Published on October 10th, 2013 | by Jamie843031
Dead Effect Review
Summary: Screams quality!
Developed by inDev Brain and brought to you by Bulkypix, I play and review Dead Effect for iOS.
Like some of the best titles of its genre, this Sci-Fi FPS is essentially two games for the price of one. ( Not indifferent to a ‘BOGOF’ offer as we call them in the UK. )
While some First-Person Shooters give you Campaign and Multiplayer modes, available this time are Survival and Story missions. A ( sort of ) endless title and a game you can actually complete. ‘How novel?’, I thought.
Right now on this platform at least it seems.
I took a chance on purchasing Dead Effect at release solely on discovering the latter fact. Though I will continue to play the endless, at the time I was becoming overwhelmed, even lethargic to the avalanche of same games land-sliding onto the App Store and could not wait to escape in an adventure I would more likely get to play on my XBOX 360.
Which leads me nicely to the overly compared on mobile devices of late – console quality graphics. Credit where due by the end of the story you will no doubt come to appreciate how beautiful this game looks. From the variable AI, to the environment, from the lighting, to the blood splatter. A strange choice of words may be but… they are gorgeous! The only area I thought looked a bit weird was, upon launch the title is in portrait where of course after that point all else is presented in landscape. Despite my confusion of the reasoning behind that, it is difficult not to be inspired understanding Dead Effect was created by a two-man team! ( I later found it actually says five on the website, but still! )
So first thing’s first, you choose between two characters, don’t worry there are two available save slots and you can create two profiles so pick one now and then when you have finished you can start over with the other should you wish. Aside from their identities there do not appear to be any game changing differences, other than one picks up a shotgun early on and the other a machine gun, so it’s all down to personal preference as you can change your weapon of choice.
After that, at the main menu there are options to play Story or Survival, or continue or play certain missions you have unlocked if this is not your first time playing. Fully customisable control options are also available as are Help and Game Universe, where you can unlock content by collecting hidden orbs around the ship in-game. I missed these first time round and it took me a while to figure out what they were and how you actually collect them. Game Center integration is present too.
That’s the boring stuff out of the way, now the fun begins! You, an elite member of the Unit 13 wake up from inside a hibernation chamber aboard the E.S.S. Meridian, soon only to find all the other chambers are empty! Where is the crew? What has happened? Accompanied first only by the ship’s computer, then a stranger’s voice via intercoms ( oh and hordes of zombies ) you must survive long enough to find out what the heck is going on.
The campaign makes for an immersive story with a clever twist at the end you probably won’t see coming ( unless you stumbled upon a spoiler ) and would have made a brilliant film! These factors give the game depth and are a nice balance to the mind numbing albeit well done zombie shooter a-la Survival Mode.
There are no checkpoints as such, rather your progress is saved after every mission at which time you are also permitted to change your loadout by upgrading and purchasing weapons and replenishing ammo, using currency you find through exploration. Dropped ammunition can too be found on the floor or on crates and it’s worth checking lockers you encounter.
Though the lack of checkpoints add to the challenge, it is worth while seeking out and making use of Medi-Stations where you can regenerate your health. Occasionally you will also come across Upgrade Chambers where you can improve your characters abilities. You will also gain a slow-motion ability, which comes in handy in tight situations however it is limited and takes a little bit of time to fill again, so use it wisely.
It’s not all about shooting enemies and you will need you brain as well as your brawn. Interact with your environment, there are controls to hack, switches to flick and secrets to be found. You might get lost, maybe even stuck from time to time. There are a total of twelve campaign missions
with more than five hours of gameplay time in story mode. It feels the equivalent of a perfectly timed blockbuster movie in my opinion. It is not rushed, nor dragged out and the action begins from the offset to the credits. It is unlikely you will complete it a hundred percent first time also, which gifts replay value.
Five survival missions also await you, so here is where I will elaborate on the ‘sort of’ description mentioned earlier. Where as survival games usually entail you surviving for as long as possible and upon death you restart and attempt to beat your score. Dead Effect’s survival is timed missions and you only need to survive for the stated time ( until help arrives. ) Replayability and challenge aspects are not lost despite this as you will want to play again in an attempt to beat your previous score. The arenas are taken from sections of the craft you embark and become available progressively.
It is advisable you finish story mode at least once first before playing survival as weapons and upgrades you unlock and purchase there become available here. This not only adds to the fun but gives you different guns to experiment with.
At the end of each mission of both sets a results screen if you will pops up, giving you stats of results such as time taken, monsters killed and your accuracy. This information is really useful when it comes to deciding whether to replay the mission or continue.
Though the controls are fully customisable, I have yet to change them as I got used to and found the initial layout to work well. That being said it is nice to have the choice and some tweaking may be needed for your taste. Nonetheless they are some of the best virtual controls I’ve played with in any FPS on a touch screen. They are responsive, comfortable and do not obscure your vision. Not that I would not welcome the only thing lacking, feedback – should the developers support the upcoming Made for iPhone iOS7 controllers.
Almost forgot to mention the music and sound effects! Don’t forget your headphones! These make up a good proportion of the intense atmosphere you will experience playing this game.
There’s not much creepier than hearing the growling, grumbling and gurgling of a certain member of the undead behind you.
The shotgun blasts and reloading sounds replicate satisfyingly and the soundtrack sets the pace and the mood throughout. The voice-acting will no doubt raise a few giggles and provide balance.
Looking forward to the first update – it’s massive by the way! If you enjoy story-driven and/or First-Person Shooters on your PC/Mac or home console, but find the quality lacking on your mobile device, check this out – a must buy for your collection. Do not let the familiarities put you off this title as Bulkpix deliver something unique to the App Store with Dead Effect.
Official website: http://deadeffect.com/
iTunes preview: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/dead-effect/id670180265?mt=8