Zombie Apocalypse Review (360 Version)

Developer(s):

Nihilistic Software

Publisher(s):

Konami

Console(s):

PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Release Date(s):

September 23, 2009 (XBLA)/ September 24, 2009 (PSN)

Genre:

Shoot ‘em up

Players(s):

1-4

Rating:

M (Blood and violence)

-Marcus Lawrence

They’ve come for our brains… time to lock and load!

Zombie games can be really fun or really scary; it all depends on what the premise of the game is about. The old school Resident Evil titles are just an example of how some zombie games shook a lot of people with a creepy atmosphere and shambling undead. Zombie Apocalypse is one of the titles that falls under the fun category as it allows players to run and gun in a mindless fashion. However, before you know it, the fun begins to fade and you are left with a shallow game that’s best played when you have nothing better to do.

With an eerie resemblance to Valve’s Left 4 Dead series, your goal is simple: survive wave after wave of the undead to progress. That’s it… no side quests, no complex story, nothing of that nature. Players are just tasked with killing countless zombies. Now, I bet you’re thinking “Gee, I wonder how a game like this could be considered shallow?” Well, to start off with, players aren’t offered much variety even in the later stages. Playing ZA pretty much boils down to running in a circle to avoid zombies and saving the same female flight attendant time and time again. It goes without saying that if you truly want to enjoy ZA, you would have to play with three other people.

Killing zombies is easy enough; by using the left stick for movement and the right stick to shoot, players will mow down literally hundreds of zombies before the game ends. Things do start to get tricky as you progress to higher stages. Larger hordes of zombies will be gunning for you and did I mention the special infected? I haven’t? Well, the special infected are zombies that are more effective at killing you. Between granny zombies that throw knives, (those are instant kills btw) fat men zombie that flattens you (another insta-kill… I see a pattern here) and zombies that loves to dodge bullets, you can see where this may be a problem. So not only do you have to deal with large regular zombie hordes, some of the stages force you to deal with large special infected hordes. You can almost bet that most of your lives will be lost on those stages.

In order to defend yourselves, a handful of weapons will be at your disposal. The standard assault rifle is your default weapon and during the levels, random weapons will be dropped for you to use. Shotguns, submachine guns, flamethrowers, molotovs, and snipers will be a great help to you. Then you have a chainsaw that can be used to cut through zombies or can even perform executions. Best of all is the teddy bear bait, (yes you read that correctly) which causes the zombies to gather around it before causing a bloody explosion. These are perfect for when you get in a tight jam. The more kills you rack up, the better your overall score will be. Now, if you really want to get a high score, killing zombies with the environment is the best way to go. That’s really all that the game has to offer in terms of gameplay; like I said before, it’s just mindless fun.

A game that’s built with the intention to be a mindless shooter is bound to have problems. Since the game lacks variety, by the time you get to level 10 or so, you probably won’t even want to continue. Sure, there are seven different areas but they all wind up feeling the same after you played each area 3 or 4 times. While the game can be fun at times, it can also be completely irritating. When the screen gets cluttered with zombies and you can’t see where the instant kill zombies are, often times, that’s when things get bothersome. Even though the game offers multiple ways of playing, I still ran into the same issue of just not caring. Zombie Apocalypse just doesn’t offer enough to draw in attention.

Pros:

  • Mindless fun that’s good for an hour or so, even with friends
  • The variety of zombies is a good thing

Cons:

  • The rate at which the difficulty increases can become frustrating
  • The 7 areas are not memorable in the slightest
  • Even before you beat half the game, you will be bored of running in circles
  • Because of the repetition, the replay valve is low

Bottom line is, if you have the extra cash and can’t figure out what to use it on, then save that money. Now if you have friends that would be willing to buy this and play with you, then I suppose downloading this title is a suitable option. Just don’t expect much bang for your buck. For $10.00 on the PSN and 800 Microsoft Points on the XBLA, you’re better off waiting for the price to drop significantly.

Verdict: 50%

Zombie Apocalypse Gameplay