Zombie Apocalypse Review
- Posted October 4th, 2009 at 17:25 EDT by Michael Harradence
- PSU Review Score
- Avg. user review score:
You must be logged in to rate a game
Zombie Apocalypse is an enjoyable retro undead shooter romp with stacks of levels to tackle and makes for some ideal multiplayer action. It's plagued by some noticeable shortcomings, though, and probably won't keep your attention for the long haul.
- The absurd yet brilliant conceived Zombie variations
- The enjoyable co-op experience
- Blowing up Zombies with a C4-equipped Teddy Bear
- The repetitive nature of the gameplay
- Repeating the same seven stages over and over again
- The fact that playing solo eventually becomes more trouble than it's worth
Ah, Zombies. If there’s one thing you can say about our shambling, decomposing friends (aside from lack of personal hygiene and possessing an insatiable desire for eviscerating folk bare-handed and scoffing down on human flesh) is that they’ve acquired a certain ubiquity about them over the past few years. Clawing their way out of the ingenious mind of George A. Romero in 1969’s Night of the Living Dead and going on to appear in subsequent sequels and countless other horror flicks over the next few decades, our undead friends have left a bloody hand print on the public consciousness as one of the most iconic ghouls in modern day pop culture, invading game consoles in the mid-1990s with the likes of Resident Evil and House of the Dead.
Fast-forward to 2009 and the rotting fiends have been introduced to a whole new audience with the likes of movie remakes Dawn of the Dead (sparking a new breed of not-so-shambling undead in the form of the colloquially dubbed ‘zombie sprinters’), Romero’s own Land of the Dead, as well as recent videogame offerings such as Left 4 Dead and Siren. Frankly, you can’t get away from them. Indeed, our flesh-eating misfits don’t seem to have any plans to return to the grave anytime soon, with developer Nihilistic Software unleashing undead Armageddon once again in our living rooms in the form of the PlayStation Network/Xbox LIVE release, Zombie Apocalypse. And make no mistake – this is old school, retro-esque zombie blasting doing what it does best.
With Zombie Apocalypse, things couldn’t be simpler. The undead have risen from their graves for the umpteenth time via an ambiguous catalyst, and you are tasked with slaying the rotting fiends in their hundreds (if not thousands) while trying to avoid becoming a mid-night snack over the course of a whopping 55 days (a fancy word for levels, obviously). There are a total of four characters available to choose from, though in all honestly it doesn’t matter who you pick, since there’s no discernible gameplay differences between the protagonists unless you count their profession and oh-so annoying end of stage witty catch phrases. Essentially, you won’t be missing anything if you decide to plough through as the Doctor and give everyone else a miss. Everyone starts off with a bog-standard machine gun and Chainsaw with which to massacre the zombie hordes, though additional weaponry becomes available as you play through the game, including dual Uzi’s, a rifle, flamethrower, Shotgun and more (albeit with limited ammunition).
Killing the hordes of decomposing ex-humans is easier said than done, though, as there’s literally dozens upon dozens of the buggers waiting to tear you limb from limb. Fortunately, the game’s control scheme affords players the chance to go about their undead slaying rampage relatively trouble-free. There are no complicated maneuvers to ponder over here; the left analogue stick moves your character around, the right activates your firearm (which you can manipulate to fire shots all over the shop if you are surrounded) R1 whips out your chainsaw, L1 delivers an instant kill using said chainsaw, and R2/L2 makes you chuck Zombie bait. The latter is a particularly humorous touch, coming in the form of a C4-stuffed Teddy Bear that our Zombie friends are inexorably drawn towards – just sit back and watch the blood and brains fly. Players are encouraged to rack up as many kills in quick succession as possible, allowing you to accumulate copious amounts of points via a combo system. Points also awarded by saving panic-stricken civilians, who are dotted throughout each location and must be protected until a rescue chopper drops a rope ladder to extricate them from the on-going undead epidemic. If you’re lucky, you’ll also receive a prize for your troubles. Be warned, though - lose all your lives and you can wave goodbye to all the points you've earned thus far.
The Living Dead themselves come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from your standard shambling folk, knife-throwing Grannies, bloated construction workers, puking Zombies, radio-active undead and more. Even the Old Bill show up brandishing 12-guage Shotguns ready to pepper your flesh with pellets if you’re unlucky enough to get in their way. As you expect, there’s a modicum of strategy involved ... (continued on next page) ----
- Page 1
- Page 2