Earn to Die 2: Exodus
zombie-fueled physics-powered arcade series may not have much of a story, but do you really need one when you're ramping off a pile of exploding barrels, zombies clinging to your car, arriving at the finish line with no fuel to spare and your arrival heralded by a cacophony of fireballs? Earn to Die 2: Exodus is here, and with it, more upgrades, more things to smash through, and more grizzled old protagonists. Once more, your goal is to reach somewhere to make it to an evacuation from this post-apocalyptic H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEYSTICKS-scape, but all you have in your garage is one shabby car and limited fuel. Fortunately for you, though you may not make it far each day you attempt to drive out, some mysterious unseen force (Tear?) showers you with cash based on how far you went, and how much destruction you caused in the process. Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to accelerate, slow down, or tilt your car up and down, and, well, go until ya can'ts go no mores.
By now, Toffee Games have published their zombie-crushing series to a mirror shine, so while none of it will feel particularly new for fans, it all looks and plays beautifully. As beautifully as splattering the undead across the hood of your car when you're the one who has to hose it down can be, anyway. The controls feel much more responsive, so that manipulating your car feels less clunky right out of the gate, and as usual, the levels are crafted to give you the maximum amount of carnage possible with things to crash through, alternate high/low routes to take, and of course, zombies that come pelting out of nowhere like a police dog to latch on to the vehicle in an unexpectedly hilarious fashion. It does feel like throughout these levels, it's a lot easier to flip your car this time around, whether because the terrain is bumpier and more littered with crates (who keeps leaving these around?!), or because your car just feels "lighter". As usual, you'll need to do a lot of grinding for cash to upgrade your car before you get anywhere, and while for some people that's part of the series's appeal, for others who might already have been lukewarm on it, Earn to Die 2: Exodus might not have done enough to make it feel sufficiently different from the other games in the series that it won't be too repetitive. Toffee Games clearly know their craft from the inside-out, however, and as you traverse the country, the levels get bigger and more elaborate, the vehicles get crazier, and of course, you'll get more zombies. While the game seems simple, there's actually a surprising amount of finesse required to minimize the time you spent grinding... knowing when to deploy your boost instead of laying it on all the time, knowing how to minimize damage to your car so it doesn't explode before you run out of fuel, and so on. If you're already a fan, Earn to Die 2: Exodus is another lovingly crafted, four-wheeled zombie slaughterhouse put together by people who clearly know their stuff, and is more than fuel enough for an afternoon of carnage.