The PlayStation Network has seen its fair share of twin stick shooters, and among them is Zombie Apocalypse, which quite obviously pitted players in the middle of a zombie war zone. Zombie Apocalypse 2 is on the way, and intends to build upon the framework laid out by its predecessor by upgrading virtually every aspect of the game.
Zombie Apocalypse 2 ups the ante with improvements to controls, weapons, levels, player connectivity and adds several other features as well, while maintaining the core elements that make it fun. In my time with it, I found the gameplay was familiar and easy to get into, but with several immediately apparent differences. Most obviously is that the levels are no longer always confined to an arena style area, and now include progressive linear sections that keep the players moving from one end to the other. The arenas still exist however, and serve as the destination for the progressive portions.
Each character in the game is more distinct now, and they sport a special move as well as a special item which can be thrown out. For example with items, one character is able to toss out the classic teddy bear from the original game, while another can lay down a boom box to get the zombies dancing, which provides a humorous opportunity to blow their heads off. Meanwhile special moves are powered up as more kills are made, which includes abilities like a berserk mode, a healing aura, and an automated turret, all of which are upgradeable as players make progress. Since each special move and item is character specific, it can make a large difference who you control, but a smartly integrated system to switch characters on the fly by tapping R1 or L1 keeps you from being locked into your choice for an entire level.
Zombie Apocalypse is a great game to play cooperatively with friends, and in that spirit, Zombie Apocalypse 2 will make it easier than ever to do so. Not only will players be able to play locally with their friends, or online too, but they’ll be able to mix local players with online players simultaneously. While what I played was an unfinished build of the game, it retained all the elements that made the original fun, and adds more to that in all the right places. If you’re a fan of the original, keep an eye out for Zombie Apocalypse 2 when it releases later this year, because it looks like it’s on the right track to being a bigger and better sequel in every way.