Despite the ‘3’ in the title lending itself to a varied and (obviously) numbered progression, Zombie Shotgun Massacre 3 shares much in common with the previous entries in the series: a barely-clothed heroine battling the continually-spawning undead with a shotgun. It’s not a difficult formula, nor a particularly complicated one. From a marketplace standpoint, you could even say it’s the perfect formula. Breasts, zombies, violence; sounds like a winner.
And in some ways, it works. Same as in the earlier games, ZSM3 stars the series’ titular1 ‘Alice’, a deadly, lingerie-laden fox armed to the teeth, slowly making the 2D streets (and the requisite Red Light District!) safe enough for everyone to walk around in their underwear… I think. There’s a very loose plot involving evil types and a missing friend, but the majority of the game has you patrolling the same few avenues, rescuing the same few citizens, and blasting the same few enemy types. Over and over. Oh, and sometimes, it rains.
The gunplay is adequate, if not terribly inspired. You walk, you line up your shot, and you fire. The game gives you other ways to dispatch the dead, although your arsenal is still pretty limited. Besides the default shotgun (just four rounds, and with most enemies taking three to four shots each to take down, you’ll be reloading… a lot), you have grenades and an AOE super move that can save your always-exposed skin in a pinch. Regrettably, the AI isn’t overly-complex; don’t get swarmed by a crowd, and you’ll be okay.
Even then, ZSM3 has you covered. Enemies typically drop cash, zombie DNA (which converts to cash), and grenade / health refills. Combine this with vending machines on each street, a gun shop, an Uber driver to take you back to HQ for cheap, and characters that can refill all your vitals for free (after you’ve rescued them, natch), and you’re safe to roam the streets with relative ease. Occasionally, you’ll encounter some lowbrow humor, like toothbrushes being used in unintended ways2, missing cats to wrangle up (again), or a stripper that gives you crabs3 after sleeping with her.
Indeed, tough choices lie ahead.
Still, the game’s biggest threat to you is tedium. A lack of interesting objectives (come on, another rescue mission… ugghh) and an emphasis on a slow, incremental grind means you’ll be spending several hours just doing the same damn thing. Which isn’t very fun, especially when there’s not much in the way of varied scenery or more involving combat. After you’ve shotgun-ed your thousandth zombie and / or hoofed your way to the far corner of the game’s map for the umpteenth time, you’ll have probably had enough.
Zombie Massacre 3 looks and feels solid at the outset, but spending any amount of significant time with it reveals it to be a repetitive slog, with very little in the way of rewards or a satisfying payoff. It’s certainly playable, and… you know… boobs4… but there’s simply much better zombie games on the market. Pass.