In most apocalyptic zombie games, the protagonist struggles to remember the days of peace and companionship that were wiped out by the plague, or the virus, or the latest dance craze, or whatever caused the dead to walk the earth. Similarly, iOS games like N.Y. Zombies 2 makes us struggle to remember when we got excited about zombie games. N.Y. Zombies 2 isn’t bad, but it gets frustrating — and content-wise, there’s little here that you haven’t seen before.
N.Y. Zombies 2 starts you off smack in the middle of a New York-based infestation. You don’t know the cause at first; perhaps Hell is standing-room only. Either way, there are zombies afoot, and they want your living brain. Your best option is guns, guns, guns, and maybe a blade or two.
While your journey is a lonely one at first, you quickly find survivors, though not all of them are in a great state of mental or physical health. You all need to band together and survive for as long as possible before becoming a plate of hors d’oeuvres.
Survival means blasting the zombie hordes into so many piles of rotting meat. You can go into battle wielding multiple weapons, and in fact your ability to do so is your key to success. Your weapons reload automatically but slowly, and while they’re doing so you need to switch to back-up in order to keep on fighting. Juggling your supply of ammunition with last-resort melee attacks takes some practice, especially when you’re first getting a feel for what’s right for you.
Luckily, you can upgrade your arsenal, and you can work on a skill tree. You constantly earn money (albeit slowly), even when you fail, and your bucks go back into buying new, more powerful weapons. Alternatively, you can upgrade what you have for a stronger blast or a quicker reload time.
The initial release of N.Y. Zombies 2 had some control issues, some of which have been alleviated with Foursaken’s 1.1 update. Once you line up your sights via the virtual thumbstick, you can tap anywhere to fire. It works for the most part, but it’s still very easy to get overwhelmed, especially a little later in the game when stray dogs, birds, and zombie firemen come out to get’chya. Despite the update, you still move a bit slowly — agonizingly slowly when it comes time to bend over and do something about that zombie dog that’s gnawing on your leg.
“Hey jerk, I hailed this cab first!”
Some of the zombies take a crazy amount of ammunition to kill. Worse, your zombie radar often decides to take the day off. You think you’re safe, but there are actually sixty million ghouls behind you, and they’ve all got you in their sights. Next thing you know, you’re up against a wall, and then you’re dead.
It would also be nice if the story was narrated through some in-game cinemas. Most of what’s going on is recorded in the player’s journal, which is all right, but in between levels you’re told, ‘Oh, by the way, the gruff veteran who was seemingly dependable went crazy and shot another member of the party, so we tied him up and left him to die.’ Gee, sounds like a good time. Too bad we missed it.
N.Y. Zombies 2 isn’t a poor game. It’s just average despite some very pretty (and gory) visuals. The zombies have no bite (pardon us) because you’ve seen them before. The story is fed to you in a way that’s underwhelming, and the gameplay chooses to turn the zombies into fodder instead of making them a nerve-wracking threat. Still, if you have room for seconds (thirds, fourths, fifths) of end-of-the-world zombie-shooting action, you may as well go to town with N.Y. Zombies 2.