Zombie Shooter is an isometric single-player shooter, pitting the player against hordes of infected and mutated creatures. Three game modes allow the monsters to be defeated through use of current-day and futuristic weaponry. The game advertises the potential for almost unlimited enemies on a map, and hundreds on screen at once.
Despite the isometric viewpoint (which cannot be rotated), the player can freely move and fire in any direction. The game features a vast amount of destruction, though most is cosmetic - bullet casings, bloodstains and corpses remain until a map is left, and many items from chairs to computers to the requisite crates and explosive barrels can be destroyed. Enemy AI is fairly simplistic with difficulty coming from pure strength and quantity.
Set across ten levels, the campaign sends the player into the scientific laboratory that caused the outbreak. They travel through the complex, eventually finding and destroying the "nidus of infection" before defeating a gigantic monstrous creature apparently in control of the zombie hordes. Objectives usually need to be completed before exiting a level (such as reactivating power generators or blowing a hole in a barrier). Levels contain finite numbers of zombies that give experience and money when killed, which can be spent on upgrades and equipment between levels.
Despite the title of the game, the only mention of 'zombies' is in the description for a single level in the campaign. The enemies are otherwise usually referred to as 'monsters' or 'enemy units'.
Instead of a laboratory, the player faces off against waves of enemies in a grassy field. An abandoned, unusable vehicle on a road passing through the center and several ruins provide the only obstacles. With no upgrade shop available, limited upgrades and ammunition are provided by killed enemies, with occasional bosses dropping more powerful weapons. The quantity and difficulty of enemy waves increases continually with the game ending when the player is killed.
The player controls a stationary (but aim-able) minigun turret with infinite ammunition somewhere in the laboratory, with enemies continually approaching from surrounding corridors. The game ends when the turret is destroyed by enemies - since immobility makes it impossible to dodge ranged attacks, a ring of destructible barriers initially blocks enemies from reaching the turret but does not impede the gun's attacks. Kills contribute to a separate meter which, when filled, allows a 'nuke' attack that instantly kills all enemies on-screen. Like Survival, the number and difficulty of spawned enemies increases over time, with enemy speed also increasing.
At the beginning of the campaign, the player is able to select from male or female character sprites - the male starts with higher health and power, and the female with higher speed and accuracy, but otherwise both are functionally identical. The game provides unusually detailed if irrelevant backstories for each character:
- Male: "Drake McMannis", 28 years old. Heir to a family fortune, Drake never worries about money, spending whatever he had on bling-bling, car rims and video games. Having watched thousands of hours of war movies he took his knowledge of weaponry and put it to good use in the army. He has a natural talent for anything weapons-related, and his accuracy is near-legendary among his peers.
- Female: "Sammy Swearengen", 23 years old. Sammy is young, fast, and dangerous. She grew up in a tough neighbourhood (Scottsdale, Arizona), went to a rough school (St. Joseph's Prepatory School), and hung out with a tough crowd (after school Bible study). As a result, she's learned to maneuver herself with the grace of an athlete to avoid punishments meted out by angry nuns.
You need to unblock the entrance to the underground section of the laboratory and find out what caused the catastrophe.
The player explores a carpark/storage area outside the laboratory entrance. They find and reactivate the generators, and then proceed inside. Small groups of infected rats and dogs are barely threatening.
Zombie hordes inhabit the lab office territory. Your goal is to make your way to underground levels and eliminate the nidus of infection.
The player fights through offices and underground storage areas, switching on a transformer to get through several unpowered doors. The offices are filled with the employees, now transformed into the undead.
It seems that people blocked all the office doors, trying to save their lives. But you need to get out...
A concrete hallway leading outside is blocked off with several makeshift barriers. The player blows a shortcut through with dynamite, and then switches on another transformer to power the exit, accidentally releasing a group of armed undead soldiers.
Now you've made your way out of the office rooms. But the Nidus of infection is somewhere on the underground levels, probably. The only way to get there is through the vent shaft.
Returning to the surface, the player finds themselves in a walled-off, heavily damaged area of the base. With the exit blockaded and inaccessible, the only option is for the player to destroy and then enter a large vent shaft, but has to fight hordes of powerful undead through destroyed buildings and fuel tanks to get there.
Intelligence reports that the vent shaft is flooded. You need to pump the water out to enter the laboratories.
You are on the laboratory guard post now. You need to unblock the doors to pass.
You are in the laboratory repair shop. The exit is blocked. You need to find the control room and unlock the doors.
Intelligence reports that you are entering the firing ground, so get prepared for the battle!
The player takes remote control of a mounted gun firing explosive rounds to defeat a vast horde of enemies. (Unlike Gun Stand, this gun is indestructible and does not attract enemy attention, and the player can enter and exit control of it at any time.)
You have reached the laboratory which develops various mutagens. Now you need to find and destroy all the capsules with the virus, which itself is the nidus of infection.
You struggled out of the laboratory and eliminated the nidus of infection. But now you will face the final battle...
The player fights through relatively small hordes before reaching a battleground where they face off against the final boss. Theoretically it would be possible to defeat it with normal weapons, but the player is meant to use a triggerable electric arc to hurt and kill it. (This electricity is instantly fatal to all other creatures, including the player.) The boss summons other undead when hurt, making this the only level with infinite enemies, but these do little to impede the player and instead are a source of health and other pickups.
