Dead Effect is on the growing list of games migrating from mobile devices into PC gaming and more. Initially released for iOS and Android in September 2013, the recent move to the PC brought considerable upgrades and improvements to the game. BadFly Interactive has crafted an interesting zombie shooter combining elements of an RPG with a fast-paced FPS.
Set in the future aboard a spaceship somewhere in the far reaches of the infinite blackness, you take on the role of one of two characters: either Grey, a member of the elite Unit 13, or Davis, another member of Unit 13. The only real difference that I saw in picking my character was their gender and subsequent equipment – one used a shotgun while the other had an assault rifle. The game immediately launches players in the thick of the mess, waking them from cryostasis into the zombie-riddled mess the ship has become. The game plays like many sci-fi horror mashups, leaving you to pick up clues and information as time goes on. There are little datapads hidden throughout the ship which detail a bit of what's happened, but don't fully explain everything. Expect to meet a few other characters as well, though the voice acting was just above a C grade movie. It's not great by any means, but it does add an odd comedic effect to an otherwise horror-centric game.
The game is structured like any other FPS, though it does feel like older titles I remember as a kid. Generic zombies will lumber (or quickly lumber) towards you as you pick them off. Different weapons available within the game offer different options of dispatching them, but it's generally the same room after room. The variation of enemies that comes later into the game is nice, including some that carry melee weapons of their own or spit some phlegm filled ball of blood at you. One of my favorite things available for use is a special power called "Devastation," which creates a shockwave of force around you. It's great for clearing out a mob of zombies around you, plus it creates a gory effect as many of them explode from the force. While it's all fun and games to eviscerate these monstrosities, multiple times I found myself fighting against the controls in the process. The game has an auto-dodge when pushing the WASD buttons twice in quick succession, plus the mouse's motion sensitivity is absolutely ridiculous. Early on, I found myself dodging around like an idiot while spinning wildly in circles, making it difficult to take on the zombie hordes.
Aside from an interesting story involving a virus in space and zombies, the best element I've found so is the upgrade system within the game. Between completing levels, players are granted the ability to go in and spend the credits they find to upgrade their weapons or purchase new ones. Weapons have four individual stats, all of which can be upgraded five times. On top of that, players can purchase additional weapons. There are some only purchasable with gold bars randomly received from killing enemies, while the rest are based on credits found in the game. This offers some replayability for those seeking to earn those top guns worth 40+ gold bars, but be warned – even after playing the game for a decent time, I hadn't made it to 10 bars yet myself.
Dead Effect is at least enjoyable, and cheap to boot on top of it. For those seeking a game they can sink a bit of time into in-between some of the more major releases, I'd definitely recommend this title. It still has some mobile gaming elements tied to it though, so be forewarned going in. Seriously – it'll cost you credits to continue the game if you end up dying at any point.
Note: The Dead Effect review is based on a digital PC copy of the game.