Epic Games Store Free Game Stubbs the Zombie Explained

Beginning October 14, Epic Games Store Users will be able to claim two pieces of free content before they are then removed on October 21. First is Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse, a remaster of a classic 2005 title, and Paladins: Epic Pack, which contains a few cosmetic items for the free-to-play Paladins.

Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse is a good indicator that the Epic Games Store may continue with Halloween-appropriate games for the rest of the month, though it does remain to be seen. However, for those curious about what to expect from Stubbs, here’s a quick breakdown.

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Epic Games Store Free Game Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse

The overarching goal and gameplay loop in Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse is pretty simple: the player, a zombie, must kill humans and each their brains. Each devoured brain restores some health and converts that human into a zombie. Stubbs isn’t able of using weapons, instead of using improvised weaponry and body parts in initiating combat. Stubbs can, however, drive a variety of vehicles though.

Video game zombies turned by Stubbs can follow him, assisting him in combat and the like, or they can be sent in a single direction to find humans and turn them into a zombie. NPC attacks on these hordes will attract the rest of the zombies too, with these crowds able to serve as a shield for Stubbs in Punchbowl, a 1950s retro-futuristic city.

While this method remains its dominant gameplay feature, it does have a story where interesting set pieces allow for interesting interactions for Stubbs and humans. For example, Stubbs’ most interesting events take place in the Punchbowl Police Station, the House of Otis Monday, a barn, a dam, and more.

There is a bit of an appropriate over-the-top cheesy story alongside these gameplay features. Essentially, Stubbs resurrects after about 26 years to destroy the city. He was killed by Otis Monday for seeing his daughter, Maggie Monday, with both of these characters playing a big role in the game. Indeed, without going too far into the plot, fatherhood is a primary theme alongside all of the undead video game content.

Stubbs the Zombie: Concept, Release, Controversy, and Remaster

The core concept of Stubbs the Zombie is pretty obvious, but it was always the intent of the developers to flip the standard horror zombie game approach on its head. Combined with the idea to make the game amusing and kind of cheesy, Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse was released in 2005 to generally favorable reviews on Xbox and average reviews on PC. In early 2021, Stubbs the Zombie was remastered for PC, modern consoles (both contemporary generations), and the Nintendo Switch. Alongside general remaster upgrades, it also features achievements/trophies and new modernized controls, which should help EGS users enjoy the classic in 2021.

It’s worth mentioning that, during its original release in 2005, Stubbs the Zombie stirred up a little controversy. It, alongside the horror franchise F.E.A.R., was criticized heavily by NIMF’s David Walsh and U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman for its depiction of “cannibalism,” its supposed real-world harm to young children, and more. Obviously, this controversy is dead and buried and wasn’t resurrected for the remaster’s release, but it does serve as a testament to how much video games have grown in the past 16 years.

Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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