Zombie Apocalypse Review
- Posted October 4th, 2009 at 17:25 EDT by Michael Harradence
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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
(continued from previous page) ...of strategy involved when tackling the more advanced Zombies, especially as some of them are capable of dishing out instant kills at the drop of a hat. Still, by the time you reach level 15-20, it becomes abundantly clear that Zombie Apocalypse is best played with three extra mates on hand to tackle the rotting hordes, as it is nearly impossible to tackle the increasing numbers of Living Dead on your own without plowing through the continue screen for what seems like the 100th time. Needless to say, a fair degree of repetition accompanied by a whiff of monotony begins to creep up on you like an undead pursuer at various points throughout the game, given that, at the end of the day, all you’re doing is blasting through stage after stage of Zombies, repeating the process over and over again. Furthermore, these niggles are further exacerbated when you realize that there’s only about seven stages in the game, so be prepared to pass through the same dreary Graveyard and ransacked shopping district again and again throughout your adventure. As mentioned, the controls work fine for the most part, but a jump or evade button would have gone down a storm, especially as your character has a penchant for tip-toeing over numerous ground hazards, affording your attackers ample opportunity to make a meal out of the situation – literally.
On the flip side, however, the game’s levels are presented in concise, bite-sized chunks, so you won’t find yourself having to endure more than a few minutes worth of eliminating your rotting foes should you find yourself getting bored of the action. What’s more, the fact you’re always kept on your toes, combined with the ever-increasing variety of Zombies and weapons, ensures you should more than often have a blast out of the game (though as previously mentioned, it’d be wise to bring a friend into the mix to finish off the last 20 stages or so, as things really become too hectic for a solo endeavor). In regards to the actual multiplayer component, Zombie Apocalypse supports up to three players locally and online, complete with leaderboards for those of you looking to wipe that smug grin off of your mate’s face in a battle for the highest score - standard stuff, as you’d expect. In terms of replay value, players who survive the Zombie carnage can unlock some additional gameplay modes, one of which darkens each stage bar for a light surrounding your character, accentuating the overall challenge fairly significantly.
Visually the game breaks no boundaries, and is merely functional rather than awe-inspiring. The handful of stages on offer come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from creepy cemeteries, wrecked helicopter pads, desolate shopping districts and more, each one plastered with the remnants of a once bustling society with over turned cars, blood-stained sidewalks and smashed up windows. The isometric viewpoint doesn’t really give you a decent view of your flesh-munching adversaries, though the gore comes thick and fast, with flesh, limbs, blood and brain matter spraying all over the shop as you rack up the kill count. Aurally things aren’t much cop, simply coming down to the obvious array of Zombie moans and groans, roaring weapon effects and obligatory, albeit utterly disposable metal soundtrack.
Ultimately, Zombie Apocalypse does what it says on the tin. While in the big picture it’s somewhat inconsequential, punters looking for some Friday night thrills with a couple of beers and mates in tow will no doubt find hours of pleasure from Nihilistic’s Zombie marathon. Those of you looking for something a little more substantial to keep you entertained months after the purchase date may end up disappointed, but ultimately, it’s hard not to recommend Zombie Apocalypse to any self-respecting retro, undead fanatic. We wouldn’t say no to a sequel providing the formula is a little more polished.
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