Zombie Apocalypse Review
- Posted October 4th, 2009 at 17:25 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 22 Comments
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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)
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- 12:26pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
You might as well just download the demo and never own the game. It is essentially the same thing as a solo game.
- 12:27pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
- 2:09pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
@darth - Yeah, except that the demo doesn't let you face all the different zombies, use all the different weapons, and increase difficulty. But I see where you're coming from.
It's an okay game, but I really wish the stages would have been stages, not arenas. I would have liked to be moving around through a city, mall, or amusement park, instead of just an arena. That would have catapulted it from a 7 to a 8 in my book, too bad.
- 3:08pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
I played the demo, it's pretty kewl. Tho, dead nation looks much more killera.
- 4:12pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
Zombie Apocalypse is a poormans Left 4 Dead.
claud3 | Hollow-Agartha29BC
- 4:38pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
i have it in my 360 and the game is awsome. The fun you have in each level is so cool
10/10 for this cool game
- 4:51pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
looks pretty gd, might check out the demo sometime
- 5:32pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
personal i dont like games from this kind of viewing position but it was alright.
- 5:36pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
I think I'd rather play Dead Nation if it has offline co-op
- 6:32pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
i bought the game out of impulse after having so much fun in the demo with my friend. there is no denying its gets repetitive, but its still a great game to play with a few people on the couch. some good arcade style fun here and id recommend it to anyone who likes playing with friends in the same room.
- 6:40pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
Y they always review much later then other sites
- 8:09pm EDT - October 4th, 2009
I'll give this one a miss, demo was fun about 5 mins. I'm guessing its not much more different.
- 12:50am EDT - October 5th, 2009
I love this game
- 12:53am EDT - October 5th, 2009
anything got word ZOMBIE ( other than RE 1,2,3 ) is a big failure.
- 1:59am EDT - October 5th, 2009
"The fact that playing solo eventually becomes more trouble than it's worth"
LOL, bASICALLY THEY CAN'T TAKE THE challenge OF A SIMPLE GAME...
- 5:39am EDT - October 5th, 2009
Left for Overhead!!! On top of that a frustrating experience...not a great control scheme and things such as the zombies that explode it is vey hard to judge the explosion because it varies in size with no explanaton.
- 6:47am EDT - October 5th, 2009
Played the demo - it's rubbish!
- 7:39am EDT - October 5th, 2009
@17 I agree. I tried the demo and thought the game was total garbage.
- 8:37am EDT - October 5th, 2009
Not bad for $10 to be honest.
- 9:36am EDT - October 5th, 2009
Gat the demo and decided not to buy since it was so repetitive and since I know for a fact that a better Zombie game is coming soon made exclusively for PS3 so it looks way better graphically and isnt set in crappy little arenas but the demo for this is enough to hold my Zombie blood lust over till Dead Nation also EVERYONE NEEDS TO BUY DEMONS SOULS TOMORROW
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