It isn't exactly everyday that a zombie apocalypse happens, that is unless you are in the flash world that is. Zombies seem to be taking over in a big way amongst flash game circles, with titles such as 13 Days After: Survival offering up some first-person shooter action involving lots of guns and the undead advancing on your position.

Con Artist and Armor Games have always been busy providing us with some zombie-centric action of their own involving a variety of formats that made their 'Last Stand' series incredibly popular, and more importantly, unbelievably fun to play. The Last Stand: Union City signifies a culmination of all of the features that made the previous games so successful, with a change in format making it into an entirely new-feeling experience.

This time around, the gameplay is more detailed than ever, and the new side-scrolling and virtually free-roaming format makes it a fresh experience for previous players of the game. The main thing to remember is to survive, and you must do so by any means necessary.

The game plays much like any third-person shooter, though the action is a side-scrolling experience. You must use the directional arrows (or WASD keys) to move your character around and use the mouse to aim your crosshair, with mouse button 1 allowing you to fire your weapon or use your melee item.

There is a mechanic that requires you to break free from zombies if you happen to get grabbed by one: pressing the buttons indicated on screen will allow you to do this. The RPG element means that you gain experience as you kill your undead opponents, so you will strengthen and level up as you go, adding to whichever attributes you wish to improve in order to shape your character’s skills to your play style.

You must choose your character at the start of the game, and by this I mean you get to select from a considerable number of characters of different professions, each with their own particular advantages. The martial arts expert, for example, is extremely apt at close-quarters combat whereas muggers and firearms experts are of course better at using guns. Adding more variety and challenge to the gameplay is the ability to select your difficulty, which has been a feature in the ‘Last Stand’ games for quite some time. In this title, you can select between the simple ‘Run and Gun’ mode where you can breeze through the game fairly quickly without other considerations, or Survivor Mode where you must find food and get enough sleep in order to survive. This latter mode requires more strategy and is more for the player that has the time to become invested in deeper and more difficult experience.

The Last Stand: Union City is an experience that departs from its predecessors in a fairly dramatic manner, attempting to be a shoot-em-up mixed with an RPG at the same time. The game manages to make these styles blend fairly seamlessly, though the movement and the physics of the game in general do need a bit of work. This one is definitely going to please Last Stand fans and will certainly attract some new fans as well.