Tag Archives: zombie

I, Zombie review

For too long zombies have been presented as the bad guy, and now it’s time for the zombies to get their own back. Awesome Games Studio has brought I, Zombie from the small screen of your iPhone, to the bigger screen of your home TV.

Your objective is to recruit all of the humans to your zombie horde, whilst trying to save as many as you can. It’s a simple premise but requires good strategy and patience to succeed. Each level requires you to convert, and rescue a specific number of zombies to progress to the next level. It is your task to guide the hapless zombies around, dodging bullets and attacking both helpless humans and gun-wielding soldiers alike. As you complete a level, you are given a star rating, out three, depending on how many you save. Thankfully time is not a factor in the star rating, and only the number of rescues counts towards completion. It appears that regardless of how many you save, as long as you complete the level you can progress to the next.

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To mix things up a bit, there is the odd curve ball thrown in which mixes up the gameplay a little bit. These would often throw me, as I would stare with unease at the level presented, trying to work out how I can pass what appears to be quite a complex level. It is then I realised that it was one of these alternate levels, which required me to only attack the mad scientist who was developing stronger weapons for the soldiers, or that I was to guide a lowly zombie around the level from my original spawn point. These guidance levels are a nice addition to the fairly standard gameplay of the rest of the levels, and offered an opportunity to really think about how you were going to succeed.

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Overall there are a total of 20 original levels, with an additional 10 Christmas/winter themed levels. The winter theme introduces a new hidey-hole in the guise of snowmen, buying you time as you hide from your enemy, trying to work out your next move. It was rather odd sitting there, surrounded by my band of merry zombies, all huddled around a snowman, without being spotted. As you progress through the levels, the challenges you face increase in difficulty, and will leave you scratching your head for a while as you try and work out the best path forward. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long before you start to struggle, as right out of the tutorial you are faced with some quite puzzling stages.

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Visually, I, Zombie has a nice style to it. It’s well drawn, but the quality is that of a well presented mobile game, similar in style to Plants vs Zombies, and other similar titles. The winter levels feel a little more polished, and have a bit more character to them, but it does feel as though these were tagged onto the original 20 levels.

As tricky as I, Zombie could be, unfortunately it only took me around three and a half hours to complete all 30 levels, and left me needing only three more achievements to 100% the game. I was disappointed with this, as other titles I have played with a similar premise, still had me scratching my head long after three and a half hours. It would have been nice to have more levels, or at least the promise of more levels in the future. However, at an incredibly low price of £3.19, its a neat little game to pick up if you have money sitting in your Microsoft account.

Thanks to Xbox and Awesome Games Studio for supporting TiX

Zombi review

Recently I’ve stepped back into Dying Light’s Harran, and boy do I have the hunger for Zombie flesh – have I turned already? Luckily for me, there’s a new zombie game to satisfy my undead needs. Zombi has arrived on Xbox One, originally releasing on the Amstrad way back in 1986 and more recently as a launch title on the Wii U.

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The zombie apocalypse has hit London; an outbreak has engulfed the population turning them into creatures of the undead, but we were warned that this might happen. John Dee predicted the plague, and tried to find a cure, although it has become a mere myth and the Prepper, a mysterious voice who guides survivors through CCTV and radio comms, maintains it doesn’t exist. The Prepper did believe the prophecy, and has prepared safe houses and shortcuts, but are his intentions pure?

You follow his commands blindly, like any good sheep would its shepherd, being herded from one level to another. Unlike recent zombie titles, the world of Zombi is rather confined and linear in its level design – not too dissimilar to many FPS titles – corridors lead to large areas where you must negotiate a problem or set piece, all the while you must tread carefully, even a lone zombie can be a deadly threat and if you’re killed, that’s it! There are no restarts.

Instead you start back at the safe house in control of a new survivor, with your trusty cricket bat in hand and a pistol with limited ammo. Now you must start from scratch, scavenging for more precious supplies. There is a locker in the safe house that you can leave items for new survivors so they aren’t completely under equipped, and your previous character is out there, one of the undead, shuffling the streets with all the equipment you gathered still strapped to their back. Now you must decide if it’s worth the effort to find them, bash their skull in and retrieve what you previously collected – die en route and you lose the items forever. It’s a great “game over” mechanic, and it feels strange killing old you with new you.

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Looking through your inventory poses its own problems. The backpack menu fills the screen and the game doesn’t pause, adding an extra level of tension if you’re low on health – you can’t just whip off your backpack to retrieve a medipack. Zombi also demands you manage your limited inventory space carefully and you won’t easily find replacements for your stash, meaning you need to give careful consideration as to whether you use your precious bullets, Molotovs or landmines.

Unlike recent titles in the genre, the zombies are actually a threat. Sure a lone shuffling corpse isn’t too difficult to handle, but three or more can be quite challenging. The key to surviving is to take a steady approach, scout the area, plan your route as best you can and have an escape plan. If you go into Zombi expecting to beat down the undead like in Dead Rising, then think again. You are at a severe disadvantage. You aren’t a hardened military man, or have prior combat experience – you are a normal survivor – pure and simple.

You do have some additional tools at your disposal to increase your chances of survival – the scanner reveals hidden items and passages, and your mini map can send out a ping to reveal nearby movement, although it could just be rats or crows, the ping won’t tell you what is moving. Lifeless bodies that are limp on the floor will have a habit of getting up without warning and won’t show up as a ping, so approach with your bat raised or just knock their heads in to be sure they won’t be making a surprise appearance.

