â€œTheyâ€™re coming in through the windowsâ€¦.â€
Zombie Armageddon is an Xbox Live Indie game from Citizen 12 Studio and can be downloaded for 240 MSPoints.
In true Zombie game fashion, itâ€™s your first day on the job and the world has gone crazy! This single player game sets you up to battle against hoards and hoards and yet even more hoards of zombies, zombie dogs, giant zombies in red speedos and religious fanatical zombies (someoneâ€™s a Resident Evil 4 fan at Citizen12 Studios).
Playing as 2nd Lieutenant Jacob Hanson, you arrive to take up your position in the guards, only to find that Zombies are storming the city. Enter courageous Captain Pitts, barking out orders at you to protect the Head Quarters at all costs. In order to do this, youâ€™re given a regulation green army Humvee and a measly amount of cash to spend on fortifying the city.
The game play itself is quite simple. Move around the city, highlighting which building or part of the road you want to allocate your resources to. Strategically placing where you want your defenses to be is a vital part of keeping the zombies at bay. Choose from rifle teams which are essential for picking off zombies that are nearing HQ, Grenadiers which are great for blowing things up resulting in mass destruction of thick hoards of zombies or Science teams that provide short range blasts from lasers. You can also put up barbed wire blockades in the road to slow the ever-encroaching zombies down or can pimp your Humvee for better speed, armor or firepower.
Youâ€™d think once youâ€™ve set the right team atop the highest rooftop, you could just sit back at HQ, having a cuppa whilst watching the zombies succumb to your tactical and overwhelming firepower â€“ but this would be a very boring game and you will quickly learn that whatever you do, these zombies are tenacious and each wave brings greater numbers of them that become harder to kill off. This is where your real tactical skills are needed.
To upgrade each team to deal with the oncoming tides of the great undead, you need cash. To get cash, you need to kill zombies. Timing and planning which areas to upgrade is crucial. There were times when Iâ€™d spent all my cash or crashed my Humvee (itâ€™s $5 to replace) and had to press the Y button to release another wave of zombies into the town, praying that my badly positioned, poorly equipped teams could earn me enough cash to make the next move. Too many times I found myself eagerly awaiting the bucks to roll in whilst anguished screams rise up from HQ as zombies storm the place! I notice that the amount of money you start the game with has been increased from when the game was originally released (really?!!) and there are now a range of level difficulties (ranging from casual, challenging, reckless and suicidal) to choose from. Away from the main story, thereâ€™s also an â€œOnslaughtâ€ mode where they just keep coming and coming and comingâ€¦
The dialogue is where this game really shines and I found myself forgiving the financial frustrations I was having. The vocals on this are very funny. The story is so melodramatic whilst the characters have a real deadpan delivery. Listen out for citizens who have climbed onto the skyscraper roofs and are in need of rescuing â€œHey Army Guys!â€ The graphics of the cutscenes are crude (remember the early nineties and the first time you tried to draw a picture of your sister on Paintshop?) whilst the narrator is clearly having a hard time to not laugh most of the time but itâ€™s enough to keep you engaged.
Overall, this game can get very frustrating when the cash runs out as it totally disrupts the flow and itâ€™s heartbreaking knowing you canâ€™t do anything but release more zombies into the city. However, the vocals and length of the game (11 levels) are worth every penny of its 240MP price tag and will satisfy all zombie fans out there.