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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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That was my second favorite arm!
Gameplay isn't the only thing that sets this title apart. Stubbs the Zombie is infused with enough humor and production value to surpass even the most entertaining console games available.

A lot of care has been put into crafting the new title, and it shows. Each NPC in the game contains two distinct personalities—pre- and post- zombification—and each state features its own textures, animations, artificial intelligence, and sound effects. Animations transition between each state seamlessly, with each motion-captured move expressing enough personality to distinguish each character type even at the edge of the player's peripheral vision. As for audio, over 12,000 lines of dialogue were recorded for the game, making for a rich audio tapestry throughout the entire game. The combat dialogue is so vast that repeating lines of dialogue are hardly ever noticeable, and the game's soundtrack features thirteen tracks from artists including The Walkmen, The Dandy Warhols, and The Flaming Lips, performing updated covers of some of the most popular hits of the era.

Stubbs the Zombie is also dripping with irreverent, satirical, and unexpected humor, which is prevalent in every aspect of the game. The game occasionally reverts back to adolescent humor, which, combined with the game's high level of goriness and extreme graphic violence, probably account for the game's Mature rating.

Yeah, they're dead. They're all messed up.
Based on a heavily-modified version of the Halo game engine, Stubbs features improvements on many of the aspects of Bungie's celebrated first person shooter. Despite being a four-year old game engine, the engine's improved AI keeps up a good pace, with the zombies going after the right enemies at the right time, and the enemy AI always trying to out-maneuver the rotting hero. In several levels in this game, the AI comfortably handles over forty or fifty non-player characters on screen at once, a feat that's still fairly rare in a large number of modern computer games.

Stubbs also features the same bouncy vehicle physics as its space-age predecessor, modified for the handful of new vehicles players get access to in their never-ending search for brains.

The graphics engine has also seen heavy modifications. According to Aspyr Media's Glenda Adams, the game's graphics engine relies on the very latest pixel shading technology, meaning only the latest 64MB video cards—ATI's Radeon 9500 or NVIDIA's GeForce FX5200 and greater—will run the game with any degree of fidelity. The CPU requirements have also been bumped pretty heavily, requiring at the very least a 1.2 GHz G4.

Having been ported from its original Xbox version, the Mac and PC versions of the title feature some of the idiosyncrasies of a console game. Menus are sparse and easily navigable, game progress is tracked through a series of unlabeled check points, and users are given the choice of resuming their game either by starting from the last saved checkpoint or the start of the level. The game also features unlockable features such as bonus levels and on-going game designer's commentary, which only become available once players have completed the entire game.

Upon its initial release, Stubbs the Zombie will feature only a single-player mode, however plans are underway to provide players with a post-release co-op mode upgrade in the near future. Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without A Pulse is currently slated for a November release, and pre-orders are available at the MacGameStore through the links below.

Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without A Pulse
Publisher: Aspyr Media
Developer: Wideload
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