Sometimes it's best to simply continue enjoying your good memories of games from your childhood. They can remain there in their idealized form, never tainted by being experienced by an adult with a (mostly) fully-functioning brain and sense of taste. This is why Goldeneye is so popular.
Stubbs the Zombie is a game with an interesting premise. You play as a zombie in a retro-futurist 1950s "City of Tomorrow", amassing a zombie army and trying to make your way to a lady with huge jugs that you saw on TV. I can relate to this. Unfortunately, that premise is under-utilized to an almost shocking degree.
The first project from Wideload Games, a studio made up of former Bungie developers (including Bungie's co-founder!), Stubbs was also made on the Halo engine. This was important enough to be noted on the game's cover, but in practice, it only serves to explain why there are huge, mostly empty levels, terrible vehicle segments, and an incredibly inconsistent checkpointing system.
From the concept, you would expect this to be like some sort of gorefest Pikmin, turning hapless citizens into zombies that do your bidding. There are attempts at that sort of thing, as you can whistle to your zombies to make them come to you, or shove them to make them move in a specific direction, but that's as far as it goes. Later on, they'll die before they can do any significant damage to enemies, and mostly act as distractions for you. Which is important, because your combat skills are severely lacking.
Before you can chomp down on some cerebral chili con carne, you have to stun the humans. Most of the time, you do this with a standard 3 hit combo. It feels like crap, and you can also get critical hits that knock their heads off, depriving you of a minion. If you hit them while they're stunned, they'll die and still turn into a zombie, but you won't get health back. Not that it matters, I guess, because you can still be shot while you're in the brain-eating animation.
You have other abilities. They're mostly useless. The one you want is the gut-grenade, especially because sometimes enemies will be in high places you can't reach, or flying around on jetpacks. If you don't have grenades saved up, haha, good luck. You also have an explosive gas that stuns enemies as long as they're within about 10 inches of you, a bowling ball head move that leaves your body vulnerable, and the ability to possess humans via your detached hand. This is occasionally useful, but again causes the problem of leaving a bunch of non-zombified corpses around.
Really, the biggest problem with the game is, perhaps ironically, how lifeless it all is. You get a few cutscenes that are... Attempting humor
. That's about it. The interesting setting is almost entirely ignored, as you spend half of the game roaming around farms, laboratories, dams, etc. As mentioned earlier, these levels are often huge, sometimes maze-like, and always barren. Oh, and despite the incredible soundtrack
featuring some of the most popular indie bands of the time doing kickass covers of old-timey classics, there's pretty much no music in the actual game. You hear about 30 seconds from a few of the songs during one boss battle, and that's it. Those songs never appear anywhere in the game. You're mostly listening to silence with the same few repeated voice lines and screams for the entire duration.
[Edit: This is partly a result of the current port being clumsily slapped together. There were a couple of instances in the original game where the music appeared during gameplay, but even then, it was very rare. It's not a licensing issue, because they're still present during that boss battle, it's a programming issue.]
After this game, Wideload would make Hail to the Chimp, a very poorly-timed presidential party game (it was released for the 2008 election...) And then they made some Disney shovelware before being unceremoniously shuttered.
It's odd that this came out the same year as Destroy All Humans, because they're almost companion pieces, both in subject matter and tone. DAH was undoubtedly more successful in every respect, despite spawning several low-quality sequels, and I would recommend checking out the Re-Probed remake. Do not bother with Stubbs. Let him rest in the ground where he belongs.
[Note: I gave this an extra half-star simply for causing the soundtrack to exist]