From Indie publisher Headbang Club comes Double Kick Heroes, a frenzied zombie based rhythm game.
The world has ended, zombies inhabit the earth – but the show must go on! So get in your Gundiallac and set out for a road trip across the wastelands (which in itself is a perfect allegory for the United States).
The player is tasked with ensuring that the hordes of mutants and zombies are kept at bay through a much loved rhythm mechanic reminiscent of previous titles such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero, however, Double Kick Heroes has the player keeping the beat rather than the riff or melody. This in turn is tied into the firing of weapons mounted to a vehicle.
As the players string together successful notes, the guns are upgraded, from a pistol right through to a cannon. To add some variety to the gameplay, more tracks are added to the “beat scroll” adding more instruments and weapons alike.
Double Kick Heroes is purely for those who love their metal music, with all of the playable tracks coming from type of metal subgenre – from Jurassic Opera to Grindcore – which leads to some hectic button mashing and head banging during gameplay.
The gameplay is very familiar for those who have played other rhythm games, however, Double Kick Heroes throws into the mix the need to steer a car and decide which gun (upper or lower mount) the player needs to shoot. This really does get hectic in boss fights, and requires quite a deal of concentration – especially when those epic metal drumbeats kick in.
There are a variety of game modes, from your standard fare of arcade and story to “Hellgate” and “Fury Road” modes. In Hellgate mode, you will have access to all of the tracks that have been provided by bands such as Psykup, Jinjer and Gojira. In Fury Road you will be given 3 tracks in a “Daily Fury” challenge, or a ‘play until you die’, “Endless Rage” mode. Each mode allows the player to collect ‘cards’ which allow for upgrades and gear purchasing to boost the gameplay in these modes.
In a game that looks like something Bronderbund (Monkey Island anyone?) and Harmonix conjured up, Headbang Club have really delivered a cool, casual style game that you can pick up and play at any time. Whilst the game lends itself to being easier to play on PC, Console fans will still enjoy the game, albeit at a lower difficulty.
+ Solid gameplay
+ Highly enjoyable
+ Nothing but METAL!
+ Throwback graphics
+ The initial sound settings are set to 11!
– Hard to keep up with the beats on a controller
– Trying to keep an eye on the steering whilst keeping beat – forget it.
Double Kick Heroes was reviewed on Xbox One and is on Xbox Game Pass. It is also available on Nintendo Switch and PC.