Zombies, once a personal favorite, have become played out. That's right, I
said it; over-zombification in pop culture has transformed what was a reliably
disgusting horror villain into yet another watered-down clich, with even the
inbred families on TV's WifeSwap seeming to know all the rules for the once-cool
zombie apocalypse. Sure, AMC's The Walking Dead is a fantastic show, but zombies
have been so done to death that even as a self-professed zombie aficionado I
have trouble staying interested. My lack of passion for all things zombie is
what makes the new iPhone game, Zombie Crisis, such a welcome surprise. This
on-rails shooter not only looks, sounds and plays great, it also overcomes the
handicap of being yet another property featuring the shuffling dead.
Zombie Crisis is basically House of the Dead on the iPhone. You have no real
control over your character during gameplay, but you move through environments
in first person perspective and tap the screen to blast away at the oncoming
hordes. It's a simple premise, but there is a reason light gun arcade games like
this were so popular for years: they are just plain fun.
And you won't just be blasting at run-of-the-mill zombies, either. You'll be
forced to face off against a few bosses, and these fights really break up what
could be a tedious adventure. The first of these fights happens in a parking
garage, and the on-rails movement adds to the encounter's excitement. You hide
behind barriers, run over the roofs of vehicles and charge the larger than
normal monster at different points during the battle, and where you'll go next
does keep things interesting.
My only complaint with the short but sweet shooter is that there are only
three guns at your disposal a pistol, a shotgun and a machine gun. That's it.
No grenades. No flamethrowers. No melee weapons. Just three guns. Yes, they get
the job done, but adding a few more would have helped keep some of the longer
stretches between interesting boss fights less formulaic. Even turn of a corner
holds more zombies to shoot, but shooting them with a few different guns would
have been more than welcome.
Yes, zombies are getting old, much like angst-ridden teen vampires and, I
don't know, alcoholic wolfmen let's say, have before them. But this iPhone title
is more than worth the nominal entrance fee and provides a few thrills for the
light gun fan on the go. Maybe next time we could get a different villain or a
few more implements of destruction, but Zombie Crisis is a bite-sized treat most
Final Rating: 80%