REVIEW: The Co-Op Zombie Game

There’s quite a few things in life that I dread doing. Public speaking, tax preparation, jury duty, dentist appointments, to name a few. Reviewing another zombie wave shooter is a recent inductee to that list. There’s just… there’s just so many of them. Deserved or not, The Co-Op Zombie Game (80 MSP) caused a reflexive sigh upon startup, another dreaded event I’d have to man up and tackle.

The Co-Op Zombie Game - Screen

Turns out that’s being a little too dramatic, and I have since rescinded my sigh. Moving on. It’s not fully intentional, but Strange Games Studios’ newest bears a striking resemblance to The $1 Zombie Game, a bizarrely-popular (and I’m stressing ‘popular’; I still don’t get the fascination) wave shooter that staled after ten minutes (yes, in my opinion). The Co-Op Zombie Game adopts the literal naming both for ease of recognition and truth in advertising. Your assumptions are correct; it’s all about battling the undead, and supports up to four players online.

Though the game promises almost twenty levels, it is, in fact, one sprawling piece of real estate, broken up by piles of debris that transfer you from one area to the next. The layout runs from narrow lanes to open intersections, with plenty of room for a party of four to spread out and cover their respective ground. Things will start to look and feel a little same-y and sparse, but there is a definitive design for each stage despite the reused urban environment. Monotony is held at bay with some handy explosive barrels and ammo / gun crates, giving the level some much-needed interactivity and you a reason to explore every nook and cranny.

Your starting pistol aside, you are saved from ‘wave shooter fatigue’ by the chance of finding new and stronger guns (shotguns, assault rifles, and scoped variants). The game graciously allows you to carry two weapons at once, with the ability to swap out whenever you happen upon a better situation. Ammo is generally plentiful, though melee weapons can bypass the trouble of reloading in a tight spot, with the trade-off of being up close and personal with your attacks. You’d do better to equip two guns, though, as the amount of zombies in each wave predictably increases as you go along.

The Co-Op Zombie Game - Screen2

Online co-op or free-for-all modes also take a potentially pedestrian task to a higher level, making the game far more dynamic and fun whether you’re playing with or against friends / strangers. Cooperative’s rule set is the same as solo. Free-for-all makes everyone a target, zombie and human alike, fighting towards a preset score with extra points awarded for killing other human players. While there are a few minor hiccups and inconsistencies (players passing through walls / barriers, for instance), overall, the matches I encountered were solid.

There isn’t much new to the formula here, though the environmental interactions and online play carry what otherwise would be a standard zombie vehicle. With a full party, The Co-Op Zombie Game is good fun. It means well, plays well, and ends well. That’s probably the highest praise you can get from a wave shooter cynic like myself.

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13 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Co-Op Zombie Game”

  1. This game is alright to play with friends with the price of only one dollar but there’s no effort to make the game good. The levels are ALL the same and its just an average indie game. The Zombies are plain terrible and they look like cardboard! The soundtrack is loud and annoying (I turned it off right away, of course) Melee weapons like the crowbar are downright useless against the zombies. The gun logos in white show a pic of a M16 but it ends up being a different weapon! Why on earth would they do that?! The zombie spawns are terrible and they spawn on top of buildings or jump over walls outside the map and it just feels lazy…

    I rated it 3 Stars Solo
    3.5 For Online Coop

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and for the comment!

      I would agree with that assessment for the most part. It’s passable for what it does (no risks taken), although it’s unreasonable to expect a $1 indie game to be completely flawless and / or have the same level of polish as a AAA game. It’d be nice, of course, but unrealistic. 🙂

      Oh, and I’m sure you saw it, but looks like a sequel just got released:

      http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/The-Co-Op-Zombie-Game-2/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d80258550ea9

      Will have to see what’s changed, or if there’s any improvements to the existing setup.

  2. If this game was called The Bo-obs Zombie Game the place would have been more active, but Im personally more of a ba-dunk-a-dunk guy. But I dont like Ouya mandatory Credit Card, what if I just want to play an emulator so I have not have to dusk out my SNES, or play one of their free games. Ppl like to have freedom (those developers should read the 48 Laws of Power book), I did not get Metroid Prime 3 or Skyward Sword for those mandatory motion controls (that I hate). Same with Final Fantasy 11 internet only (they did not call it FF Online to force you to buy it if you want to keep up with the series, smart asses). Even is 90 percent like that idea, that other 10 percent is money you lose, and one vote can change who is a governor of a country, everything counts. Every zombie theory and speculation have been used, so that was the best I could do, dont blame me, those are my 2 cents, and everything counts. And in October, I will look like a Bethesda character, because I would have used the value menu money of a whole year.

    1. The Ouya disappointed me at the start, but it’s been picking up steam since going on sale to the public. I’m not a fan of the credit card thing either, but having access to the various emulators and new or newer indie games makes that pill easier to swallow. You have to pay to play, as the saying goes, even if it upsets a percentage of the people.

      And as far as looking like a Bethesda character, look at it this way— you’re staying in (forced) shape. Then again, a fast food diet is hardly a diet. Talking about it is only making me hungry, too.

    1. Well it is a ZWS.
      That angry meh is about right.
      Toyplane is pretty fun tough.
      Thanks tim.

    2. No problem. Glad I could pick out a winner.

      @David: That was my initial reaction too, and others just as likely, based on the demo / offline play. It picks up when you’re online, and the random guns / ammo in crates help that spontaneity. Still, I hope I don’t have another ZWS in my immediate – 3 months future. 🙂

  3. Where is everyone? I guess we are all gaming away.
    Its kinda sad really, I saw this and really only downloaded it since it said co op.
    Otherwise I would have skipped it entirely.
    ZWS standard, only thing is co op that redeems it, kinda. Man imagine if AvR was co op.
    That would’ve been sweet.
    Heres hoping the next wave shooter is a DWS and not a ZWS.

    1. I’m sure indies are suffering a bit lately, as both Sony and Microsoft had big sale banners on their respective dashboards. Lot of good games were (or still are) selling for dirt cheap.

      The arenas in AvR would have to be a little bigger to accommodate two players, but I agree, it would’ve made it more fun. Toy Plane is a nice side project, but I’d like to see another multiplayer FPS from Sick Kreations, something on par, visually, with AvR.

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