Fans of zombie games aren’t exactly going to be unaware of the best undead-centric games and apps out there, which is why this app review isn’t going to try and condescend in any way, shape, or form. Instead, this review merely takes a look at Zombie Gunship – arguably one of the most refreshing and entertaining zombie survival titles on any of the app stores – and its unique perspective on the zombie-survival/zombie-killing genre. This fresh perspective is a literal one as you’re mowing down zombies from the air in the gunship that is referenced in the game’s title. So forget the comparatively mild-mannered Plants Vs. Zombies for a second, and dare to discover a much gorier and more realistic portrayal of zombie survival viewed from a completely unique perspective.
Zombie Gunship’s gameplay is pretty easy to get to grips with. Forget having to remember any complicated control assignments – dominating is as easy as tapping a few on-screen buttons. The gameplay itself involves looking through the crosshair camera of a hovering gunship, with the aim being to eliminate all of the zombies on the ground before they overrun the places you’re meant to be protecting. You also need to avoid killing civilians as well since this will result in you failing the mission.
Using the on-screen options, you simply tap between a wide view and the variety of weapons you will eventually come to possess as you grind for (or purchase) your in-game currency. The on-screen “Fire” button will allow you to fire whichever weapon you have selected, raining lead-based punishment on the zombies below in scenes that aren’t dissimilar to the AC-130 Call of Duty sections.
There’s something very gritty and militaristic about the nature of Zombie Gunship’s gameplay. Aside from the obviously military-related fact that the whole thing plays from the perspective of a military gunship, you’ve also got a grainy aesthetic to add to the realism, as well as a lack of dramatic music. Further slamming home the realism is the delay between firing your weapon and the bullets making contact with the zombies.
Other realistic concerns also dictate the speed and efficiency with which you are able to dispatch your zombie foes. Initially, your gun overheats rather quickly which forces you to work with short bursts until you are able to upgrade your weapons and attain new ones using the in-game currency. You start with a standard 25mm cannon but are able to upgrade to a 45mm and finally a ridiculously powerful 105mm beast. The weapon upgrades essentially give you incentive to maintain a keen interest in the game, with no small amount of encouragement for you to buy some currency with your actual money.
Though you’ve got a gunship on your side, don’t let your distance from the enemy or your superior hardware lure you into a false sense of security. The hordes of zombies become more difficult to put down as you make progress and upgrade your weapons. There are more difficult creatures to put down than the standard, run-of-the-mill zombie as well, which are better taken care of with your upgraded weapons rather than the standard gattling gun.
Limbic Software – the game’s developer – were sure to make the entire experience as authentic as possible in terms of presentation and its similarity to real-life gunship views. The whole game is presented with a largely black-and-white theme and the footage that comes from the gun cam is grainy in the style of the night-vision cameras you will often see watching over war zones in modern news footage of these mighty pieces of military hardware.
The sound effects in the game coalesce wonderfully with the authentic-looking aesthetic as well. Don’t expect any dramatic soundtrack or wacky sound effects here. The muffled buzz of the gattling gun as you fire off burst shots is exquisite, as is the chugging of the gunship itself and the occasional sound of general military chatter over the radio. It all coalesces to produce an experience that is quite far from the broad-audience targeting of games like Plants Vs. Zombies Online, for example.
What you’ve got in Zombie Gunship is a zombie survival game played from an aerial perspective, coming at you with a gritty and realistic aesthetic and demonstrating that not all zombie survival games have to be the same. A unique and addictive little app that shines a little brighter than most in collections like those found at www.zombieapps.net, Zombie Gunship is a tantalising title that remains popular in the App Store to this day.