Review by Mead

"Everything it should be and more"

First off I would like to say that I did not expect a whole lot from this game, but it came through with flying colors. It goes a different path than other zombie games, definitely not survival horror, but it uniquely distinguishes itself as one of the best zombie games ever.

Graphics 9/10
All of the characters and environments look like what you would expect from a new generation system. The game is able to display hundreds of enemies on screen at once and have thousands in a single area without any slowdown.

Sound 10/10
The effects in the game and the soundtrack are both done very well. The sounds in the game give it very much a zombie-like atmosphere. Most of the bosses fought in the game have their own track, which were very well chosen for the mood of the game. There are a few points in the cut scenes in the game where the music makes everything more intense.

Controls 9/10
The attacks in the game are very fluid. You can quickly switch from attacking with a melee item to firearms and so on. My only complaint is the radio in the game. It is the worst aspect of the entire game. For one thing when you answer it you receive a text only message that is small print and sometimes difficult to read. On top of that when you answer it you cannot fight or interact with anything, and if you are attacked you must listen to the entire message again.

Game play 10/10
This is the funnest game I have played in years. It balances the perfect amount of combat, leveling, and most of all exploration. You get more powerful as you fight enemies, rescue people, and do missions, but the game will always throw new things at you and still seem challenging. What you really have to do is explore the game and find the locations of items that will help you. The bosses in the game always keep you on your toes. A few are simple, but for the most part they must be fought several times before their pattern is recognized and you find a way to beat them. Most bosses reward you with key items to progress through the game or powerful unique weapons. The game has a truly unique save system that allows you to either save your game normally as you progress, or to simply start a new game with all of your characters stats and abilities.

Story 9/10
Another thing I was not expecting much from. At the beginning it really is not complex at all, but in the end it really keeps you on edge and dying to know what will happen. The story is expanded further throughout extra unlock-able modes of play, and separate endings.

Replay Value 10/10
Apart from the fact that this game is simply fun to play through multiple times, there are also two unlock-able modes. One is a continuation of the games story, and the other is a free roam mission where you must search for food while your health slowly depletes and fight enemies at the same time, trying to stay alive as long as possible. You can also play through the regular game again without doing the missions and simply exploring on your own.

Overall 9/10
A few technical flaws keep this game from being flawless, but nonetheless is one of the best games released in years. It is indeed a challenge, if you like your games easy and simple this one is not for you. But if you are looking for a complex game that is an ultimately rewarding challenge, this one is a sure thing.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/14/06

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