or unique, although attempts have been made to flesh out the game as much as possible with the inclusion of a leveling up system, but the game isn’t challenging enough to warrant stat boosts of any kind and there is no strategic way to level up your character should you want to boost their stats. It can be anything goes if you want it to be.
Sometimes you’re going to have to use weapons in order to beat down enemies, although in this game they’re pretty useless. Included are a variety of melee weapons including guitars and katanas and selection of old fashioned bullet sprayers from handguns to shotguns. Using the melee weapons will require some stamina, but using guns if you have them is the better option as less stamina is used, although you’re going to have to scavenge for bullets. When attacking enemies with weapons, I found that I’d have to time the swing so I hit them just before I was in swiping range, otherwise I would get hit in return. Annoying when several or more zombies are lunging at you.
The gameplay feels sluggish and character animations become repetitive after only a few levels, which is a shame as a little more variety would have done the trick here. What’s more, while the visuals are actually quite solid, nearly all of the levels look exactly the same. You’ll find yourself jogging through the same environments, just with altered enemy placement. The only part of this game I really enjoyed was the soundtrack, it blends well with the games’ concept and it does keep your mind off the lackluster gameplay, even if just for a while.