Zombie Apocalypse: review


  • Format: XBLA (version reviewed), PSN
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Developer: Nihilistic Software
  • Players: 1-4 (Offline), 1-4 (Online)
  • Price: 800 points (£6.80), $9.99
  • Site: www.konami.com/games/zombie

Many of us wonder how we will fare should the zombie apocalypse overrun the world. There are many fictional places where we can take inspiration from, but most of them assume you can get your hands on a gun or chainsaw. Thankfully, Zombie Apocalypse gives you both, and teddy bear zombie bait stuffed with explosives.

The best way to describe this game is Robotron meets Left 4 Dead. It is a relatively mindless and brutal arcade shooter that puts you in the middle of a zombie horde as one of four similar survivors, and tells you to kill everything with a below room temperature IQ in the name of survival and point scoring.

Four times the zombie mutilating fun

The controls are delightfully simple, left stick moves your character around, and the right stick shoots in whatever direction you point it. This means that cutting through the zombie hordes feels incredibly fluent, where doing a 360 degree arc of fire is just a thumb twitch away and can be very handy for getting you out of dodge.

If you want to get a bit more creative, the trigger buttons are assigned to your chainsaw, meaning if things get too close for a gun to handle effectively, you can chew through everything with your handy lumberjack tool and be paddling in a pool of blood in no time.

It feels like a classic arcade game with the brilliant dual stick control system and the rather manic reactions that are sometimes needed to keep your brain intact. Graphically however, it looks brilliant for a downloaded game. The visual style seems reminiscent of Left 4 Dead, with zombies falling apart, dark corners illuminated by fire, and even very familiar environments to Valve’s zombie romp including an airport and petrol station forecourt.

As far as the flavour of zombie is concerned, they seem to be halfway between the George Romero shuffling brain bandits and L4D’s sprinting psychopaths. They are not unbearably fast, but you still need to stay on your toes, especially in later levels where you have many different types of zombie, such as the knife throwing granny, shotgun toting sheriff and hard to stop big boy. As the game playfully mentions on one level, at times it can feel like you are being chased by a horde of hungry bulldozers.

Two submachine guns work wonders with crowd control

Whilst playing the game by yourself is quite fun, it does get a bit old very quickly, which is where the great four player co-op mode comes in. Playable online or with mates crowded on the sofa, you can go on point scoring zombie slaying sprees in a team which works brilliantly. Even though you work together, you still get ample gloating rights as it tells you who killed the most and who removed the majority of limbs, as well as other ranked statistics.

Zombie Apocalypse is a fantastic arcade shooter which encourages high score chasing with a brilliant array of weapons, from flamethrowers to dual submachine guns, and it looks good doing it. The only down side is that by yourself, the appeal wears off quickly and is only really a ‘dip in and out’ kind of game, as most arcade inspired titles would be. We recommend playing with your mates to get the most out of this game and relive that old arcade feeling that Robotron: 2084 gave us, but with a lovely new lick of paint.

3/5

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Written by Anthony H

Anthony has been playing games for far too much of his life, starting with the MS-DOS classic Mario is Missing. Since then his tastes have evolved to include just about anything, but his soft spot lies with shooters and the odd strategy game. Anthony will inspire you with his prose, uplift you with his wit and lie to you in his biography.

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