The laughter of a lunatic rings out, then a splash of blood sprays, followed by hardcore metal. It sounds like every other horror film, but this is nothing for the sort.
Zombie Shock takes you into a world of nostalgia, combining some of the best features found in Duke Nukem, old school SNES side-scrolling games, and perhaps even Bionic Commando. In Episode 1, you take on the role of Abel. He is a biologist who has supposedly created a vaccine for AIDS named Revolution. In collaboration with his brother Cain, they have begun conquering the world’s worst viruses. In 2011, Abel is stricken with an unknown mental illness and is shortly after placed into a mental institute. Although the gameplay is generally the same throughout the story mode, the animations and corresponding story is refreshing.
After you have completed the story mode, all of the upgrades and weapons you get apply to the survival mode. The survival mode is essentially the same as the campaign; however you only get one life, and the occasional energy drink to boost your speed.
One-liners make up the brunt of the dialog in Zombie Shock, but it does bring back the nostalgic feeling of Duke Nukem. If you are doing it right, you will hear “headshot” more than the zombie groans. Choose between 18 different weapons and three secret ones, all which offer their own unique method of delivering zombie destruction. Personally, I enjoy the mini-gun, fully upgraded shotgun and fully upgraded crossbow combination.
Killing zombies and completing levels allow you to continuously gain funds to upgrade your weapons or upgrade your statistics (health, firing distance, speed, etc.). Collecting random stockpiles of funds also ensures you get the best weapons before a new breed of zombie comes after you.
Much like Left 4 Dead, there is a common horde of zombies, with some specialty ones that require a bit more elbow grease. At the end of each chapter, there are also bosses, which do pose to be quite a challenge at times.
The only real downside of Zombie Shock is the control style. The game uses the dual stick layout; however the majority of the movements just require you to move vertically. The other control is awkwardly placed, and only used to aim the gun when the zombies get to close. Occasionally the right side control also gets in the way when you are attempting to fire your weapon, which not only throws off your aim, but essentially leads to the end of your life.
Zombie Shock’s music and sound effects are top notch, and so are its graphics. Although Zombie Shock doesn’t appear to be using the iPhone 4 Retina Display yet, it looks like a live comic book.
Zombie Shock currently costs $0.99 in the iTunes app store.