Review by WBirkin

"Grab a bite to eat at Jill's Sandwich"

Introduction - We're all familiar with the Resident Evil games, well, it's time to become unfamiliar with them, because this game is absolutely NOTHING like Capcom's original zombie franchise.

Game-play - Take 1/4 Dynasty Warriors, 1/4 State of Emergency, perhaps 1/2 a cup of Grand Theft Auto, a dash of Pokemon Snap, and then pile a bunch of Zombies into the blender and this is what you'll end up with. This game is definitely not a walk in the park however, when you encounter your first zombie swarm, there's a 90% chance you will be dead in a handful of seconds. The basic idea of the game is to uncover the mystery and get out of the mall with a great story in under 72 hours, all the while you're supposed to take good pictures and score high points to gain 'PP', which is basically an experience point system. You level up and gain cool new moves, like jump kicks to decapitation tactics. Unlike Resident Evil, you're not conserving ammo or weaponry, you have an unlimited supply of health and weapons throughout the mall. Everything from Lawnmowers to Jewelry have been turned into lethal zombie killing weapons for your morbid pleasure. I really can't stress how much fun it is to take some of the most far-fetched of 'weapons' and start attacking zombies with them... like a soccer ball for instance.

Story - You're a reporter who has traveled to the mall to uncover a big scoop in a small town. The town has been sealed off by the army, and has been pretty much quarantined. While you're flying in, you notice a lot of weird 'riots' and such happening below, humans attacking humans and the such. Eventually, you get to a mall, and inside the mall you meet a lot of creepy and unique folks. However, shortly after all of this, you realize the real reason behind the 'riots' it's not human vs. human anymore, it's the undead vs. human, and of course, some moron just had to let the zombies into the mall for foolish reasons. You have 72 hours to get your story, and catch your helicopter ride out of there.

Audio/Video - The Music is pretty catchy, nothing overly special, but it definitely sets the 'mall' mood. Your sound effects are spectacular, there is an amazing amount of zombie sound effects, and a lot of fun noises to be heard while beating zombies up with Ketchup bottles, and foam bats. The video is great, really good graphics, and really amazing zombies all walking and shambling in different ways and variations, and it's very hard to find any two zombies who look alike standing around in the same area. You also get a slew of costumes to dress up the main character in, which are shown during cut scenes and such, nothing says 'scary' like a man wearing a Servbot mask and a dress while waving a gun around.

Re-playability - There's a lot of re-playability due to the odd time based missions. It's pretty much impossible to do everything in one sitting, there are a ton of side-quests. If you don't complete the quest in the allotted amount of time, you're pretty much just wandering the mall aimlessly without any way to progress the story. Luckily however, you can easily get yourself killed and restart the game with all of your stats/skills that you've gained throughout the game so you can breeze through back to where you started. Even after all of that, there are tons of unlock-ables and different story arcs based off a few choice decisions.

The Good - If you're a zombie fan, rest assured there are a LOT of references to famous zombie movies, and video games. I about busted a gut when I walked into the 'Jill's Sandwich' shop (inside original Resident Evil 1 joke). The weapon and mutilation choices are endless, and there's just so much fun to be had as well as a real sense of danger at times while trying to rescue people and fend off the zombie hordes.

The Bad - You're only allowed a single save file on a hard drive, so, better tell your father, roomie, or kid brother to buy his own hard drive if he wants to play your game. You can also find yourself at a save point far away from your designated location, and be unable to get there in time, so, you want to use your time wisely and avoid going on senseless killing sprees, unless you save prior.

To buy or to rent? - I'd personally buy the game, especially if you're a zombie fan, heck, even if you're not and you just enjoy a good action game with some RPG elements. If you'd rather play Uno on X-Box Live instead of bashing a zombies face in with a plasma screen television... then this game might not be for you.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/14/06

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