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Today Nihilistic Software Community Manager and Designer Mark Cooke has announced that a Zombie Apocalypse demo is available for PS3 via Sony's PlayStation Network.

To quote: Today on PSN a shambling mass of rotting corpses have appeared and are threatening the safety of the human race on Earth.

You can do your part to fight back the zombie hordes in our new game, Zombie Apocalypse, developed by [Register or Login to view links] and published by [Register or Login to view links]. For $9.99 you'll shoot loads of zombies with one to four players fighting cooperatively in an online enabled zombie kill fest.

When Nihilistic first sat down and thought about creating a downloadable title, we immediately wanted to do it in the horror genre. We've got a lot of zombie and horror fans here. Not to mention some hardcore fans of old-school shooters. Combining the two felt logical and Zombie Apocalypse was born.

Thematic inspiration was drawn primarily from classic zombie films of the 70s and 80s. Two films in particular are ZOMBIE (aka Zombi 2) by Lucio Fulci, and Nightmare City by Umberto Lenzi. The first level in Zombie Apocalypse is set in an airport which is a homage to Nightmare City. If you haven't heard of either of these films and don't mind some bad acting they are both incredible zombie gore fests. They are definitely not for the squeamish!

The game design was inspired primarily by two old-school shooters. The first was Robotron, a classic and innovator in the dual-stick shooter genre. In fact, the internal codename for Zombie Apocalypse during development was "Zombitron".

At the beginning of Zombie Apocalypse's development, we held an internal Robotron tournament to get prepared. The second was gamer favorite Smash TV. We built upon the gore and arena combat of Smash TV by adding environmental hazards into our arenas that will tear zombies to shreds, blow them up, or light them on fire when you blast zombies into them.

Zombie Apocalypse is all about survival and scoring big. When playing with friends either on the same console or online, the team is working toward a shared score. So to do well and hit the top of the leaderboards you've got to work together. Here are three PlayStation Blog-exclusive tips for hitting as high of a score as possible, applicable to either single or multiplayer:

- The survivor characters all have chainsaws that you can pull out at any time. Use the chainsaw to grapple by pressing and holding the L1 button to score an instant kill on a zombie and to increase your score multiplier by three. Just be careful to not use the attack in the middle of a group of zombies, as it leaves you vulnerable for a moment as it ends. Try to lead a lone zombie away from the group then chainsaw them in half.

- Make use of the environmental hazards. For example, blast zombies with your shotgun into the wood chipper in the Logging Camp level. Each hazard kill gives you an additional 5,000 points on top of the points you would have scored otherwise.

- Use the zombie bait grenade not just to kill a bunch of zombies but to lead them to environmental hazards to score more points. In the Graveyard level you can throw the bait into the open grave and then shoot zombies directly into it to put them back to rest and get your hazard bonus.

If you reach the point where you think you can easily handle a Zombie Apocalypse and want an even bigger challenge be sure to unlock Hardcore Mode, one of our six unlockable game modes. Hardcore Mode restricts each survivor to starting with just one life and no extra lives are granted. That means you've only got one chance to try to score big on the special Hardcore Mode leaderboard.

To unlock Hardcore Mode, complete seven consecutive days (missions) in the normal game mode without dying. Additional unlockable modes include Blackout Mode, where all the lights turn off except for one small light per player, and 7 Days of Hell Mode, where the survivors are tasked to survive through a week of sepia toned zombie mayhem.

So hit the store later today and get Zombie Apocalypse for PS3! But we are not just developers - we're givers too! So to celebrate the launch of Zombie Apocalypse we will be giving away 25 codes for the game on the PlayStation [Register or Login to view links].

But make sure you've read this post, as there might be little pop quiz via Twitter! So keep your eyes peeled to Twitter later today after our PlayStation Store Update goes live!

Hope to see you online fighting back the zombie invasion with me!

Zombie Apocalypse Demo Hits PS3 Today via PlayStation Network

Zombie Apocalypse Demo Hits PS3 Today via PlayStation Network

Zombie Apocalypse Demo Hits PS3 Today via PlayStation Network

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