Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse

released on Oct 18, 2005

The game is set in a fictional City of the Future in 1959. Stubbs, a zombie who'll tug at your heartstrings and tickle your funnybone even as he's tearing the living guts right out of your body. This former traveling salesman trades in his briefcase for your braincase as the leading man in Wideload's first game, Stubbs the Zombie in "Rebel Without a Pulse".

In this game, players take on the role of the rebel himself Stubbs, a wisecracking Zombie who takes on an ultra-modern city of the future using nothing but his own carcass and the weapons of his possessed enemies. The game's tongue-in-cheek humor, innovative combat and strong storyline keep Stubbs the Zombie's gameplay as bizarre and unpredictable as its namesake.

On his quest, Stubbs lurches his way through numerous large and visually captivating indoor/outdoor environments in and around the gleaming city of Punchbowl, PA, a city built during the Eisenhower administration to show off the ultra-futuristic technology of the 21st century. Stubbs' brain-eating adventure brings him through bustling shopping districts and verdant farmlands to battle mad scientists, rural militiamen and the world's deadliest barbershop quartet. His enemies have shotguns, tanks, and all manner of futuristic weaponry. All Stubbs has is his own rotting corpse, a distinct lack of pain or conscience, and the ability to turn foes into zombie allies.

What begins as one zombie's search for revenge quickly escalates into an all-out war between the living and the dead - but this time it's the zombie fighting for truth, justice and the redemption of true love. Yes, it's a love story too.

Reviews View More

cute lil game from the era
very shallow mechanics wise
but full of charm

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]

Tirando isso o jogo é daorinha, gameplay interessante mas esse remaster foi feito com o cu pqp o jogo é ironico pra porra até na gameplay "datada". Recomendo joguin 4 horas zera rapidin vlw falou - Zangado Games

Jogo de 2005 que não envelheceu bem mas ainda da pra tirar um divertimento dele sim, merecia muito um remake para melhorar a gameplay e o jogo não tem direito nenhum de ter uma trilha sonora que vai tão duro pqp

This game didn’t age too well, but nostalgia is powerful.

A+ concept with a very nice ending. That's it. Maybe the single most boring game I've ever played. Definitely not but I haven't slogged my way through a game like this in what feels like a long while. Almost feels unfinished. A blueprint for a much better game with levels that aren't completely barren and uninspired (and in THIS kind of setting that's actually pretty hard to do) and gameplay that isn't wonky and annoying as all can be (and not just because you're playing as a zombie). Was making use of all the zombie moves available to get through it which is always nice to see. Doesn't excuse the complete lack of gameplay variety though (rhythm game, while not hard, annoyed me so much I almost put a hole in my wall) and it really would've made a gigantic difference if it was actually fun to fight/devour humans here. Was looking forward to this game for a long time but it legitimately feels like I'm being punk'd with all these positive reviews. Good for everyone who got a lot out of this but also WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU