Developer: KONGZHONG
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

It is hard to imagine a time where light gun shooters like “House of the Dead” didn’t dominate the landscape of arcades from coast-to-coast. There is just something special about taking a tour of duty through the hellish conditions that has allowed the visceral violence of the genre take root stateside, spawning numerous sequels and imitators over the last fifteen years. Despite its popularity in a coin-op setting, it is hard to fathom that an on-rails shooter would translate well to the portable space, but that hasn’t discouraged the development of Zombie Crisis 3D. Will this be the shooter that finally gets it right on iOS or is this game as dead as your adversaries?

Players fill the shoes of an aspiring zombie slaying malcontent mercenary by the name of Dana, who is hell-bent on getting to the bottom of an undead infestation that was inadvertently unleashed at Arco Company. While traipsing through the dark, dank, and oppressive corridors of this rogue bio-lab, players are treated to small doses of story through comic style dialog vignettes, much like what would be shown in some sort of motion comic. Much like other zombie themed shooters, the game is fairly light on story, choosing to only setup the beginning of each stage and prior to entering a boss encounter.

While traditional on-rail shooters put an over-emphasis on precise aiming and targeting, Zombie Crisis seems to be void of any such mechanics. The simplistic control scheme consists of touching enemies to fire the gun in a given direction, with special weight being put on headshots. Reloading is the only other control and it is executed by either shaking the iPhone or pressing a reload button in the bottom right corner of the screen. As straightforward as this may seem, it seems to lack the precision that would be desirable of other games in this genre. This isn’t to say that the control are broken per say, they are just not as strong as would be expected.

Easily the biggest disappointment would have to be the very limited selection of weapons. For a title that emphasizes death and dismemberment, only having three firearms to do so is rather shameful. Players will get to use a traditional revolver, shotgun and mini-gun, all of which have their own different range of effectiveness and spray radius. Other commonly used weapons like rocket launchers, grenades or even SMGs are nowhere to be found, which begs the question, WHY? If you are trying to imitate an industry leader, one would think that having a fully featured arsenal would be a high priority.

If you are looking for a mindless (pun intended) way to burn an hour or two, Zombie Crisis 3D should fit the bill quite nicely. As long as you can get past limited weaponry and a thin plotline, there should be plenty to sink your teeth into. If you can enjoy a good “B” movie or Zombie flick from time-to-time, this will be right up your undead alley.

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