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Big Z avatar 3:36 PM on 05.06.2008  (server time)
Z-View Review Double Header: The Last Stand 1 & 2

Do you like zombies? Do you like flash games? If youíve answered yes to either or both of these questions but havenít played The Last Stand, Iíve got one more question: What are you waiting for?

The body count only gets higher.

In The Last Stand you play a nameless protagonist who has built himself a fortified defense zone amidst a hell of zombies. Survive the night with your quick, accurate trigger finger and repair your barrier or search for weapons and survivors while the daylight lasts. When the sun goes down again the land belongs to the ravenous deadÖ

Find them, use them, stay alive.

Fortunately, our protagonist is anything but helpless. Though you will begin the game with nothing but a 9mm handgun, you can search for more powerful armaments during the day. While he is every bit as deadly accurate as you are against the unliving hordes, finding more powerful weapons is crucial to the protagonistís survival, and he employs weapons such as the AK-47 and the iconic chainsaw to fight for his life until help can arrive.
The game never feels like a slog or overwhelmingly difficult, and there is something to be said for the pure satisfaction I feel when a zombieís head explodes like a ripe melon being struck with a sledgehammer. Balancing your daylight hours is essential to beating the game. On your own you can only repair 5 points of the barricadeís health per hour, and it will take you much longer to find weaponry than if you had allies. With a little thought put into it youíll be cutting a bloody swathe through the living dead in no time and loving every second of it. The game is a triumph, and Iím tempted to say it simply doesnít get any better than this. I would, however, be wrong; thereís a sequel.

Oh yes, there will be blood.

Having thought the danger was over, the protagonist is rescued by the army and carried from his safe zone by helicopter. But someone on board has been bitten, and the helicopter crashes in Glendale, a small city. Months go by, and the radio announces a last-ditch evacuation effort taking place in distant Union City. Forty days are all you can spare before the ships and planes depart. After thatÖ well, letís not think about it. Your journey to Union City and true survival begins.

New to The Last Stand 2 are traps you can find scattered throughout each map. Propane gas tanks, bear traps, and landmines may be placed in front of your barricade as you select your weapons for the night, aiding you in your fight for survival. I donít feel they make or break the game, as the difficulty seems to be on par with the original, but they can be handy when you need that extra punch to get rid of a dense crowd.

Search for allies, supplies, and weapons anywhere you think you can find them.

Just like in The Last Stand, you will allot your twelve daylight hours towards repairing your barricade, searching for weapons, and looking for survivors as you see fit. Each town or city is different, however. Some provide a stronger barricade than others as you fend for your life at night while others have more supplies than guns or survivors. This adds a bit of variety to the game and further serves to keep it from outstaying its welcome.

Itís a race against time! Union City or bust!

With a time limit in mind and ravenous hordes of the living dead around every corner, youíll be hard pressed not to feel the pressure mounting as the days tick by and you inch ever closer to Union City. If you liked the concept of the first game but found it monotonous, The Last Stand 2 will not do much to dissuade you from being bored to tears. If you enjoyed shooting zombies in their rotting faces with a wide variety of guns and managing your time wisely between evenings, the sequel has this in spades with new additions that add to the experience.

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