Zombie Apocalypse Reviews

  • Zonrith1Zonrith1604,560
    30 Sep 2009 07 Apr 2013
    18 0 4
    Description
    The zombies are coming! Really, that just about sums it up. You, and up to three (un)lucky others, get to try and survive in a world now overrun with zombies. Day after day you need to shoot, saw, explode, and outwit your brain-hungry tormentors until you finally fall or you make it to the end of whatever mode you chose (default of 55 days).

    The game is aptly seen as a sort of evolved SmashTV in its gaming action.

    Graphics/Sound (8/10)
    I found the graphics to be quite appealing, especially for an arcade game. When I obtained the demo my concern was it would be a glorified Flash program. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity to the various zombies, the zones, and the main characters. Other than in night missions (where things are supposed to be hard to see), I never had a problem distinguishing between a zombie and the background art or one of my fellow players. Sometimes, however, when the gore is flying it does become difficult to target living zombies (for lack of a better term) amongst the mist of gibs and fluids.

    The sound was subtle and non-obtrusive. Gun/explosion effects and the environmental devices (which zombies can be shot into) were definite audio highlights. The music never became annoying, but that may be because it really is downplayed in the game. I'd say if they had a solid musical score it could have improved things, but as long as this game is to play it likely wasn't feasible for an arcade title (in which case, keeping the music soft and behind the effects was probably for the best).

    Controls (9/10)
    The control scheme for this game is simple and it works. Left-analog to move, right-analog to control weapon direction and shoot. Triggers for various chainsaw stances, and bumpers to toss teddy-grenades. There are no awkward button combinations; the controls feel good in the hands of a novice or a pro, and it would be very difficult to get frustrated over a death due to having troubles with the controller.

    I am knocking it down a point on controls for one reason, and that's sometimes your weapon (particularly the chainsaw) may look like it's going to hit a zombie but then fails to do so. This might be graphics issue, or it might be that the aiming control isn't as precise as it could be. I'm not sure, so I've chosen to note and discount it here because I felt most strongly it was an issue of precision.

    Story (5/10)
    There isn't really a story, beyond what I put in the description. In that way, this is a lot like Left 4 Dead. Also like Left 4 Dead, you do get a bit of a back story about the four playable characters. It is humorous, but ultimately is forgettable and without bearing to the game, as these characters do not banter while trying to survive.

    None of this effects game play, but it likewise means it's pretty average for the genre in terms of limited story supplied.

    Replay Value (6/10)
    This game wants to be replayed, badly. But, I think it only succeeds slightly above average in that regard. One does unlock a variety of game modes, but most of them probably won't be particularly appealing for more than a few tries. So, really it comes down to leaderboard competition. That's going to work for some people, but not the majority.

    Achievements can add replay value, but Zombie Apocalypse drops the ball on it. They are just too easy. You can get all but one achievement in a single campaign play; the last one requires winning a harder, time-consuming mode, but even that becomes physically simple given you have infinite continues. The only real skill-based achievement involves surviving for seven game days in a row, and that is quite achievable solo and can be a joke in multiplayer if done in the early levels.

    "Fun" Factor (5/10)
    It's fun enough, but it could be so much more. It's hampered by some flaws in particular:
    1) No achievements seem to be given in local multiplayer;
    2) Local multiplayer does a limited screen zoom-out, and then stops. This artificially reduces the size of the zone compared to a single-player match or an online multiplayer;
    3) Online multiplayer has lag issues for clients (hosts seem unaffected) once zombie quantities reach certain levels. Zombies appear to "teleport" slightly as the game refreshes their locations, making shooting slightly more difficult and avoiding the more lethal zombies substantially more difficult;
    4) Online multiplayer can be buggy, too. In one three-player game (of Seven Days of Hell, the hardmode with the final achievement), I (a client) lost the ability to see the other client playing (likewise, that client could no longer see me). The host could see us both, and vice versa. Both clients also could no longer see weapon drops, as all drop locations perpetually displayed their possible weapons. After completing Day 6 (where the error appeared), Day 7 continued to have the bug. The connection held the entire time, and the game was completed, but even the scoreboard at the end failed to permit the clients to view each other. Why didn't the game auto-correct the bug after a day's conclusion?

    My assumption is there's a chance that #3 and #4 above may get fixed in a patch, since those are clearly flaws (rather than design choices like the first two). If they were fixed, I'd probably bump this game's fun factor up to a 7/10. The game didn't list the lack of achievements in local co-op, however, and I am disappointed in that and the limited screen behavior, as I feel this could have been an ideal party game. As it is, it has strength as a good multiplayer time-killer game...should the online bugs get smoothed out. Till then, it's really hard to enjoy this title fully.

    Overall score average: 6.6

    Score-to-Star Translation Guide:
    5 stars: 9.01 to 10 (out of 10)
    4.5 stars: 8.01 to 9
    4 stars: 7.01 to 8
    3.5 stars: 6.01 to 7
    3 stars: 5.01 to 6
    2.5 stars: 4.01 to 5
    2 stars: 3.01 to 4
    1.5 stars: 2.01 to 3
    1 star: 1.01 to 2
    0.5 stars: 0 to 1
    3.5
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Mike LangloisGood review, but you said "No achievements seem to be given in local multiplayer."

