Normally, I keep the ‘My Thoughts on’ title to betas, but I decided to write the title in for this game as well. This game is available for purchase, but it is and feels like an early access game, so writing a review on it doesn’t feel right. I still want to talk about the game though, and this is the best way how. I talked about this game quite a bit on a recent Ten After Ten, but I feel I could expand on things a bit. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Pandemic Express.
This game is a first-person multiplayer game about thirty players who are either human or zombie. The humans fight off the zombies while defending a train as it reaches the station, while the zombies try to kill humans and stop the train. Once a human dies, he turns into a zombie.
The premise of this game is simple, but it is also the highlight of the game. The mode is based off of a Counter Strike zombie mod, where humans try to get through the level while fending off zombies. While there are many changes to the formula, that core concept is here, and it works incredibly well. Other than the infected mode in some Call of Duty titles and the mod, I can’t think of another game like this. It’s a mode where dying doesn’t mean the end, and watching the guy you just killed go to your side is satisfying.
It may be copying another game, but that doesn’t mean the gameplay isn’t unique. Pandemic Express is a blend of different game mechanics that work well together. The open world map allows both humans and zombies to explore and attack from more sides. Humans are trying to defend a train instead of just running, making it harder for humans to fight. In the open map, there are different spawn points and train routes, adding some variety to each playthrough. Also in the map is an airdrop where the best weapons can be found, but it takes some time and manpower to open. There are many different additions and changes made to this game that makes it stand out from its mod counterpart.
By far the biggest and most noticeable change to gameplay in this game compared to Counter Strike are the traversal abilities. This game features multiple weird ways of getting out of sticky situations. You can slide on a sloped surface and jump for a speed boost, double jump, shoot the ground and get a jump, shoot down at a building and scale it, and more. As a human, being able to scale a building to get away or slide jump and gain massive ground against a human as a zombie is both a lot of fun and satisfying. Learning all of the intricacies of the game’s traversal abilities as been a lot of fun to master, and it helps a lot in a multitude of situations.
One last thing I want to mention is the game’s art style. I can’t really think of any way to describe it other than unique. Humans look like mimes from a surreal painting, zombies look like goblins covered in oil, guns are realistic and painted different colors based on its rarity, structures are simplistic, and more. The art is all over the place, and I love it. It isn’t super artsy like Cuphead, but it’s unique enough to stand out in my mind.
In conclusion, I think Pandemic Express is a unique multiplayer game unlike most other multiplayer games out there. It still has a ways to go in terms of content, bug fixing, and balancing, but what is there is promising. The core concept of the game is solid, and the traversal abilities and open world adds a unique and fun spin to the game. Let’s just hope the game doesn’t lose its community.