One of my biggest qualms with Downloadable Content when it comes to full games is the ever-doubtful question of quality. Actually, it could very well be the largest pang of mine I have when it comes to DLC titles. Whereas I recently laughed my ass off whilst playing Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space, I soon wished I’d saved even just a tiny portion of my hindquarters so that I would have had something to kick repeatedly after diving haphazardly into the Konami retro-styled arcade game, Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone — now available via the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.
If one were to attempt to distinguish this from its predecessor, 2009’s Zombie Apocalypse, they might find difficulty in doing so at first glance, since both games drew their “just-play-it” inspiration from arcade games of the ’80s and ‘90s. To tell you the truth, both titles are like those numerous Street Fighter machines that kids pumped quarter after quarter into all those moons ago, and are absolutely indistinguishable from one another to the eyes of either the average Joe or someone who really doesn’t care enough.
Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone begins with brief introductions to its characters (a rapper, a priest, a chick, and a tool), whom you can switch through whilst in action. The openings are meant to be witty as far as I can tell, though, frankly, they’re pretty dumb even for A) video games and B) the high school/college mentality the whole title is aimed at. From there on in, it’s fight, fight, fight; as you try to get the four already-annoying humans you’re in command of through one disaster area littered with living dead after another, all the while growing unfalteringly more irritative with every quip and silly secret weapon your heroic humans pull out of their pockets (exploding teddy bears, boomboxes that really do go boom, etc.).
Should any of the individuals you’re controlling fall prey to the rampaging zombies, one of the other lads or lass can revive him/her. Naturally, the loss of one makes it harder for the rest of the players, as they now have to take on more flesh-hungry reanimated corpses than before. If all four cumbersome comrades collapse, you lose, so the thought of playing co-op with your friends could be more rewarding than it is in single-player mode. Providing, that is, that your friends don’t despise this boring and repetitive game as much as mine did.
Of course, my frustration here could be attributable to the reality that I was only given a demo version to play. But, then, since the game’s design, engine, characters, and controls — all of which I was not fond of — are obviously the same in the full version as they are in the demonstration model, I doubt it.
And so, I can only recommend this to those addlebrained groups of like-minded individuals who are always making puns about the upcoming zombie apocalypse. In fact, I’m kind of hoping that all-too-frequently-joked-about living dead catastrophe all those infuriatingly “deck” hipsters (and any exasperating variations or spin-offs thereof) are always going on about actually does come — just to prevent the manufacture and marketing of any more trendy “zombie apocalypse” games like this one.
Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Strong Language, Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Drug Reference, Intense Violence. This game can also be found on: Xbox 360.