There are almost as many zombie games on the App Store as there are Jolie-Pitt kids, and every week more and more pile in. N.Y.Zombies 2 (out now, $1.99) from highly regarded indie studio Foursaken Media is yet another entry on a long, long list. But is it just another zombie game, or is it the zombie game for iOS?
I guess I should start by noting that, in general, first-person shooters haven’t had the smoothest of rides on this platform. Much like the fighting game genre, the FPS hasn’t truly been able to hit its stride. Simply put, it’s easier to find a crappy FPS than a quality one. However, there are some quality zombie games available on the App Store. N.Y.Zombies 2 doesn’t need a story because most – if not all – zombie games have the same basic plot: the zombie apocalypse has laid waste to a city and it’s all about survival.
You traverse the post-apocalyptic landscape with the aid of a virtual pad positioned on the left hand side of the touchscreen; looking around environments by swiping and attacking zombies by tapping on them. Just like most shooters on this platform, the controls don’t really work properly. Having you tap your target to kill them is just a horrible, horrible design decision, and means that often when you tap zombies you want to shoot, you’ll end up looking around instead. Also, when you actually want to look left or right it takes forever to do so. The joystick frequently gets you stuck against objects and you can just forget about running away. It feels like you’re underwater every time you try to escape and even if you do get away a horde of the undead – who can walk through each other and walls (!) – will be after you within a matter of minutes.
You have a number of objectives throughout the game. They range from helping survivors to finding supplies or just surviving waves of the undead within an allotted time. You can upgrade your weapons between missions with virtual cash but that takes forever to grind out. Alternatively, you can spend real money and buy your upgrades, but you already paid for this thing so why would you? IAPs are a staple in games these days, but where it gets downright criminal is when it caps you off and demands you pay real money in order to upgrade your abilities more. Also, the file size is absolutely huge and while that may be a bit of a nitpick for a game I want to play, the size does matter in this case. If a game is going to take up that much space in my phone it better be a good one and this isn’t.
On the plus side, N.Y.Zombies looks absolutely incredible. The walking dead look authentically nasty and dangerous and battle-ravaged cityscape is depicted perfectly. Zombies also sound as threatening as they look and there were times when I was creeped out by hearing them and not knowing if they were just around the corner.
iFanzine Verdict: When it comes to presentation, N.Y.Zombies 2 soars… but this isn’t a beauty contest. Underneath all the shine is a game with terrible controls and gameplay mechanics that get frustrating and old quickly. iOS has some decent shooters but this one is just another example as to why there are so many bad ones. Save your money and save your gigs — this game is dead inside.