Zombies. We love to kill them, even though they’re already undead. Every zombie-killing game comes with the same idea: survive. So what makes Zombie Apocalypse different, you ask? Well this arcade-style shooter is the perfect modernisation of the 80’s arcade classics and is certainly worth the £7.99 price tag. Upon loading, the menu reminds you of an apocalypse, with dark and moody music and a hazy screen, but very simple to use and gets you straight into the action. The loading screens provide helpful hints and retain the dark look and in-game, although the colours may be bland (browns and blacks), the arenas and characters look very crisp and the animations are flawless.
The campaign is fun – although a little repetitive – but Nihilistic have thrown in some extra modes to spice up this particular apocalypse. Black out levels darken your surroundings and give you a radius of light. Teamwork is encouraged for this mode as the more players grouped together, the bigger the light radius. Other modes include Chainsaw Only, Turbo, and the challenging 7 Days In Hell. Each mode is perfect for offline multiplayer, supporting up to 4 players. The seven different arenas contain a good amount of hazards to ease your job, from explosive barrels to fireworks, which help rack up bonus points at the end of the round. Thankfully, these hazards aren’t hazardous at all for your teammates so feel free to completely forget about them. However, having only 7 arenas does mean that the campaign begins to repeat and can get a little tedious.
The zombies are pretty generic from the start but it does not take long for more challenging enemies to appear. These include smothering, insta-kill Big Boy, the dynamite-wielding Kamikaze, and the knife-throwing Granny. The uninfected citizens also provide an extra enemy if bitten.
Each player begins the round with a chainsaw, an assault rifle, and infinite ammo. This is perfectly adequate. As the round progresses, random weapons are then dropped in allowing one person to upgrade to a shotgun, for example, but this time you have a set value for ammo. Players can use zombie bait as well, which is a teddy bear stuffed with C4 explosives. Fortunately, zombies love this teddy and quickly swarm around resulting in easy kills for you. Only one teddy bear is given to each player at the beginning of the round but by saving the helpless humans you will be reward with another. Simply protect the person until the chopper arrives. Easy, right? Not really because, like the teddies, these humans attract the hordes. The bonus pick-ups add an extra sense of competition in multiplayer, often causing suicide runs through the undead to win the upgrades.
Multiplayer is key to this game. With both online and offline support for up to four players, the mayhem certainly ensues. Both are simple to set up or join and equally fun. Online works perfectly with no lag and there seems to be a steady stream of people available (good sign). With four characters to choose from (the campaign has the same choice), it is easy to distinguish yourself but your choice has no effect on game play, which for me is a slight let down. A little perk or bonus would have been a nice touch.
Graphics: Hold up pretty well throughout the arenas and the apocalyptic theme is constant in every aspect: 8/10
Sound: Dark and depressing music is used well but let down by the out-of-place squeaks and sayings. Explosions and gunfire are good too: 7/10
Gameplay: Enjoyable, especially for a 10 minute blast but too repetitive overall. Nothing new in this department: 6/10
Overall: A fun dual-stick shooter that does the zombie genre well. Great for multiplayer of any kind. Lack of originality and clear repetition does hinder the game though.