ApocZ Is set within a Zombie Apocalypse covering 4 square miles of Ukraine on the Black Sea. It’s an open world sandbox with the ability to switch between First and Third Person instantly. Bordered by ‘Deadly Radiation Zones’ you must hunt for weapons, food and water to survive this deadly environment.
On top of this ApocZ can be played in local mode or online with up to 16 players PvP and PvE, making it a deadly mix whilst you attempt to survive the hordes of 2000 zombies which spawn when the level is generated.
“A Zombie Apocalypse covering 4 square miles of Ukraine on the Black Sea.”
Moving onto first impressions, ApocZ started up and left us with a classic ‘Press Start’ initialization whilst upbeat music played on in the background. We were slightly disappointed there was no reward for pushing start in the form of a loud bass hum, but never mind. Our first look at the main menu offered Xbox Live, Local Survival, Set Character, Survival Guide and Other Games.
Immediately we attempted to set our character, allowing us to switch between skin colours but not sex..sorry ladies! We then changed our shirt and trousers through a small selection of colours.
Once done, we saved our character and set off into the world of Xbox Live.
“Welding an axe and avoiding hordes of zombies.”
First things first, ApocZ is still in Peer-Review and isn’t ready for release, so some parts of ApocZ are still buggy / missing / incomplete. We noticed the zombies first, of course! Being a zombie survival game that’s what you expect and within seconds we were running for our lives welding an axe and avoiding hordes of zombies in the town centre. We noticed there were quite a few players online and decided to avoid them as they didn’t seem too friendly, running down the street we passed another player driving a pick-up truck away from a small horde of zombies. Vehicles can be found but normally need repairing to be any use, for example missing tyres and needing fuel.
After getting backed into a corner exploring the surrounding buildings we had to fight our way out and took on some hefty damage, the health system is laid out into 3 sections: Blood, Water and Food which are weighed out of 100. Blood is your replacement for HP and it lowers when you’re attacked or low on Food/Water, getting hit by a zombie will also make you bleed constantly decreasing your amount of blood until you patch up using a bandage.
Your Food and Water decrease over time but sprinting really makes a difference on your water over a short period of time, these levels can be restored using items such as Painkillers and Canteens.
The inventory system is quite handy; you have a slot based system that is restricted depending on your equipment. For example you can only hold 12 items, but if you find a backpack you can then hold up to an additional 20 items depending on your backpacks size. Killing another player allows you to view their dropped items and collect them, or you can try to find items which spawn randomly in the environment.
Of course defence is a big issue in your given position, you start with an Axe and can use your fists but this will only get you so far so firearms spawn randomly some of those are Pistols, Shotguns and Assault Rifles. If you manage to find these you then have to find ammo which is scarce, so fingers of triggers.
Oh and by the way, this game has a day and night cycle. That’s right; you start ApocZ in the morning of Day 1, in less than half an hour later you will be plunged into darkness with nothing but a glimmer of light from your belt torch hoping that the zombies you can hear but can’t see aren’t heading your way. When darkness falls you better be in a safe place as zombies become immensely difficult as we explored the environment running straight into the centre of a horde! We didn’t survive.
Lastly in the form of gameplay you of course want to save your progress, you can find tents in the environment which you use as a save point. Prop one up in the environment and store your gear inside, but position it well as other players can raid your tent if they find it and will leave you with nothing.
SEARCH – COLLECT – SURVIVE
So that’s the aim of the game, and we found that quite enjoyable even though we encountered some bugs and annoying little niggles which will be fixed in the near future. It’s still playable in its current stage and playing online was good fun as we stuck around in the dark murdering fellow players for their goodies.
Overall this is a good game; we enjoyed it very much and could see the online feature being good fun with friends. We decided to break ApocZ down into 6 areas before awarding it with an overall score.
Those areas are as follows:
Graphics – 6 – OK, a lot of buildings and zombies are repeated.
Environment – 8 – Vast environment, took a long time to explore.
Gameplay – 8 – Good fun, but you need people to play with.
Sounds – 5 – Sounds were limited, no soundscapes. Sounds far away were very loud.
AI –7 – Zombies chased and attacked you well, but their view distance was too low and you could run away easily making them give up the chase, although they seemed to respond to the sound of gunfire which was a big surprise.
Controls – 8 – Controls are basic and work well, only part we didn’t like is the vehicles camera is inverted.
Overall we decided to give ApocZ a score of:
With many improvements and patches to come, we hope to return to ApocZ in the future to see how it has improved, the potential is there and we hope the developers manage to succeed. It’s definitely worth a go and even more so if you can play against friends, Good luck!
You can find ApocZon the Xbox 360 marketplace here.
ApocZ Website here
ApocZ Dev Twitter here