Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Zombie Apocalypse (PSN / XBLA)

Zombie Apocalypse
Nihilistic Software
Konami, 2009

I'm running a little behind this Halloween season finding games to play, but for some reason this twin stick shooter from 2009 (available on both XBLA and PSN) came to my mind. According to the Achievements I've unlocked in the game, I don't believe I've played this since 2009!

At the beginning of the game you get to select one of four playable characters. As far as I can tell, all four play and control the same. Your basic weapon is an assault rifle that has unlimited ammo and your secondary weapon is a chainsaw. The chainsaw has two forms of attack...standard "hack 'n slash" and execution. The latter attack grants you more scoring multipliers, but leaves you open for attack.

The left analog stick controls your character while your right analog stick fires your weapon. You can wield your chainsaw using either the left or right triggers. The left puts the chainsaw in execution mode, holding it above your head until you drive it right down onto an enemy. Holding in the right trigger you can run around with your chainsaw running at full speed.

Periodically other weapons will drop that have limited ammunition. Shotgun, twin pistols, molotovs and mini chain guns have all dropped during my gameplay.

Survivors will also appear from time to time and if you can defend them while a helicopter flies in above and drops a rescue ladder, you'll be rewarded with a large chuck of points as well as a bait. The bait is none other than a stuffed teddy bear. Throw it and you'll hear the beat say "I'm full of love...and C4"...then explodes. These come in handy when you've overwhelmed or if you need to divert the attention of a horde while you are trying to rescue someone.

I should also mention that while you don't have a life bar, it's not instant death if you are touched. You can spin the left analog stick if a zombie(s) grapples you and if you're quick enough you can escape their grasp.

There are 7 different areas and a total of 55 levels. You'll fight in a graveyard, an airport, a small town, carnival, vehicle junkyard and an industrial plant. Each level has a hazard of some type that if you can get zombies close enough to and shoot them into that direction results in more points and a bloody death.

As you advance through the game the difficulty ramps up. You are faced with hordes of special zombies mixed in with the regular zombie fodder. They may be big construction workers that you can escape their grapple, or an old granny zombie that flings knives at you. Get hit with a knife and it's instant death.

The game plays and feels like Robotron 2084...with zombies. It's a fun game in short spurts and I'm sure it's even more fun playing co-op or online. My Xbox Live subscription isn't active, but I can almost guarantee that this game may be getting some play this evening for Halloween.

Despite the different playable characters, different weapons and zombie types in the game I find that there just isn't enough in this game to keep my attention. Once you get 15 levels into the game it's just more of the same. The daylight may have been replaced with night where you have limited sight, but it's still the same game. If you like twin stick shooters, zombies or bloody games then this may have something to offer you, otherwise the game just falls into obsecurity in a crowd of better horror themed games. The game did get a sequel, Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone, but it doesn't appear to be an active download in the Xbox store.


  1. Robotron 2084. Now that's a game I've not heard in a long time. Long time.