Reviews

N.Y. Zombies 2 review

Some cities are more prone to crisis than others, and on top of the list we have Tokyo and New York.

Zombies have once again taken over New York City, or perhaps they never left. The story isn’t that important to the average Joe from whose eyes the game is viewed. Escaping his apartment it is soon apparent that this is a huge issue that can’t be tackled alone. Finding allies to share the challenge with, along with warmth, food and ammo becomes imperative.

Seen from a first person perspective the sequel to N.Y. Zombies takes you from being a stationary survivor to one able to roam the streets. I had a blast with the first game, and I really had high expectations for the sequel. What made the first so great was the chance to upgrade weapons, and the focus on long range aiming. The first question for me when starting up the sequel was simply if the game would benefit from adding movement controls.

Sadly I have had to conclude that adding a virtual joystick for movement has given more issues than benefits. For one the controls aren’t that responsive when moving about, and our hero often gets himself stuck against walls, or cars. Furthermore whenever you interact with something you have to restart the movement, making it all feel really slow. This happens every time the interaction hand shows up, and I tap it. Afterwards the zombies close on my heels catch up to me immediately.

The biggest issue with N.Y. Zombies 2 is the crappy collision detection. It is evident both when using ranged, and melee weapons. It is however a lethal combination when trying to slash away at a bunch of zombies just to have the bat, or axe swoosh past them. After that you are quite open to getting hurt. Even worse than being attacked by zombies is the attacks from crows, or rats. Collision detection upwards, and downwards is beyond spotty. Switching to a gun is always a good option, but then you might have to switch back and forth all the time.

There are a lot of different level objectives, such as finding survivors, killing enemies, finding ammo or food and surviving for a set time. Personally I can’t stand the surviving a set time missions, and I didn’t approve of them for Dead Trigger either. Running around wasting time for three minutes, or more simply isn’t fun. It gets worse when the hero gets himself stuck on something, and gets the last health points slashed by a running zombie.

Between levels you have the chance to buy new weapons, upgrade them and upgrade the character. A good idea is to get a decent melee, and ranged weapon and then upgrade them as far as possible. Given the spotty collision detection it is good to have a great impact once a weapon, or bullet connects. The character upgrades affect gameplay quite a bit in three different core abilities: melee, ranged and health. You can use skill points in all three trees, and with time you will get the same character skills no matter where you start. In the early missions however it is important to choose skills that cater to the way you play.

There is also a cooperative element to the game where you can have up to three friends join you in the story. It makes the game feel slightly like Call of Duty: Zombies. The area it is lacking in is the level design, and there is never the same sense of desperation, or teamwork.

The presentation is good, and especially the zombies look dreary and vicious. Overall the game is covered in a gritty style that enhances the fact that one of the largest cities in the world has been overrun by zombies. One thing that is less than ideal is how the story is told, and interactions are presented. The screen blacks out, and a text in white tells you what you need to know. An arrow at the right side of the screen gets you back into the action. I would have preferred some more seamless way to tell the story than having to interrupt the entire gameplay.

There is quite a lot of blood, and gore in the game. Once killed though the zombies melt through the ground, and disappear. One thing I would have liked is to have decapitations, and being able to hack or shoot off limbs. Now it is hard to tell when something has hit, especially when it comes to more powerful zombies such as the firemen.

N.Y. Zombies 2 is another example where more is not necessarily more. Adding FPS controls, and movement did add more issues than it added gameplay enhancements. Paired with dodgy collision detection, and uneven level design I have to conclude that Terminator 2 is still the big exception to the rule of sequels.

Final Rating

passable

N.Y. Zombies 2 $1.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Version: 1.0
Seller: Foursaken Media

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