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Aspyr Media
Release Date

Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without A Pulse
November 11, 2005 | Jean-Luc Dinsdale

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I ought to drag you out there and FEED you to those things!
Moving away from traditional third-person shooters, Stubbs the Zombie features some of the most original gameplay I've seen in a long time. Rather than getting equipped with the usual salvo of weapons, Stubbs has to rely on the only possessions he has left to take on his enemies: his own rotting carcass.

Apart from scratching and kicking, Stubbs' arsenal includes his Unholy Flatulence, a green and grey cloud of toxic gas that incapacitates any victim within a 10-foot radius, and Gut Grenades, where Stubbs reaches into his intestines and pulls out his pancreas, which makes an effective sticky bomb. Also available as a weapon is his left arm, which Stubbs can rip off and send scurrying away, Evil Dead 2-style, crawling around in the dark, ready to pounce on the top of the heads of, and dig deep within the brains of, unsuspecting victims, allowing our hero to take possession of their free will. The most fun of all the weapons in his arsenal is our protagonist's own head, which he can twist off and roll towards his opponents like a lethal bowling ball.

But as any communist-hatin', cigar-chompin' US army general will tell you, it's not what weapons you use, but how you use them. The most fun of Wideload's first game is not the act of murdering the town's innocent bystanders, but turning Stubbs' prey into zombies themselves. When attacking an enemy, players can either hack them to bits, or, just before they crumple to the ground, pick them up, grab them from behind, or swoop down onto them and sink Stubbs' teeth into their brains, gobbling up the fleshy goodness. Every fresh brain rejuvenates Stubbs' health and ability meters, and pretty quickly the newly dead rise again and start their own macabre search for tasty fresh brains.

Not being a too intellectual or solid bunch, the zombies often need to be coaxed into attacks by either being shoved in one direction or rallied to a location through the use of Stubbs' piercing whistle. Once they've got the taste for brains, however, new zombie recruits go scurrying towards fresh meat with fervor, often working in groups in order to overpower their next meal. Zombies are more fragile than their live counterparts, however, so care must be taken lest the zombie army be wiped out in one fell swoop. Ordering Stubbs' army around varies the gameplay greatly, as players can either use their armies as a first wave of attack or personal shield, can send them full force into the enemy while Stubbs tries to sneak around and flank the enemy, or leave the zombie masses to clean up any humans left behind as Stubbs forges his way ahead.

But walking around town looking for fresh food isn't the only thing for a zombie to do on a Saturday night; mission objectives include short circuiting the town's electrical plant, infecting the town's water supply the only way Stubbs knows how, and even a weird dance-off with the town's light-footed chief of police, Dance 360-style.


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