Divide and conquer is a very sensible tactic to employ and the zombies will respond to light and sound, which you can use to your advantage by distracting them with flares or by luring one or two away from a large group with your torch so you can dispose of them easily. The torch also has a high beam so you can peer into the distance, but by using this you will burn the batteries out quicker. Unlike Outlast, you needn’t worry about collecting replacements – the torch recharges in around 30 seconds, although that’s all it could take to be grabbed by a zombie so make sure you don’t lose power when you’re in a dark corner.

While the comical shuffle and groans of the zombies are hardly scary, I did feel rather panic-stricken due to being under equipped and knowing I could easily end up a zombie myself. With this in the back of my mind, chills ran up my spine with every encounter, particularly when I was in dark confined spaces.

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There are a handful of firearms and explosives at your disposal, but they are short in supply so you will be relying heavily on your trusty cricket bat, which suffers no degrading, feels weighty and is satisfying to swing at the legions of the undead, who will mostly go down with a few hits. There are some zombies that take quite a battering, especially those with body armour – guns are no good here – exploding zombies and spitters can also be particularly troublesome and should be dropped from distance, so make sure you save some ammo just for their pretty little faces.

Zombi’s XP system is restricted to increasing weapon handling skills, which means losing a character is merely annoying if you’re carrying decent loot rather than a frustration at losing someone you’ve invested heavily in – this is a complete contrast to State of Decay where every death can be painful if you lose someone you’ve poured hours into developing.

Graphically, Zombi is a bit rough around the edges, and I suffered a tiny bit of slow down in places. Shadows have some amusing effects too; in one occasion they were absent with nothing but the shadow of a floating cricket bat! It’s also quite gruesome, with plenty of blood and heads that can be removed or caved in.

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Zombi may have some heavy competition, but if you missed out on ZombiU and are a fan of zombie games, then it’s well worth picking up, and at £14.99/$19.99 it’s excellent value. Its atmospheric edge of your seat moments makes it a worthy entry into the Xbox One’s zombie collection, it manages to claw at my love for these games, especially as this time around the undead are actually a threat instead of meat bags for you wade through.

Thanks to Ubisoft for their support

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Zombie Army Trilogy invades stores today

Zombie Army Trilogy launches today for Xbox One – we have a giveaway for four codes that ends at 13:00 GMT – starting life as DLC for the PC version of Sniper Elite V2, Zombie Army trilogy bundles together the first two episodes and concludes the series with a fresh new episode that includes new mechanics and visuals. The Trilogy also comes with Horde mode – a brand new mode that best enjoyed with a group of mates.

Check out the launch trailer below and keep an eye out for our review later today!

Giveaway: Zombie Army Trilogy

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UPDATE: Our own ZAT team of elite snipers have picked their favourite entries – thanks for all your entries, both funny, serious and sentimental – our next giveaway is for a £100 voucher to be spent at Controller Modz, with two runners-up each receiving a £30 voucher –  and now, I give you our fours ZAT winners:

  • Elyse Smith
  • Shawn Sigurdson
  • exsonyfanboy
  • Chris Hounsom

Good afternoon zombie fans, have we got a treat for you! The excellent Zombie Army Trilogy is released on Friday – Leigh is just putting the finishing touches to our review – in the meantime we’ve teamed up with Rebellion to offer four lucky readers a digital download code of the game.

To enter we would like to know who you would take into battle in your four-man ZAT team?

We shall pick the winners Friday lunchtime (UK time). The giveaway is open to all – good luck!

Please read the full giveaway terms and conditions here.

Dying Light’s Night Hunter Evolved

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The invasion mode of Dying Light is tense, particularly when you’re playing with a group of friends. The Night Hunter’s powers are well balanced with the human players to begin with but grab a few upgrades in the skill tree and the Night Hunter is a force to be reckoned with, as Maciej Binkowski demonstrates below – keep an eye out for a code in the video that can be redeemed for a powerful in-game weapon.

With asymmetric PvP multiplayer continually ‘evolving’ we created this cheeky little video of our Be The Zombie mode as a bit of a salute to this awesome trend

Maciej Binkowski, Lead Game Designer

Dying Light Live VGX Gameplay Demo

Dying Light is the new zombie themed videogame set to explode onto our consoles in 2014. It is set in a vast and dangerous open world. During the daytime moments within the game, players must trail through the vast urban environment overrun by a vicious Zombie outbreak, scavenging the world for supplies and crafting weapons. As you can see from the latest VGX trailer above, it has a heavy focus on freerunning mechanics and appears to resemble Dead Island and Mirror’s Edge combined.

Should be a whole lot of fun!

State Of Decay Certified To Scare

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So although the likes of IGN have been shouting about the release date being 5th June for a couple of weeks now, it has only be confirmed today that yes indeed, we will see State of Decay released for Xbox Live Arcade on the 5th… THIS WEDNESDAY. WEDNESDAY! Did you hear me? WEDNESDAY!!

Undead Labs are getting some great PR from the likes of DMZilla, Mr AceyBongos and Ashton (aka @ashtonisVULCAN – Community Coordinator at XBLA)

 

 

 

 

I cannot wait to get my hands on State of Decay. Stay tuned for our review coming later in the week.

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Summer of Arcade 2012: Deadlight Review

If ever there was a decade that was crying out for a zombie apocalypse, end of days scenario, it was the 80’s.

I lived through this dayglo, shoulder pad infested era and remember it with a shudder.

The charts were infested with a brand of big toothed, cheesy pop music that seemed to have been brewed by Satan himself, everybody loved good ‘Neighbours’, yuppies crawled from their penthouse flats, ‘loadsamoney’ was spawned and, even outside of Liverpool, men had permed hair.

Continue reading Summer of Arcade 2012: Deadlight Review