What do you get when you toss Twisted Metal, Super Off Road, Smash TV, and a bunch of zombies into a meat grinder? The resulting video game ground beef would approximate something like R.I.P. Rally.
If you can't tell from the title, here's the basic premise of the game: get behind the wheel of a heavily-armed muscle car and shoot your way through waves and waves of zombies, lasting as long as you can against the undead onslaught, before eventually getting swarmed. Feels like you've already played a few rounds, right? That's because, in large part, this game is full of elements we've all seen in other games.
The more you play and the more zombies you splatter, the more cash you will earn that you can use to upgrade your arsenal. If you're looking for the best strategy to level up as fast as possible, I found the defensive upgrades more effective at first, letting you last longer so you can rack up higher scores.
Every time you play, there will be a certain number of objectives that you have to complete in a given level, like killing a set number of enemies or collecting certain items. Completing these objectives will help add to your score and win you more cash to spend on power-ups.
With a racing shooter game like this, no one is looking for any kind of innovation with controls, just something tight and reliable. And the twin stick shooter controls in R.I.P. Rally are one of the best parts of the game. One control stick for steering, complete with radical steering wheel, and another button for shooting are all you need.
I liked that maneuvering your way through the zombies felt just as important as blowing them away. The gun mounted on your vehicle can fire in any direction and you are able to control that with the right button. But mostly solid controls are about where it ends with this free-to-play title. Like many games before it, R.I.P. Rally suffers from the curse of freemium game -- relentless ads and in-app purchases.
It's one thing when these elements are included in a game that's otherwise pretty good. (By this point, all know what to expect when playing a freemium game from the App Store.) But when the title turns out to be a sub-par effort like this, the ads and in-app purchases only serve to drag it down further. Then you really start noticing things that will get your goat.
For one, good luck trying to advance in this game without buying a few upgrades. Sure, you can earn them the old fashioned way. But that means repetitively grinding away on the same level or two, at which point by the time you can afford some new gear, you will want nothing more than to hit that home button, flushing these low-res undead textures off your nice retina display.
With not a whole lot going in terms of originality, R.I.P. Rally stitches together some recognizable spare parts into something passable. Sure, there are a few stages to choose from and the zombies get tougher and tougher with each wave, going from the George Romero shamblers to the Danny Boyle sprinters.
And yes, there's more than just a muscle car that you can pick. And yes, you can customize your vehicle with different parts and choose better weapons. But much like the waves of undead enemies that keep coming after you, everything in R.I.P. Rally feels a bit stale.