Much like a cinema buff will look down his nose at the latest Michael Bay blockbuster, the world of video games has its set of gamers who look for much more than “leave your brains at home” entertainment. But Dead Trigger 2 is not meant for such gamers. And perhaps we should all be a little glad about that.
Developer Madfinger Games has made the sequel to one of the best mobile zombie-shooters easily accessible for the casual gamer and broken it down into bite-sized chunks. Indeed, it seems like a lot of thought was given to the fact that this is a mobile game first and a first person shooter second — most games in this category are the other way around.
Keep It Simple, Stupid
In my opinion, smartphones aren’t inherently a platform meant for immersion—one of the important aspects in premium game design. Think about it this way: if you were to watch a film like Gravity on a small mobile screen, it wouldn’t impact you the way watching it on the big screen does. Dead Trigger 2 takes note of this limitation of mobile gaming and follows the old mantra of “Keep it simple, stupid.” While this may be a downer for the serious gamer, it’s perfect for the casual mobile gamer. Hey, when it’s a video game about shooting zombies in a post-apocalyptic world, that’s all you need to know.
You band together with the “Resistance” to rid the planet of the zombie infestation. Your motley crew is made up of a medic, a gunsmith, an engineer, a scientist and a smuggler. In the game, you’ll earn money by killing zombies, with which you can ask your crew to build you stuff like better guns, painkillers and suicidal dynamite-strapped chickens! Again, the ridiculousness of such items is welcome. Dead Trigger 2 isn’t about realism, it’s about having fun.
These weapons are unlocked as part of the game. Some of the zombies you kill will drop blueprints; collect all the blueprints for a weapon like the Ithaca shotgun and your gunsmith will build it.
Apart from money, you have to earn Gold, which can be used to upgrade your crew so they can build you better weapons. Dead Trigger 2 is a freemium game and buying gold is one of the way it makes money. But you can also earn a lot of gold for free with in-game tie-ups. Complete small tasks like installing an app or buying a domain from one of Madfinger Games’ partner and you will be rewarded with a heap of gold. It’s a nice way for developers to earn money and keep games free without forcing the user to buy items.
Pick Up & Play
Your quest starts in the USA, going from city to city and taking out zombies. Like other shooters, the first Dead Trigger — which is one of the best games on Android and iPhone — made you control your movement from a virtual trackpad on the left, while you could aim your cursor from the right half of the screen and shoot with a virtual trigger button. Dead Trigger 2 reimagines and simplifies the controls: the left half is for movement, the right half is for aiming. When your gun locks on to a zombie, it auto-fires. While this might seem like an annoying way of playing for the serious gamer, it’s the most fantastic first person implementation I’ve seen for casual mobile gamers.
The zombies come in a wide variety, from slow-moving men and women of the undead to special ones like the Kamikaze who will blow up close to you, the Scientist who emits harmful radiation and the Berserker who charges at you like a bull. Plus there are bosses like the giant zombie you will encounter in Africa.
The levels are kept short, and in an ingenious implementation, you can select the skill setting for each level. After playing Dead Trigger 2, I wonder why more console games haven’t adopted this; they always make you choose your skill setting for the whole game, not a particular one for each level. Madfinger instead tells you to select Easy, Normal or Hard and rewards you with money accordingly.
And there is enough variety in the levels too. At times, you’ll be manning a heavy gun in a helicopter or protecting your base and ensuring the zombies don’t get beyond a certain point. The sniper levels were my favourite, where after targeting and firing, you can even control your bullet mid-air with some after-touch. Once you are done with the story mode, there are lots of side missions to keep you entertained, in addition to the periodic updates Madfinger pushes out to extend the gameplay.
I loved the old Dead Trigger, but I would never play it when I wanted a quick stress-buster — the control system and the intensity made it a serious game. Dead Trigger 2 changes that entirely and I find myself playing a quick level while waiting for someone or on a short commute.
Looks Great, Sounds Ok
No two ways about it—Dead Trigger 2 is as beautiful as games get on mobile. The amount of detailing that Madfinger has put in makes it a game that could rival what you got on a lot of games on the Xbox 360 and PS3 when they first came out. In short? It looks spectacular and while video games look better on consoles, you wouldn’t be disappointed if you played this one on a big screen.
The audio is perhaps the only disappointing aspect of the game for me. For a zombie first-person shooter, Dead Trigger 2 never quite got the horror part right—and that usually comes in with sound. It’s partly a problem with the platform itself, since a mobile game can’t give you that deep thumping bass which sets your heart racing and makes you afraid of peeking around the corner. But with Madfinger reimagining all the other aspects to make them more mobile-friendly, it’d have been good if they thought about this too. Instead, Dead Trigger 2 sounds like any other shooter on mobile.
Should You Get It?
I would have recommended Dead Trigger 2 as a must-download even if it was priced at $10. Considering it’s free, you’d be crazy not to download this fantastic game. If you are a serious gamer, you should be prepared to be a little disappointed and maybe not even enjoy it as much. But if what you’re looking for is a fun action shooter that is great for a quick, casual game, then it doesn’t get better than Dead Trigger 2.
It’s definitely making it to our list of the best games on iPhone and Android.
Have you tried Dead Trigger 2? Do you approve of the changes? Let us know what you think in the comments, below this post.