Zombie Concentration #XBLIG VVGIndieVerse Review
By: Mr. Deeke
Our selection for this edition of VVGiv Reviews is the top-down, twin-stick shoot-em-up game “Zombie Concentration” by Drop Dead Interactive. The review itself will be written in the standard format; with five sections consisting of different focus points of the game itself. These sections include Story, Game Mechanics, Critique and so on–there are also pictures and a video at the end.
Zombie Concentration 80 MSP
Slay hordes of walking dead solo in Single Player or with a friend in 2-Player in this surprisingly fun Indie zombie shooter. The game lives up to it’s name as the more you progress throughout the levels, the more scarce ammo and precious health packs get–this of course makes you carefully concentrate on each shot you fire.
- Developer – Drop Dead Interactive
- Genre – Shooter
- XBL Marketplace URL – Zombie Concentration
- Release Date – 2/8/2011
- Try or Buy? – Try before you Buy
- Price – 80 MSP
- Rating – 4/5
“Mike hears that there is something fishy going on in the military base he once operated on. Taking his daughter with him they go to investigate to find that all the soldiers are dead. Survive with Mike and Alice in this epic shooter and go down in history as the saviours of mankind!”
–Xbox Live Marketplace Description
I. Story Line
This game is somewhat lacking in an overall storyline–it’s more like an introduction than anything else, and the actual gameplay itself is the story. Basically this game’s story involves two characters, Big Mike and his daugther Alice, and focuses on their fight for survival against the zombies that have overrun a local military base.
Our main character Big Mike had once served at this particular military base. Since there were rumors about strange things happening there, it was natural for him to want to take a personal interest and invenstigate. Nothing could prepare our heroic duo for the nightmarish ghouls that were awaiting them–and it is up to players to decide their fate.
II. Game Mechanics
This game utilizes the twin-stick mechanic in the traditional sense that movement is controlled by one stick, and shooting is controlled by the other. The controls are fairly easy to get used to, and they’re not complicated so that players can comfortably and quickly adapt to the gameplay. As you kill zombies they drop items such as health packs, ammo, and dog tags–the latter of which adds a points bonus when picked up.
Zombie Concentration also allows for solo or two-player gameplay, and has the most potential for fun and progression when you play with two players. There is a flip side to playing with another person, however–you’ll be fighting for drops in the later stages and this can lead to quick deaths.
This shoot-em-up also offers a top-down view that makes aiming a bit easier, however it does skew the overall perspective so that some objects are hard to make out. As the game isn’t very dynamic when it comes to graphics, this view has a bit of a drawback to the visual aspects of the game. This zombie shooter is truly an Indie, though, and graphics aren’t a major issue for me when it comes to enjoying the game itself.
DDI’s zombie-slayer has a nice balance of weaponry, especially since each character uses weapons differently. Big Mike, for example, takes slow and deliberate shots with the assault rifle, while Alice takes rapid-fire shots. There are two different firearms that are equally useful and powerful in any situation; the shotgun (close range, spread-shot fire, very powerful) and the assault rifle (semi-full auto fire, high ammo count, very accurate).
The Mines are also an important weapon, and these require a bit of strategy to prove most effective. There are two different types of mines: TNT Mines (Proximity/Timed mine, explosive, multi-kills) and Poison Mines (Proximity mine, poison gas cloud is very lethal). These mines also have a drawback, though, as they can be tripped by teammates or the player and inflict damage. In the later stages this can be a mistake that costs you the game.
The most effective weapon is the Airstrike that can be called in once both lights are green on the silver box in the center; what looks like a squad of Apache helicopters come in and clear the entire screen of enemies. This is extremely useful in the stages where there’s more green than grey and players are completely overwhelmed.
IV. Unique Features
This Indie has many unique features that supplement the game and provide an entertaining playing experience. Take Awardments, for example–this game has five different awardments that all have requirements, and this adds a new objectivity to the gameplay other than just killing zombies. Aside from the twin-stick mechanic, the top-down view, and the classic shoot-em-up theme, there are still other aspects of this game that are appealing.
Another example of a unique feature is the weapons that are used throughout–each character has different stats and also uses each weapon differently. The mines, firearms, and Airstrike are all effective and noteworthy tools that can be used to make enjoyable gameplay.
V. Critique – The Good & The Bad
Gameplay. Zombie Concentration’s gameplay is it’s best feature–the overall experience that comes with shooting and blowing up giant groups of zombies with awesome weapons is what makes this game enjoyable. Two-Player mode also allows players to really even the odds; local co-op brings new potential to the game’s enjoyment.
Twin-Sticks are ez. This game uses the twin-stick control for both movement and shooting, which allows for any player to adapt quickly and easily to the game. It doesn’t take much skill, and that gives the game more potential for enjoyment to those that aren’t skillfull in shooters–it gives them a chance to have fun and not have to have perfect aim to kill.
It’s fun! This zombie shooter, like most, offer an overall favorable gaming experience. There’s just something about tearing down hordes of zombies that appeals to gamers, especially when you’re taking them out with weapons like shotguns and Apache helicopters.
Graphics. The graphics for Zombie Concentration are a bit haphazard–they’re fitting for an Indie game, however the top-down view skews the perspective a bit. Also, all the sprites for the game seem to be hand-drawn similar to the technique of other Indie titles–while this is not a problem for me specifically, most gamers enjoy better graphics and some are even vehemently zealous about the subject.
Low Replayability. This game is capable of being replayed infinitely however that doesn’t mean some players will. Once all the awardments are completed, High Scores are registered, and the game is beaten, there really isn’t any more incentive to play any more.
Unbalanced Characters. After multiple playthroughs with each character, I’ve come to find that in solo-player Alice doesn’t compare to Big Mike–the comparision itself is extremely skewed. Alice is weaker, yet faster and shoots assault rifle shots faster–consequently you can easily waste anywhere from 20% of your ammunition by accidental misses. BIg Mike, however, shoots slow shots that are careful and quite accurate. Also, the tank character has much more health and is more skilled with the shotgun–overall there’s no reason to pick Alice in single player.
As you can see, there are many aspects that make Zombie Concentration both an enjoyable, fun playing experience and a great addition to any shooter fan’s library. The game has potential that is best unlocked while playing with two players, as you can work as a team and get very far.
Use mines and assault rifles to repel the incoming waves of zombies and survive the ultimate nightmare onslaught of undead in this thrilling, action-packed twin-stick shoot-em-up adventure.
Since the game itself is of an acquired taste, it is recommended that players first download the trial for this game before they purchase it. Always try before you buy if you’re dubious, since every player is different and likes different things.
For more information on Zombie Concentration or Drop Dead Interactive, the development studio behind the game, click here.