Tuesday, November 4, 2014

#KILLALLZOMBIES (PS4)

While shmups have been around in various forms over the years it wasn't until recently that indie developers began mixing different ideas into the genre. One of those ideas, which I love, took the zombie apocalypse, and mashed it up into a top-down military style shooter filled with bloody tidbits. While some of the provided indie zombie shmups were good others fell behind with their over simplistic designs. Some cost only a dollar to own, and were better than anyone could have hoped for while others cost a good bit more, and were piles of shite not worth the time of day. Recently while scouting the PSN store updates for review games I happened upon one of the soon to be released higher end zombie shmups which was created by a developer called Beatshapers. After having played a similar themed shmup earlier this year on the PS4 that had failed miserably I was a little skeptical. Thankfully that worry subsided once I began to play the game though. I think, in all honesty, that Beatshaper's zombie shooter is the penultimate zombie shmup. While it holds tight to traditional formulas it still does it's own thing, and does it exceptionally well.

In #KILLALLZOMBIES the goal is obvious. You have to try to survive the zombie apocalypse in a horror themed game show arena for as long as you can with the weapons that are provided for you. Game modes in #KILLALLZOMBIES come in three interesting offerings, some of which are yet to be released to the gamer. You'll find the traditional "Survival" mode in which you have to survive with your weapons, and perks while killing off zombie hordes. This mode of play also keeps track of your scoring, and your waves/levels progress. Aside from 'Survival' you'll also find in the "Coming Soon" categories a 'Defend the Flag' mode as well as an option for a co-op battle. Since 'Survival' is the go to mode of play for now though I will do my best to explain it to you in hopes of capturing your attention.

Within 'Survival' you, your gun/s, your perks, and your reflexes will be put to the ultimate test as continuous waves of zombies fill the hexagon ridden arena that you find yourself in. Along with the threat of zombies also comes the threat of falling objects (vehicles, iron balls, etc., ...), and traps that rise from the morphing hexagon tiled playing field. As you are running about dodging this, and that you will have to take out as many advancing zombies as possible. This in turn will grant you perks which change the way the game is played, and the way your character is able to perform. Perks, which are the true focal point of gameplay include permanent, and timed bonuses that will either increase your chances for survival, or stop your progress dead in it's tracks.

Among the perks you'll find death dealing bonuses such as that of taking on the guise of the grim reaper himself. Once you become the angel of death you'll be able to harvest the undead without hesitation as you reap the playing field of it's numerous occupants. You'll even find weapon, and movement boosts which will turn the arena into your plaything as well as tools of mass destruction which will level waves of zombies in a single swift blow. When it comes to the weapon offerings you'll find that you begin the game on a countdown with only three choices before you. These initial weapons include a handgun, a shotgun, and a revolver each of which have their own pro's and con's. After running across your weapon power-up of choice you will immediately begin battling of the incoming waves of zombies at a slow, but gradually increasing pace. As you continue to play obstacles will raise up out of the hexagon tiles, and vehicles, and other things will drop from the sky littering the battlefield. While the traps, and path blocking vehicles/obstacles might seem like indefinite items that are in your way to stay you will find that you can shoot most things until they explode leaving behind health refills, point bonuses, and new weapons.

It is best that you learn to use the obstacles, and vehicles around you to your advantage as they can be used to blow up huge crowds of the undead at a time. Keep in mind though that explosions, and traps can also do you in, and that you are governed by a health bar that depletes super fast no matter what sort of damage happens to you. While your health is limited you will find that some perks will offer regenerative capabilities, and that ambulances that often times fall onto the arena can be exploded for health refills. It should also be known that you can actually double up on your health bar turning it yellow with additional health refills when it's full. This will definitely help you to stay alive longer amidst the many threats that are facing you.

The coolest thing about the game aside from the zombie carnage is the announcer who constantly updates you on your success via vocals that exclaim such things as "Multi-Kill!", "Massacre!", and other Awesome sound proclamations. If you master the arena long enough, and make it through enough waves you'll also be gifted new weapons which will be available afterwards at the new game starting point. Weapons that I've unlocked so far included a wave killing Uzi, and a Crossbow that does wave damage in the form of plasma/poison shots. I'm sure the more that you play, and the further that you make it will reward you with even more goodies fit to get you to the top of the games online scoreboards. Yes, I did say scoreboards. Like the game show theme this zombie shmup is modeled after you will be competing for top spot in all modes of play.

Another cool feature that I was personally unable to experience due to the lack of a proper Twitch setup was an interactive function that allows non-playing viewers mess with your progress by inputting/saying commands that will add to your ever-growing troubles that are taking place onscreen. This feature is a lot like ATLUS's 'Daylight' interactive streaming options in that it does basically the same thing, but to a different affect. If you are a Twitch streamer it would definitely be a good way to attract viewers, and get them to be a part of your playthrough.

The Verdict ...

While #KILLALLZOMBIES is in a bare bones state at the moment it has more features, and more modes of play on the way. As it stands the 'Survival' mode alone has an infinite amount of replay value for those seeking to get the highest score, and stay on top of the scoreboards. After logging out of the game earlier today I noticed that new boss creatures are on the way soon as well. This added to the 'Coming Soon' modes of play will keep the gamers busy for a long time to come. I'm definitely excited to see, and enjoy more of the game, and I'm sure you will be as well as the game is an exceptional release offered up at an affordable price. With the Youtube upload feature now active you can even upload your feats of prowess as I have done this week. That is icing on the cake my friends! When it comes down to a recommendation of this game it is a "no-brainer". It's a must buy, and is not to be missed, especially for all the zombie apocalypse fanatics out there! DO NOT MISS OUT!

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