No matter how advanced we become as humans, we will never be able to escape the oldest threat we face as a species: zombies. That pesky scourge of shambling undead will always haunt us, no matter where we go. The latest example of this scientific truth is Konami's Zombie Apocalypse, an upcoming dual-stick shooter that trades in retro spaceships for human survivors seeking to stay alive by any means possible. Last week, we had the chance to play the PlayStation 3 version of the game at a Konami press event.
At the risk of raising hopes a bit high, the quickest way to describe Zombie Apocalypse is Geometry Wars meets Left 4 Dead. The control scheme is very much that of a dual-stick shooter: You control a survivor with the left stick from a fixed isometric angle as he or she runs all around the screen, while you shoot any zombies within a 360-degree vicinity with the right stick. Special attacks are performed with the shoulder buttons, which include standard chainsaw kills, elaborate chainsaw executions, and tossing zombie bait to lure a bunch of them into one spot before it explodes. As for the Left 4 Dead comparison, well, there are zombies of course. But more importantly, the game is played cooperatively among four players.
As you fight off the hordes of zombies, you'll find new weaponry scattered on the ground. Some of the weapons we were able to use while playing were a machine gun, a shotgun, a flamethrower, a grenade launcher, and a full-on minigun. And as we stated a moment ago, you've also got a chainsaw in your repertoire. The chainsaw is always there in conjunction with the gun you're sporting; you just swap between the two whenever you want for ranged or up-close killing.
There are two real goals in Zombie Apocalypse. The game is divided into days, so at a base level you'll want to survive each day of increasing difficulty level until you reach survival. But beyond that, there are points to consider. You'll earn points with every kill, but you can add to that total through the use of score multipliers earned for various feats of bravery. For example, every time you take the time to slowly chainsaw a zombie from stem to stern, you add to your multiplier. It's all kept track of in the upper-left corner of the screen where you can see your overall point total, kill total, and multiplier level.
We had a fairly good time playing Zombie Apocalypse, but what we saw of it seemed rather simple. We'll wait to see if there's enough to this game to hold up to more extended playing time. In the meantime, you can expect to see it available on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 later this year.