Aug 1, 2012
Dead Trigger is Madfinger’s first entry into the first-person shooter market â€“ though, yeah, yeah, Shadowgun was a third-person shooter, same difference. Much like how Shadowgun draws inspiration from Gears of War and other cover shooters, Dead Trigger feels inspired by Call of Duty’s Zombies mode, along with Left 4 Dead. The player loads up for bear, and uses their armament to take out endless waves of zombies. Some missions involve killing a number of zombies, or surviving for a certain amount of time, or collecting a variable number of MacGuffins to complete the mission. In general, the rule is: the zombies have to die before the player, or whatever they’re protecting, does.
While there was a controversy that flared up after the game went to be entirely free-to-play, it is obvious that the game was intended to be ready for such a shift. In particular, the game likes to recommend weapons that are available just out of the player’s reach, some of which are much easier to obtain once money has been spent on in-app purchases. Now, I will say that the lowest level IAP are a good value: 200 gold for $0.99 buys a good weapon early on along with an upgrade, and $0.99 for 40,000 Dead Dollars (that’s not the actual name of the currency, but it’s what I’m calling it) is a fine chunk of change to do some damage with. So, while free players may find the progression curve of the game somewhat difficult, even tossing just a dollar or two in helps out.
The game looks absolutely amazing on a Tegra 3 device; lighting is in full effect, there’s additional graphical details, and it just looks all kinds of wonderful Madfinger know how to make a shiny-looking game. The visceral joy of watching zombies get blown up into tiny chunks, especially with a powerful shotgun, is an allure too powerful to resist.
However, like the Call of Duty Zombies that Dead Trigger takes inspiration from, the game can become tedious. A zombie is a zombie, no matter how many little variations there are, they still are mindless sauntering beasts, wandering around for brains because they have none. It’s just repetitive going after the same types of enemies over and over again, except some are slightly faster and some spit, yadda yadda yadda. At least the levels are small enough, and the goals simple enough, to where it becomes a quick experience. I grew bored of Call of Duty Zombies on the console because sessions lasted too long â€“ this is less involved, yet more interesting.
While the game’s going to have more mileage for players who don’t mind spending money in free to play games, and aren’t sick of the zombie craze yet, there is definitely some enjoyment to be had here.