    Does that mean that no one gets achievements? Or just player 1?
    Posted by Mike Langlois on 03 May 10 at 14:21
    Zonrith1Good question, I'm not sure. A friend was trying to play it with me, and I'd already had the achievements. I cannot remember if he was Player 1 or not. I'll put in a caveat regarding my uncertainty into the review, to clarify. Thanks.
    Posted by Zonrith1 on 03 May 10 at 16:18
    Big EllI will clarify. Only Player 1 can earn achievements in local coop. This really sucks but thankfully most of them aren't too difficult.
    Posted by Big Ell on 10 Sep 10 at 14:24
  • Radient StarRadient Star35,539
    04 Feb 2011
    12 1 0
    Yet again, it's the zombie apocalypse. You're equip with guns, your wits, and a couple of buddies. Its the intelligent few against the mass of sheer stupidity. Sure, the concept of Zombie Apocalypse isn't that original, but as you continue reading I hope that you'll give it a chance, because in the end it's a fun game.

    SINGLE PLAYER

    Has anyone here played Robotron for the Nintendo64? No? Just me? Well, basically the game mechanics are like this: you view your character from above, using the left stick to control movement and the right stick to fire in the direction you desire. For the most part, you will play the majority of the game using only the sticks, although you are given the option to use a chainsaw with the triggers and throw a decoy (Teddy Bear bait) with either bumper.

    Zombie Apocalypse doesn't really feature a story, although I was surprised at the amusing details they decided to include. You can play as one of four separate characters. Gameplay doesn't change no matter who you pick, but reading a small paragraph on the schizophrenic who always wanted to be a stuntwoman before shooting up some zombies is pretty hilarious.

    The game really approaches the whole concept with some wit. Before each level, a quote flashes across the screen, something presumably that the survivors are thinking or talking about. Often reading these before approaching the horde has brightened my experience. And don't even get me started on the things the Teddy Bear bait says (Yes, it talks. Don't ask me why.)

    This game is really funny.

    Still, playing this game by yourself can wear you down due to it's receptive nature and length, especially when playing the game's hardest mode, 7 days of hell. While the game certainly can stand up as a fun game by yourself, it's ten times better when you're playing with others.

    MULTIPLAYER

    The game features local co-op as well as online multiplayer, however if you have a friend who wants to join in you in an online match you're screwed. Only one person per Xbox while playing online.

    Zombies are much easier to take out with a buddy. The game has purposely designed evil zombie bug-things that are impossible to shake off, and must be shot off with a team mate. Plus, screaming "BIG DADDIES!" and running away just isn't the same when you're yelling at your screen.

    (Did I forget to mention Big Daddies? Oh yeah. Well, the zombie horde has apparently mutated, and you'll run into a multitude of different zombie types, such as Dodgers, Pukers, Prom Queens, and Kamikazes. And no, I'm not joking, there seriously are Prom Queen zombies. They're the ones who spawn the evil bug things. I hate them.)

    There is but one flaw with the multiplayer, and that is the camera. When playing in single player, you have the freedom to roam wherever you please, dodging zombies, picking up guns... but in multiplayer, sometimes it can be a struggle over the camera angle. I've literally had arguments where one player wants to head upwards and grab a decent gun, while I want to head over to the Teddy Bear bait.

    GRAPHICS/SOUND

    The graphics are surprisingly good, if not a bit repetitive. There are only a couple of different stages, but they are fairly detailed.

    What's more, the environment responds to you. Shoot a zombie towards a car wash, and it falls backwards, while you laugh as it's literally washed to death. Shooting a gas pump will cause fire to erupt from the nozzle, fireworks explode, and pushing zombies into a sawmill has never been so satisfying.

    The sound, much like the graphics, can become somewhat repetitive. The zombies have only a couple of sounds that they make when they are spawning, and a couple more they make when they die. There are a couple of background tracks that play during the levels that I didn't really notice, but the music that plays when you are at the main menu is superb.

    ACHIEVEMENTS

    When I first got this game the achievements looked insane! The truth is once you get into it and learn some tricks, they aren't that bad. However some of them require a lot of grinding - getting through 55 waves of zombies was insane, and 7 days of hell was even worse.

    The rest, however, are relatively simple once you've gotten a few tips. For example, I thought that getting a 100x multiplier would be impossible, but once I figured out using the chainsaw would add 5x, it became a lot easier than having 1x added for every five zombies killed.

    In conclusion? Buy this game, zombie fans. Buy this game, dual-stick lovers. It's fun, it's amusing, it will suck hours of your life away, and it begs to be replayed with family and friends.
    4.0
  • Zee psoZee pso320,074
    25 Sep 2009 25 Sep 2009
    19 9 11
    It's a good game in short bursts, as it can get boring in long periods of play, but makes up with it in 4 player co-op. The online play could use some work, as there's no join in or join out co-op, nor can you start a match without filling all the slots. (you can change the amount of players slots, but if you start a 3 player match without finding a third person, it won't let you launch.) Another problem is you can't see what the host set his modifiers on before you join, and are actually playing the game, but more on the modifiers later. Over all it works well, but just not as well as it should.

    Game play wise, It's a duel stick top down wave shooter. There are varying enemy types but nothing extremely new or different. It can get repetitive, as there are only 7 stages, no real challenge since you can just start off right when you continue (this is the major fault). and you fight the same boss a few times, but there are extras. Such as being able to use the chainsaw anytime to melee, and game modifiers.

    There are game modifiers like Chainsaws only or black out. These can make the game more fun or like most of them, you'll try once and never use them again. Although, once you unlock turbo, theirs no going back to default speed. Sadly you can not mix and match the mods. There is an 7 days of hell modifier. Ala a mini 7 day survivor, supposedly its awhile to beat. Although I haven't tried too much of it too be sure.

    As for achievements there weirdly paced, I unlocked 3 of them as soon as I joined and the match started, and 2 or 3 soon after. Yet beating the game and 7DH will take a bit to get. Although not too bad. I can see beating the game in a day.

    Over all a good buy for 10 bucks. As long as you can take a bit of repetitiveness, that's eased with 3 other friends. Remember, if you can't take mindless waves shooting, don't bother buying it.
    4.0