Review: Zombie Apocalypse, Left4Dead-esque

Zombie Apocalypse

It’s no surprise that a game featuring Zombies right before Halloween is getting the attention of gamers.  But, developer Nihilistic Software’s “Zombie Apocalypse” has the ability to be a very successful XBLA & PSN game thanks to Konami.  Resembling Left4Dead in many ways, it’s hard not to compare the basic gameplay to the Xbox 360/PC counterpart.  As a mater of fact, on the Left4Dead back box cover, it reads “Can you survive the Zombie Apocalypse?” hmmm, see the similarities?  With 4 players you kill as many Zombies as you can and survive each day as you progress to the next all the way up to 55 gruesome levels.  I say if Smash TV can did it, so can Zombie Apocalypse. Just in time for Halloween too 🙂

Choose your human. You begin the game with selecting one of four characters.  While there is no advantage to each player you can choose from: Harlan, Natalie, Jimmy and Ed. Hmm, haven’t we seen a similar multiplayer with 4 players before?  Do the names Louis, Zoe, Francis, and Bill! ring a bell? On each day, you’ll also try to save the civilian for extra points. After each day, the survivor with the most kills will give their celebration dance.  Pretty funny the first time you see them.

Zombie Apocalypse

  • Harlan Woods – Heavily inspired by George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”.
  • Natalie Flores – The tough but mentally unstable female lead; used to be a bartender.  Celebrates by spanking her own butt.
  • Ed Fragsen – The lonely and broken security guard with nothing left to lose.
  • Jimmy86 – The arcade rat-geek who’s really a reflection of the designers themselves.  Does a great Robot dance.

Zombie Apocalypse

Top down gameplay. Zombie Apocalypse doesn’t wow you with fantastic graphics but it provides decent top down visuals for a game that puts forth all it’s effort on annihilating Zombies.  You control your Zombie Killer character with dual sticks.  The left stick moves your player while the right stick shoots in that direction.  Keep the Zombies away from you or they’re grapple you.  Shake them of by shaking your stick, bu if they grab you the “non-grapple bonus” is lost.

Upgrading weapons isn’t the answer. You’re equipped with an automatic rifle.  Pressing R1 (PSN) or RB (XBLA) unleashes your chainsaw.  When swarmed with enemies, the chainsaw will kill the close Zombies and give you a better chance to survive when you’re in the middle.  Every player also has a pink teddy bear that’s filled with C4.  Throw the bear when the wave of Zombies gets too hectic and watch them chase the bear as it blows up anything surrounding it.  You’ll want to avoid the Molotov cocktails and the sniper rifle.  They’re timed attacks which is good if they walked on molasses — not the case. The dual automatic sub-machine guns is by far the best with the gatling gun (featured in Predator) and flame thrower in close 2nd and 3rd.  You’ll get a chance to use the environment for kills, but with a swinging car and car grinder in one of the 7 levels, I found this harder than just killing them with weapons.

Zombie Apocalypse_2

Not all Zombies are equal. As you progress, the types of Zombies will get more difficult. Some will run around you, obese construction workers will instantly take you down with a simple grapple. There’s an old granny Zombie that tosses insta-kill knives.  Pregnant Zombies giving birth to killer bugs.  Sheriffs with a short range shotgun. Kamikazee Zombies that… blow up of course.  All builds up to The Fresh Pile that vomits Zombies and shoots lasers at you.  It’s a good variety of Zombies to keep the waves of them challenging.

Multiplayer with 4 friends online
Simple controls
Variety of Zombies
Left4Dead similarities

Repetitive play
Repetitive waves of Zombies
Repetitive… do you see a pattern here?

Zombie Apocalypse

Final Thought: Zombie killing is all the rage these days. Call of Duty: World at War did it. Left4Dead is doing it. And Burn Zombie Burn is equivalent but got a better reception with only 2 players killing Zombies. Zombie Apocalypse is a fun 4 multiplayer with friends. It’s a game that will be fun for a few days, but it’s not a game you’ll be playing past Halloween or even a week after purchase. But for the price of $10, you’ll get your moneys worth.  Who doesn’t enjoy liquifying Zombies?  And competing with friends for hi-scores will earn you many trophies/achievements.


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