Dustoff Z is not your regular zombie-killing adventure. It grants so much more than that. In today’s video game era, authenticity is what everyone seems to be looking for. As more and more games focus on making scenery and characters simulate real-life, Dustoff Z offers an actual sense of escapism. If you are looking for a game where you can have some fun, this is the game.
Dustoff Z is mostly about taking out zombies in your customizable junkyard helicopter, and occasionally saving a survivor or two. Still, it also has a modest story that is rather interesting. While it’s not too much of an engaging story, it does not need to be because you will mostly get the gist of it right at the beginning. You play as a group of armed civilians, sometimes supported by the remnants of a military force. From there, you complete a series of straightforward objectives, whether it’s supplying your base with necessities or defeating giant zombie bosses.
The gameplay can feel a bit off initially, but you get the hang of it as you continue. The controls are simple; you use the L Navigation Stick to move your helicopter up/down or left/right. To fire at the zombies, you hold down the RT trigger and automatic aiming does the rest for you. Occasionally, you will have to pick things up and carry them back to your base or clear paths for friendly convoys. Your helicopter comes with a nifty cargo hook, and to deploy that, you press Y.
Basically, knowing which buttons to press when playing is simple enough, but it can sometimes be frustrating. Dustoff Z lies down obstacles for your helicopter to traverse, so it is important not to hit a wall or a collapsing transmission tower. Sometimes when dodging an obstacle, it can feel like you give yourself enough space to go over it, only to clip it on your way through. This can be a bit frustrating, especially if you’re trying to gun-it with low health.
For all your shooters to fire at the zombies below, you have to get kind of low. This puts you at risk for zombies to hang onto your helicopter, not only damaging it but also costing you fuel.
As you start, the main menu is placed within this safe zone as the backdrop. From there, you can upgrade your comrades or helicopters to suit individual missions. Your missions are fairly simple. You’re either saving survivors, supplying, escorting, or defeating a boss at the end of each objective. You’re rewarded coins, cogs, and beans which can be cashed in for various upgrades. In the beginning, your missions are easy, but they get a little tricky towards the end. If you’re looking for things to get more challenging, you are better off changing the difficulty when you pick a mission.
Another feature in Dustoff Z are the daily missions, which range from “kill 100 zombies” to “rescuing 10 survivors.” Completing the daily missions is an easy way to get a few extra coins, but they reset every 14 hours. You’re given a total of four daily missions, and completing all of them gives you an extra 1,000 coins. There is also this device called the ‘Alman-o-tronic,’ and that is where you log in-game data about the enemies you defeat. During your missions, you may have to rescue comrade shooter or you’ll find a weapon to mount onto your helicopter; you find those as collectables in the Alman-o-tronic.
Replayability for Dustoff Z is extremely high, given that the missions will reward you with more items the better you perform. When you complete an objective, you are given a certain amount of stars out of 3. You can keep going back to old missions and redo them until you get 3 out of 3 stars.
Dustoff Z has a creative yet minimalist art style. As video games try to imitate real life, Dustoff Z casually reminds you of what it looks like to have a bit of fun with visuals. It is detailed enough to show you the diverse characters while still maintaining that simplistic technique. The details that are applied to the helicopters is one of the game’s visual strengths. The helicopters look like they were built by hand with random vehicles scrapped together. Each helicopter shows incredible attention to detail, from the propellers to the armor fitted on a bus-styled flying machine.
There are a few hang-ups with some of the visuals, though. While playing through the objectives, many of the levels start to look the same, making it feel like you’re dragging on in the same area.
The sound effects in Dustoff Z are very high quality. You can tell that the developers made sure that each shooter on your helicopter has its own unique sound. Depending on which weapon your comrades have, you can hear it every time they fire. The sound of the helicopters all sound alike, but you may not be able to notice with the roar from the hoard of zombies coming at you.
There is a unique sound when each of your different stats gets low, which is interesting. The sound of the zombies being killed is one of a gurgling nature. It is safe to say that the types and quality of the sound in Dustoff Z matches the type of game.
Ultimately, Dustoff Z is a very fun game that you’ll find yourself passing a lot of time with. It is visually minimalistic and pleasing to the eyes, with sound effects that bring you into the game. The controls are straightforward and once you get the hang of the way the helicopters operate, you’re good to go.