Release Date: 2/24/2009
For Fans Of: Vietnam, Zombies, Bad Shooters
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The Good: Scary atmosphere with lots of gore, decent visuals, only four hours long
The Bad: Horrible gun play, dumb AI, sloppy animations, lame story, bad quick time and scripted events, enemies are way too tough to take down
The first ShellShock was a blip on the FPS timeline that no one knew about, cared about, and quickly forgotten. The game was poorly designed, and why a second game was ever approved is beyond me. The game is terrible, in fact, one of the worst FPS games I have played in a while. Not only is the story boring and uninteresting, but the game has bad level design and FPS mechanics that go against what everyone is used to.
Blood Trails has you trying to find your brother and a mysterious person called Whiteknight. Suddenly there are zombies everywhere and that’s where the game starts to head downhill. The biggest issue is how you kill enemies. You have to pump dozens of bullets into one enemy just to kill them so headshots are essential. This game might as well be called ShellShock: Headshots because that’s the only way to put enemies down quickly before you are overrun. This especially goes for zombies because most can take on almost 10 shotgun shells before going down. This is completely ridiculous and unnecessary, but for some reason, I guess the developers thought it was funny. Towards the end of the game you will literally get hordes of zombies come after you, so you better be precise and an expert shot.
You think the guns would at least be fun to shoot but they aren’t. There is no feedback from the gun so they all feel the same. It doesn’t help that you can’t carry much ammo so you will find yourself whacking enemies with a useless machete. The guns reload at a snail’s pace and you can’t interrupt reload animations to take out zombies that are charging after you. I also don’t know how I keep missing zombies at point-blank range, but it must be the POV or how the engine is designed because this little mishap is just annoying. It doesn’t help that all the animations in the game are terrible and robot like. Even the enemy AI is completely dumb because if you are high up a zombie will just keep running into the wall and bounce back and forth at hyper speed.
If you want to talk about the atmosphere the game nails that decently. The game can be scary at times and is very dark and gory with body parts hanging everywhere, babies crying, horrific screams, and just plain old scary. There are some scripted events and some quick times events but even these are poorly designed and boring. The game seemed to have a good start in the beginning, but after the first level, you will just keep wondering when it will end. The game can be beaten in about 4 hours so you won’t have to play it for long. Why should you play it you ask? Only if you really need an FPS fix for some reason or are just bored.
Overall, Blood Trails has decent visuals but has terrible lighting effects that wash the scenes away. The gun play is horrible, the enemy AI is dumber than dirt, enemies are way too tough to take down, and there are just so many bad quirks that you will regret even starting the game. There are other FPS games out there that are better, but if you have to then go ahead.