Game Over Online ~ Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone

GameOver Game Reviews - Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone (c) Konami, Reviewed by - Thomas Wilde

Game & Publisher Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone (c) Konami
System Requirements PlayStation 3
Overall Rating 68%
Date Published Monday, December 5th, 2011 at 11:41 AM


Divider Left By: Thomas Wilde Divider Right

The first Zombie Apocalypse is a top-down arcade shooter that comes off like a low-wattage Left 4 Dead parody. It came out in 2009 and, like seemingly everything else that involves zombies, was actually reasonably popular. Hence: sequel.

While it's not exactly bad, the first Zombie Apocalypse is oddly generic, like it comes in a plain white box with ZOMBIE GAME stenciled on the front in black. Never Die Alone, its sequel, still features the same basic gameplay hook: you're surrounded on all sides by zombies, who come crawling out of anything and everything that could possibly hide or spawn them, and you need to fight in all directions at once while using local hazards to buy yourself whatever room you can.

The main game in Never Die Alone, however, has a lot more in common with something like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance than anything else. The four playable characters are all always onscreen, regardless of how many players you've got, and you can switch between them freely as they become incapacitated or if you require a different weapon.

The plot's simple: a military experiment has unleashed zombies on small-town Canada, and the four survivors are trying to get out of town. Each level is a step along the way to that, as their first few plans fall apart and complications ensue.

Those four characters are Def Money, a British rapper in town to put on a concert; Jeremy, a die-hard gamer who speaks entirely in condescending put-downs and internet memes; Alma, a genius engineer; and Father Bill, a local priest. Each one has a different firearm, a different "bomb" on a short recharge timer, and, once charged by enough kills, a "pwnage" super move that renders a character invincible for a short time while giving him or her additional abilities. Your characters can pick up money from dead zombies and spend it on upgrading their basic capabilities.

This isn't a bad game or a bad model for a game, but there's one big thing keeping me from seriously recommending it, and that's Jeremy, who is terrifically annoying and who won't shut up.

Jeremy also has the best standard weapon, the best bomb, and the best super, which means realistically, you will be using him a lot. By comparison, Alma seems like she's in the wrong game - her rifle is powerful but only hits along a very narrow vector - and Def Money just gets shafted. Father Bill isn't bad, although his shotgun needs a lot more power, but Jeremy's bomb actually attracts zombies to it before it goes off and his super is a straight-out 400% damage modifier combined with a lengthy invincibility window. If you're playing this co-op with friends, whoever isn't playing Jeremy is getting hosed through no fault of their own.

On top of that, the game has a bad habit of murdering your face in seconds without any build-up or chance to avoid it. Certain zombies instantly immobilize their target upon reaching them and don't announce their presence, so your entire team can drop dead in seconds unless you know they're coming and act immediately to avoid them. The larger zombies just soak up firepower to the point where you need to memorize patterns and save your big weapons for the area in which they appear, and even then it's down to luck whether or not you live through it.

Never Die Alone needed a lot more playtesting by actual humans before it should've been released. There's a lot here to like, but there's also a lot here that seems like any reasonable person would've said something a lot sooner than this. Somebody out there thinks Jeremy is funny enough to make him the centerpiece of the game, and frankly, that terrifies me. That person is a madman, and must be stopped.

 

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Rating
68%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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