You have to give it to tinyBuild, it’s a unique brand out there publishing games we don’t oftentimes see made from larger studios. Yes, Tallboys’ Pandemic Express is yet another asymmetric, competitive/cooperative multiplayer shooter, but it’s also a wildly unique game with a sense of its own style and design that feels like a cross-combination between a Quake 3: Arena total conversion mod and Garry’s Mod.
The concept of the game sees 20 players dumped into a large sandbox environment. The CryEngine 3-powered survival-shooter has one random player chosen as an “infected”. The infected has to chase down the remaining 19 players and infect them as well, all until there’s no one left.
The survivors have an opportunity to make it to the end by attempting to board a train and escape the island, fleeing from the goo-zombies. You can see what the gameplay is like with the launch trailer below.
When I first booted up the trailer I wasn’t sure what to expect, but seeing people scaling walls using an MP-40, and flying across the ocean by bunny-hopping with a sub-machine gun, I quickly realized this wasn’t the typical PvP title.
The odd-looking characters and bizarre premise is matched by the quirky gameplay and the original setup of having to hop aboard a moving train while fending off the locomotive from the mud-migrants.
If you’re successful, you make it to the end and win. If not? Well, you become one of the soot-sapiens and live in infamy as a try-hard.
The main issue is that while the concept is cool and the gameplay is original, the execution isn’t quite up to par, and reviews are reflecting this setback.
Tallboys are catching flak for the bugs, the crashes, and the unoptimized gameplay.
There are some detailed reviews worth reading before you make a purchase, and while majority of the reviews are good, there are still some highlighting the game’s bugs and optimization issues that advise you to stay away. Shibe seemed to sum up both the pre-release Early Access woes and post-release complaints by writing…
“God, I wanted this game to be good, but its got a slew of problems (replayability, optimisation, polish, etc.) The devs are still updating the game, but need to focus on fixing the major jank.
Get it if it gets better, but not right now.”
It reminds me a lot of the reviews for Hello Neighbor, which also suffered from some launch-period hiccups for the PC and home console versions of the game. Hopefully Tallboys can iron out the kinks, spruce up the optimization, and turn those lowered thumbs upside down, earning a halitus and some respite for the good effort.
If you’re interested in the game you can check it out over on the Steam store for $14.99. During the first week of relesae the game is discounted by 34% off the normal price, so you can weigh whether or not the game is worth the price of entry.