Zombies, Run: Season Two is live! or: “Just pretend I’m only a friend and disappear from sight…”

zr2So Zombies, Run! Season 2 dropped this week. If you haven’t read my initial review of the fitness/running app for your smartphone, you can do so by clicking here. Go ahead. We’ll wait… OK are they gone? Good. Let’s go on without them. Anyway, so I was initially a huge fan of Zombies, Run! when I first discovered it. And when I finished all of the first season’s missions, I still was a fan, albeit with one caveat: the game — if you can call it a game, it’s really more of an interactive audiobook — could be fairly repetitious. You run, you listen to the audio story, you pick up random “supplies” that you can use to build your “base” [which have no bearing on your gameplay; but it’s fun to do], and you can elect to be chased by Zombies which will result in added interval training to your runs. That’s it. How much you actually enjoy the game all depends on how invested you are in the ongoing storyline. If the story grabs you, you can’t wait for the next chapter. If not, it quickly becomes the same-old. Thankfully, I really loved the story. It built on itself in the grand tradition of serialized storytelling, featured wonderful voice-acting from its entire cast (the game is a British production, so if you love accents, there you go), and kept you fascinated from one story to the next.

Here’s the “launch trailer”, to give you a bit of a feel for the game:

So now we have Season 2 on our hands, and I ran the first mission last night, with much success. Entitled “Back Once Again”, this debut episode returns you to the post-apocalyptic zombie-infested landscape with familiar voices and a wicked little twist that I’m not going to spoil here. If you already paid for the Zombies, Run! app, you don’t have to make a separate purchase for Season 2. It will download automatically when you update the application. It comes with seven brand-new missions, with sixty other missions that will be available for purchase over the next few months via Season Pass. I bought the “Season Pass Plus” option (on sale now for a ginormously expensive FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS) which grants access to all 40 upcoming Season 2 missions as well as the 20 side quests. Sixty missions that will cost you less than a 8.5 cents a pop. Smells like a bargain to me.

I’ll report back as I play through the game to see if it still holds up. There are a lot of new gameplay elements, some of which game developer Six To Start have revealed and others they’re keeping close to the vest. The “base builder” portion of the game is all new, where you can decide which buildings to add to your base, where you want to position them, and whether or not you care to upgrade them. I’ve heard rumors that the development of your base will have eventual repercussions on what missions are available and/or how they play out. I’ve also heard that your actual GPS position — perhaps based on proximity to certain landmarks, topography, climate, etc. — will result in “air drops” that can influence the game as well. If that’s the case, this can prove to be very interesting. I’m often running at beaches or parks (not much else in South Florida, I’m afraid. Unless you count delis, retirement homes, and La Migra…) so let’s see how that works.

So welcome back, old friend. Mission 2 is going down tonight during a quick 3 mile jaunt around the neighborhood. And I can’t wait. Having these kind of incentives to run make sweating it out in the sweltering humidity all the more appealing. Or even to drown out the constant obnoxious swill emanating from some of the buttholes you’re running with. Whatever works. Here’s the video:

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