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Zombie Apocalypse Review


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On 09/30/2009 at 12:20 PM by Neal Ronaghan

Add equal parts Left 4 Dead and Robotron, and you get Zombie Apocalypse.
RECOMMENDATION:

Unless you vastly prefer top-down shooters to first-person ones, you'd be better off getting your zombie fix in Left 4 Dead.

Zombies are quite a big deal nowadays. We've got another Left 4 Dead game coming out in November, and what is promising to be a great film in Zombieland coming out on October 2. Zombie Apocalypse for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network is capitalizing on the strong undead love and making a short and sweet top-down shooter where you do nothing but annihilate hordes of brain-feasting infected.

You choose from four different characters that are very similar to the stars of the original Left 4 Dead, and drop into an arena with hordes of zombies coming down on you. Playable with up to four players locally and online, you attempt survive for 55 days in a zombie-infested world while mowing down many different types of zombies, ranging from slow Shamblers to the demonic Queen.

At first, all you have is a basic machine gun and a chainsaw, but as you progress through each day, you pick up ammo for other guns, such as dual SMGs and a shotgun. This is your main way of slaying zombies. The chainsaw is your melee weapon, and you can unleash two attacks with it: Standard and Execution. Standard is a quick attack that can help you out when you're cornered, while Execution is a one-hit kill on all zombies that leaves you open for attack. However, if you successfully pull off an execution, you add three to your multiplier.

The multiplier is the main focus of Zombie Apocalypse, and that kind of reaching for a high score makes the experience more like Robotron. For every five kills you make, your multiplier increases by one. If you or one of your teammates gets killed, you lose your multiplier. Luckily, you have multiple lives at your disposal.

Occasionally, civilians will run around the screen and you must protect them until they can get airlifted out. Doing so will give you a nice bonus, but if you fail, the survivors turn into zombies.

You can also use the environment to help you decimate the incoming crowds of undead, and each level has some sort of barrel of explosives that you can shoot and make explode. This is very useful to clear out the hordes. Helping congregate the zombies in one place are cute little pink teddy bears that are strapped with C4 and found when you rescue civilians. When the bear is deployed, zombies swarm it and eventually the little fella blows up.

Zombie Apocalypse is a fun game, and it tries valiantly to keep the game fresh with 10 different zombie types and varied locales. The four-player online and local multiplayer, both of which run smoothly, also lengthens the experience. However, when it comes down to it, it's just a mediocre shoot-'em-up with an awesome skin.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

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