Review By: fenr1c | Posted: 19/02/2014
The Final Word
What could be a dynamic, action packed game soon becomes a somewhat repetitive and (yes I have to be honest) tedious affair!
Originally an iOS game for tablets, this has been imported over to the PlayStation Vita.
It's a simple enough story and a simple game to play, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Science can be a wonderful thing. Face it, without science we wouldn't have been given the kind of technology to play games like this, or indeed the devices we use to write these reviews.
Alas, though sometimes science is misused and gives us things that really are not that cool, say the Atomic Bomb for an example. Now in this game some scientists are trying to create a Captain America type super soldier but alas it goes a little bit askew. The test subject dies and at the start of the game is being transferred across the city in the back of an ambulance.
But wait, did the test subject just twitch under the sheet? Is he alive on the gurney after all? Well he is and he isn't. He has died but has just come back to life!
Just as that bombshell is dropped, the ambulance driver makes a mistake and there's a horrible crash. The test subject wakes up and promptly bites and infects a paramedic and lo and behold, we herald the start of a good old fashioned Zombie apocalypse!
This is where you come in, playing the part of a sniper, sat on a rooftop surveying the streets, looking for zombies to shoot. Simple enough I think you'd agree.
Like most android powered and tablet platform games, the controls for this game are mostly done through the touch screen interface.
Each level is presented in the same manner, and that's from an elevated viewpoint as if watching the streets from a rooftop or a higher platform. You'll see a crowd of Zombies herded together in a contained zone. All you have to do is study the groups of Zombies and select it.
Now when you tap the screen, you'll fire a 'shot' and a Zombie will explode into a red mist of goo, but wait, that will start a chain reaction and those nearest too it will explode and that will cause one or two or maybe more to explode.
You have three shots to clear an area of as many Zombies as you can, or if you are particularly lucky/skillful you may wipe out the whole blooming lot.
Killing Zombies earns you virtual money, and you can use it to buy new Zombies to add to a crowd. Now why would you want to do that? It's because there are different types of Zombies out there to deal with that's why.
There are for example, Police Zombies that when selected to die, do so going down shooting bullets before they go splat. There are big lumbering Zombies that explode with extra power but you may have to be patient waiting for them to shuffle to the right place, or wait until the faster Zombies have gotten close enough to them to explode. But they do take more than one shot to kill, that's the rub. Tactics soon become a factor in the game.
There are more variations on a theme but we'll do the usual and leave it for you to discover the others for yourselves. You'll be graded for your performance, by being awarded a medal, either bronze, silver or surprise surprise, gold. To get the next level or zone unlocked you'll need to score a bronze medal or better, but the higher the medal, the more money you gain and the more variety of zombie will appear in the store. They will appear in the level you are in and will be made available to buy for later levels.
So the shuffling bomb zombies, the police zombies, and the sprinting zombie type can be found here for purchase. If you score a gold medal though and get enough points to put you on the ranking table, then you may get a Z.I.T grenade.
This is a devastating weapon and will take out lots of zombies and any not used in a level are held over.
These are quite basic to say the least and are very unlikely to have the player going 'wow'.
All Zombies are to be honest grey in color and shuffle and lurch on a backdrop of streets, shops, etc which are mostly presented in black and white. The only splash of colour you'll get, is when Zombies explode in a grisly red cloud of goo.
The whole thing looks to be honest, more than a little bland and despite being a game about zombies, looks somewhat err lifeless.
This has a reasonable soundtrack but nothing that really sticks in the memory. A rock style soundtrack lies behind the menu screens, and in game the music is muted and although tries to give an eerie atmosphere to the proceedings, it doesn't quite manage it sadly. Soundtrack is a bit of a let down, but gunshots are meaty, explosions suitably impact-full and there's quite a satisfactory squelch when the Zombies go down (or should that be up?) in a blaze of crimson glory.
As already said, it's mostly through the touchscreen interface that the action is controlled. The only time that the buttons and the d-pad come into play is when you are negotiating the shop menu. Use the d-pad to select what you want to buy with your virtual money and use the X to select. Simple.
Most of the time, the touch screen responds well to the input but there are times when it seems a little slow or indeed seems to have problems accepting that you have tapped the screen. Most of the time this happens when in the store or when you want to select the next page, which you get to by tapping the upper right hand corner of the screen. (Nice touch though, you do leave a blood red fingerprint on the screen when you do)
There is really not an awful lot you can say about physics in this game. Things explode (OK mostly Zombies) but they do so without body parts flying, or spatter effects. It's a low key presentation that works OK for this game but for others would be a huge let down.
Pros and Cons
Sadly there are more Cons than Pros for this game. Let us first backtrack a little. Remember when I said the virtual store means you can buy new Zombies to populate a crowd? Well the one thing you cannot buy is a Z.I.T grenade. You can earn one with a gold medal award on a level but if you want more than you will have to purchase one or maybe more than one from the PlayStation Store. Yes you have read that right, you buy them from the PlayStation Store using REAL money!
So when you consider there are concerns about apps for mobiles and tablets having in game purchases that wrack up the cash for mom and dad when little Billy plays a game on his Dad's tablet and innocently buys a boost for his jewel busting game or whatever, if you let your little kid or teen use the Vita and they play this game, be aware your credit card bill could mount if the little darling starts buying Z.I.T grenades by the handful!
I personally object to this and hope it does not become the norm for future Vita releases. Bad move Sony, bad move.
Right what else should I mention?
Oh yes, there are 100 levels of this game to play through. So it's 100 times (maybe more if you do not score enough points to gain medals) that you select a screen study Zombie hordes and tap the screen up to three times to see them blow up.
It really is a case of rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat and whilst you can say that for many games these days (even triple A titles to some extent) this is just too darned repetitive and there is not enough variety here to keep this reviewer interested in the proceedings or indeed fire me up with enthusiasm to see it through to the end.
Alas Cons outweigh the Pros by some degree...
So there you have it, what could be a dynamic, action packed game soon becomes a somewhat repetitive and (yes I have to be honest) tedious affair. My interest started to wane after the fourth zone and it took me some willpower to want to pick up the Vita and play on any further. I had to remind myself I NEED to because I HAD to for this review.
As it is, I will put my hands up and say I have NOT completed this game and have no real desire to do so.
Sorry I have to honest. I would recommend that you give this a miss and wait for something better, or buy Limbo or something more engaging than this.