Brain Power: Co-Op Brawler Meets the Undead Apocalypse in ‘Bloody Zombies’—Now Available on Rift!

Oculus Blog
Posted by Oculus VR
September 12, 2017

Experience classic brawler action like never before. Offering online and couch co-op, Bloody Zombies lets you team up against the undead with free-form combat both in and outside of VR—and it’s available now for Rift on the Oculus Store!

With a simultaneous launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, gamers of virtually all stripes can dive into Bloody Zombies today. We sat down with nDreams Communications Manager Dan Sheridan to pick his brain and celebrate the game’s release.

What was the initial inspiration behind Bloody Zombies?

Dan Sheridan: We wanted to create a unique, gritty brawler that was seeping with British heritage and fun to play with friends, with or without VR. We’re all super excited by the opportunity for diorama titles in VR—the viewpoint is really striking and offers something very different than first-person titles. Also, we know people are clawing out for full, long-form games in VR, and several third-person titles have allowed this to happen.

Combat was heavily inspired by action games with an accessible, complex, and expandable combat system—games like Devil May Cry, Batman: Arkham, and Guacamelee! come to mind.

In terms of classic brawlers, there’s obviously some similarities. We also love arcade brawlers like Streets of Rage and Final Fight, especially with the refinements that they bring to the genre. However, we’ve been keen to focus on how we can evolve and refine the genre rather than becoming an homage to these titles. We feel we’ve done this in many ways, most notably around combat, presentation, and the VR functionality.

Beyond gaming, what influences have you drawn from?

DS: Thematically, we’ve taken influence from multiple touchpoints, from graphic novels and classic zombie movies to Guy Ritchie movies and films such as Attack the Block and Shaun of the Dead. We’re also super pleased with how the soundtrack is coming together—anyone who’s a fan of iconic British music across the years will be excited to hear that’s where the sonic influences have come from.

Speaking of the soundtrack, who did you work with for the game’s sound?

DS: We worked with our in-house Audio Director Matt Simmonds to compile the score. Matt’s work can be found in many popular franchises like Silent Hill, Overlord: Dark Legend for Codemasters, and the Transformers Universe MOBA for Jagex.

What kind of community response have you seen since thus far?

DS: The community has been very receptive to the diorama style of gameplay in VR. It’s also been very satisfying to hear that the game brings back memories of playing classic brawlers like Streets of Rage and Final Fight. We’ve designed the game to be accessible, but deep enough to be appreciated by fans of brawlers and beat ’em ups.

If you’re a fan of games like Castle Crashers, then Bloody Zombies will be for you. The core focus of this is the free-form combat system—while the core moves are very immediate and simple to pull off, they can be chained together in complex, discoverable ways to create huge combos. Combine that with unlockable, upgradable specials, melee weapons, a huge diversity of enemy types, and a deep scoring system, and you get a game that genre enthusiasts can enjoy.

How did you capitalize on the nature of VR to make Bloody Zombies as immersive and fun as possible?

DS: The enhanced VR viewpoint gives each team a unique insight into each level and encourages players to work together. In VR, you can lean in and look around to overcome obstacles and give tactical support that’s only possible through the use of a VR headset.

VR and non-VR players both have full access to all content in the game, and core gameplay is the same. Our VR enhancements are purely focused on the unique affordances allowed by the device and reward collaboration without excluding access to content to non-VR players. A good example of this is the secrets in the first level. These are much easier to spot for a VR player who can look around to find them. However, even with a team made up of purely non-VR players, these secrets could be stumbled upon accidentally or deciphered through subtle environment hints.

Additionally, we feel we’re offering something different to players in VR, not only from a genre mechanic and a standout diorama art style, but also as a game they can play with their friends who’ve yet to take the plunge into virtual reality.

What advice would you give to an aspiring developer looking to enter the VR space?

DS: Challenge the medium. VR doesn’t have to be first-person to be immersive.

Thanks for the insights, Dan. We can’t wait for people to get their hands dirty and join forces against the zombie horde.

Check out Bloody Zombies on the Oculus Store today!

— The Oculus Team