To date, the GO Series has been a bit of a mixed bag, ranging from the disappointingly average GO Series: Pinball Attack! to the brilliant dungeon-crawling puzzler PicDun. As such, it's understandable that one might be sceptical of the latest title in the series, GO Series: Undead Storm. We're pleased to report, though, that this is one zombie apocalypse you won't want to be left out of.
The story is as such: the dead are rising from their graves, and you must shoot them. It's a simple concept upon which to hang a fun single-player experience, and an absolutely stellar multiplayer one. Up to four people can join in the campaign for survival, and it's definitely worth assembling a full team as you'll need all the help you can get.
There are four characters to choose from, and they fall into their expected archetypes: the woman, the old man, the fat guy and the good-looking youthful one that everybody will fight over being. It won't take gamers long to notice distinct — and deliberate — similarities to the acclaimed Left 4 Dead series and, indeed, Undead Storm plays like a simplified, portable adaptation of those games.
For each campaign you can choose one of three scenarios to play through, and you'll also be able to choose from three difficulty settings. The scenarios each offer a different map and final boss, and the difficulty settings affect both the strength of your adversaries and the number of items available to help you along. Survive enough waves of the undead and you'll be plopped into a new area with a big, dangerous boss.
In single player mode you'll have to find your companions and help them survive. In multiplayer, it's every man for himself, and it's up to you whether or not to work together as a team. Post-level summaries provide different statistics of all kinds, including how many healing items were used, how many of each enemy type were defeated and how much damage was dealt to bosses. Because of this, it's easy to compete with your friends in unconventional ways, and that just adds to the fun.
There's really very little fault to find with Undead Storm, but that doesn't mean the entire game is as smooth as it could be. For starters, the visuals are fairly muddy and unattractive, but once the excitement of the game gets going, you'll notice this much less. The controls, as well, are responsive, but many gamers might find the default turning controls — requiring presses of the L and R buttons — awkward, and it would be nice to have an alternate control scheme for that reason.
The game also contains a large number of achievements to unlock, which does of course add to the replay value, but it can also become irritating: we unlocked nearly ten of them in a single playthrough without realising it, and then had to sit through that many individual announcement screens congratulating us. It slows down what could otherwise be a faster-paced experience when you and your group of friends wants to get on and play another level.
Those are all more irritations than they are complaints, and the large variety of weapons and endless potential for replay far outweigh them. Undead Storm might be a relatively mindless shooter by design, but it's also a very fun one that pulls you in and doesn't easily let go. For single players it's fun enough, but for groups of people looking for a great time waster, Undead Storm is a must buy.
GO Series: Undead Storm is, simply, a steal. Frantic, fast-paced four-player action, copious achievements and three levels of difficulty come together to make this an experience worth replaying many times. While those who would prefer to strategise their way out of a zombie apocalypse might feel a little bit left out by this game's rain-of-gunfire approach to problem solving, it's difficult not to get seduced by the simple, frenzied fun. Some minor gameplay niggles are present, but the experience is more than worth the price of admission.