The game never officially names or explains any of the enemies featured in the game, so the titles here are just descriptive.
- Rat/dog: Small and fast, but weak and easy to kill. No ranged attack. They look oversized but otherwise normal.
- Civilian: Normal humans in various stages of decay. Very slow and easy to outrun or outmaneuver, but often found in groups. No ranged attack.
- Soldier: An infected soldier, retaining their armor and weapon, and dangerous at any range. Once 'killed' (for the second time?), tentacles burst out from their chest and they rush at high speed, but are no longer able to use their gun.
- Grenade/Rocket soldier: An oversized, musclebound humanoid, covered with armor and using powerful weaponry. Relatively weak compared to their size and strength, and slow to turn, they are actually less dangerous at close range. A later version uses an alternate 'plasma' grenade.
- Abomination: A freakishly tall and thin skinless humanoid creature. Its long limbs provide high speed and reach, making up for a lack of ranged attack.
- Dark abomination: A black/purple variant of the abomination, capable of firing small projectiles that are individually weak but travel quickly and can track the player.
- Spitter: A woman, essentially harmless until killed or they reach the player, at which point they transform into a creature that spits explosive biological material at the player. Implied to be subjects that were experimented on by the scientists.
- Final boss: An enormous creature, armed with a beam weapon and capable of summoning hordes of 'lesser' undead when injured. Vastly strong, but with a particular weakness toward electricity.
The player has four skills, each with ten upgrades. Points to upgrade skills are earned by gaining levels (otherwise not counted within the game), which are gained from gathering experience, which in turn is gained by killing enemies and finding hidden collectibles.
- Health - increases maximum/initial health
- Power - increases the amount of ammunition that can be carried
- Speed - increases movement speed (turning speed for aiming is effectively instant)
- Accuracy - decreases spread of weapon fire
While the first three are unequivocally better, some weapons with damage radii actually perform better against large crowds (a more common situation than single enemies) at lower accuracy, as it decreases overlap of the impact points.
The player is capable of carrying a small inventory of tools. With the exception of lights, these are used automatically when appropriate. Similarly, with the exception of Lives, only one of each kind can be carried.
- Armor: Three variants are available, each more protective and expensive than the last. Oddly, the descriptions for the latter two make reference to extraterrestrial technology. Armor can be found in most levels, but can only be picked up if the player's worn armor is of a weaker type or very damaged. Armor is discarded after each level, regardless of damage.
- Green Armor: $200, 100 HP, 50% reduction
- Yellow Armor: $600, 200 HP, 70% reduction
- Red Armor: $1500, 300 HP, 90% reduction
- Life: $1500+. Allows the player to continue the level after death instead of restarting entirely. A maximum of 5 can be carried at once.
- Flashlight: $20. Lights a small area in front of the player in the direction they are facing. Lasts indefinitely.
- Night vision: $150. Brightens the entire screen, at the cost of a green tint. Lasts indefinitely and has no penalty for use in bright areas.
- Rescue bag: $1800. Restores the player's health upon death and provides temporary invulnerability without any gameplay interruption.
- Battle drone: An automated defense system that hovers near the player and automatically attacks nearby enemies. It is fairly weak, can be destroyed separately from the player, and can't be repaired or replaced during a level. Due to a glitch, the drone is capable of moving through otherwise-solid walls and attacking unreachable enemies, but usually can be attacked by them in turn and quickly destroyed.
Most items (except drones) can be found and then used for free within levels, though are often hidden. In particular, despite the player starting with the unusual amount of $220 and having little to buy but the flashlight, it can be found for free on the first level. The player can also carry dynamite to 'solve' several level objectives, but this is always present on the map when necessary.
Each weapon has three upgrade levels that increase various weapon statistics (a very small number of these can be found hidden in levels, but most can only be bought). With the exception of the pistols, weapons and ammunitions must be collected or bought before use.
- 9mm pistols: The player uses two, firing one in each hand. The weakest weapon, but with a decent rate of fire and unlimited ammunition.
- Shotgun: A slow rate of fire, but with multiple pellets each shot.
- Grenade launcher: A relatively slow, short-range projectile but the first with a considerable damage radius. Grenades explode on impact, but don't harm the player.
- Minigun: A high rate of fire, but individual bullets are weak.
- Rocket launcher: Unlike those of the enemy, rockets fired by the player travel in straight lines. Can hit targets off-screen. Not especially fast.
- Disk launcher: Fires circular saw blades that can pass through almost unlimited numbers of enemies, but only along a narrow path. Can bury themselves in walls but purely as a cosmetic effect. Enemies are only hurt; there is no special 'cutting' animation or effect.
- Plasma minigun: A variant of the minigun that fires energy-based rounds that can ricochet. Slow rate of fire compared to the minigun, but much more powerful.
- Flame thrower: A very short-range weapon, but extremely damaging. The flames don't harm the player.
- Magma minigun: Described as 'the pinnacle of modern military small arms tech'; the most powerful weapon in the game.
|Weapon||Cost||Damage||Damage Radius||Firing Delay|
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista
- Processor: 400 MHz
- Memory: 128 MB
- Graphics: Direct3D compatible 3D graphics card with 32 MB RAM
- DirectX®: 8.1
- Hard Drive: 50 MB Free Space
- Sound: DirectSound compatible sound card