Zombie Game Design
The premise behind ZA is that zombies have taken over. See, this game oozes originality! At the start you choose one of four survivors (who ought to get their asses sued by the survivors from Left 4 Dead, since they are basically clones of them) You go through 55 waves (or "days" as they call them) that feature more and more and badder and badder zombies rising up from their graves to mindlessly lumber toward you bent on eating your brains or balancing your checkbook or whatever it is that zombies get off on. Occasionally power-ups will spawn in the form of weapons and buffs for you and your intrepid friends (the game is at least 4.2% better with each friend you add on, up to 3! That's 12.6% better if you can get into a 4 player game! Add 12.6% to my review score at the end if you like!). Eventually you kill them all and another day begins with fresh zombies. (Editor's Note: Fresh zombies? I dare you to think about that)
I'd love to expound on other gameplay elements, but that is pretty much where they end. Oh wait! There are survivors who appear occasionally, and if you protect them long enough they get whisked away by a helicopter and leave behind explosive teddy bears for you. I guess that qualifies as slightly original. To make matters worse, while the game offers 55 levels, there really are only 7 levels which recycle 8 times with a few new baddies for variation. Also adding to the frustration is the fact that you can't shoot zombies until they are fully arisen form the grave, which is annoying since the grave-rising animation is terribly slow. So you may well be firing into a pile of zombies, only to realize that they've only emerged about 90% out of the ground and thus somehow are entirely immune to all your bullets.
My time with Zombie Apocalypse left me wanting that time back. It's not that the game is awful, it's just flat out boring. The fact that 3 buddies can play with you over the internet is the only thing that makes it tolerable, mainly so you can create your own Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode by making comments on how uninspiring the gameplay is. My final verdict? Let the zombies win this time!