Here’s a consideration for all of you: why stick with the browser version of a game when there is an improved version of the game for the mobile? The answer is simple: because the browser game is far more hardcore to play. Controls are tighter, the enemies swarm more, and the weapons are designed to specifically be effective but not too overpowering. Staying alive on those hellish multiplayer levels on the mobile is easy compared the playing the browser version of the game. But aside from providing a pretty good challenge for core gamers, SAS Zombie Assault 3 plays host to a pretty strong and active community of players who love the game.
SAS Zombie Assault 3 is a top down shooter where you play as a trained military agent who must survive against waves of enemy targets. The game provides various modes of play and is an excellent zombie shooter for those of you seeking a truly challenging game to indulge in. Visually, the graphics border on the line between crude and grotesque, which actually works well for the ambiance of a game like this. Despite the massive mayhem, figuring out where you are and what you are doing is not that hard – as long as you stay away from the mountain of corpses that you will eventually pile up all over the stage.
The Twin Stick Shooter
Most of you are already familiar with this style of gameplay, but for the benefit of those who may have never had the chance to do so here is the lowdown: the game uses two main control inputs, a directional from the left and a directional from the right (in this case, left directions are the keyboard controls, while the right directions is your mouse cursor). The left controls your movement across the stage map. The right determines where you are shooting. This control layout makes strafing and kiting (running backwards while shooting) easier and more intuitive (it makes combat more intuitive -which is good for a game like SAS Zombie Assault 3).
Now that that’s out the way, here’s what to expect: hordes and hordes of enemies. The waves in single player mode will be massive and somewhat overwhelming, but ultimately, once you get the hang of deciding which guns work best with your play style, they are manageable (though don’t expect to finish entire stages without taking some serious damage). The multiplayer mode however is basically a survival game: dying is inevitable, the challenge is in staying alive for as long as you can. In both modes, the twin-stick setup works amazingly well.
Learning the Map
The key to surviving in this game is in knowing the layout of the maps. This will mean dying a few times with trial and error, but once you know which corridors lead to dead ends, which ones are likely to have ammunition or gun spawns, where the entrances are, and which ones you should barricade first, it all becomes a matter of having routes and playing them to your strengths. Those who choose to equip heavy weapons with high damage but slower movement are best holed up in spaces that will not leave the back open to zombie flanking. Those who like running around are better off with weapons that quickly cut small paths through mobs and plenty of running space (shotguns are pretty good at this). It all becomes a matter of making the most out of the location.
Playing Well with Others
The game’s online mode is fully cooperative, so there is really now point trying to out-score the other players. The main goal is to survive for as long as you can. While you could initially hole in a defensible position during the first few waves, eventually (once the really big tough zombies appear), you will have to get on the move.
The best strategy comes from allowing the slowest player to take the lead in terms of direction and where to go. The rest of the team should concentrate on thinning out the crowd in the direction of the advance while the others should lay down suppressive fire to slow down the chasing hordes. It is not an easy thing to accomplish, but as most of the players in the online community are quite well-behaved, expect to have a pleasant multiplay experience in this game.
Since data is hosted online, you can pretty much enjoy SAS Zombie Assault anywhere you go (as long as you have internet access of course). Earning credits will allow you to buy weapons and ammunition -access to which is limited to your rank. To increase your rank, simply play the game. Playing will earn you experience points which in turn, will increase your rank.
Having a Good Rig
While it is possible to play SAS Zombie Assault 3 on a regular netbook, we highly discourage it. Some modes will be intensive in terms of onscreen content, and the last thing you need is hardware slowdown messing with your gameplay. Take the time to load up this game on a computer with a decent amount of RAM so that you will not have any technical problems while playing. Of course, the added smoothness of animations and better rendering of Flash elements is also a big plus.
Know Your Undead
There are a large range of zombies in SAS Zombie Assault, and while it would take a lot of time to cover them all, here’s the basic lowdown. Enemies have three basic attributes: speed, health, and damage. Regardless of a zombie’s shape or size, the amount of danger they actually pose relies on these three attributes. Some would argue that some zombie have higher aggro than the others -this is actually more a case of speed. Higher speed zombies seem to have more aggro than the much slower ones.
The idea here is to pinpoint your gameplay strengths: how you play and what gun you prefer to use. Players with really slow guns should focus on tough enemies while maneuvering in such a way those smaller targets do not bog you down. Those who have fast firing weapons may want to thin out the zombies by taking out the weaker ones first. That being said; do not concentrate on just having one single weapon. Learn to know when switching out weapons is a good tactic: it may very well be the difference between life and death.
While we definitely enjoy playing SAS Zombie Assault 3, there is a lot to be said about the game’s overall delivery (do note that these are mostly details in the browser version, some of these have been address in the HD mobile release of the game).
First off, a still existing problem: the art style. The game looks like it was created in the early days of flash. And while the user interface is pretty to look at, the actual game itself could use a lot of visual reworking. The heavy lines and overly contrasting colors are a dated look. With the depth of gameplay that this game provides, it could sure use a lot of graphical polishing.
Second is the audio. While the sound effects are decent, for the most part, they sound pretty off. The gunshots, explosions, and even the enemy creature dying effect all seem like they were obviously recorded with props; the sound bites can certainly use a bit of re-recording for better quality.
The game’s background narrative is sketchy, but it does try to create a link between all the previous Zombie Assault games. It works in the general sense that there is a background story going on, but as for actually being something paying attention to, it isn’t. The overall gameplay is not affected by the narrative at all.
In the End..
If you like challenging twin-stick shooters (or would at least like to experience playing one), then it is hard to go wrong with SAS Zombie Assault 3. In fact, until SAS Zombie Assault 4 actually comes out, this game ought to fill your zombie-shooting needs. While the graphics and sounds are not the best you will find on the browser, they work well enough to deliver a solid game with addictive play mechanics. And take it from us: enjoyable gameplay will easily outdo great delivery any day. The online multiplayer feature is action packed and challenging while the single player mode is engaging and a good way to hone your skills.