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2013: Infected Wars

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Seeking a friend for the end of the world

Product: 2013: Infected Wars | Developer: Action Mobile Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Multiplayer, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
2013: Infected Wars iPad, thumbnail 1
If there's one thing hardcore shooter fans like more than shooting hordes of baddies in the head, it's shooting hordes of baddies in the head in multiplayer.

Playing alongside another human somehow improves even the most generic of video game experiences, you see.

It's just as well you can play with an online buddy in 2013: Infected Wars, then, really, for as a single-player experience it's deathly dull.

Failure of intelligence

You play a generically unlikable mercenary type who must fight through a series of city-based locations following an Al-Qaeda attack.

This biological assault has turned much of the civilised world into zombies. Yes, you read that right. Al-Qaeda zombies.

That's the excuse for a tight over-the-shoulder arena blaster with FPS controls. The idea is to clear all of the spawning zombies from a section in order to unlock a door or remove a barrier and move on to the next. Repeat until the level is complete.

It's an extremely simple and thoroughly uninspiring setup, and the combat doesn't 'spice' things up much. Each zombie, whether it be a traditional shuffler, a skinless dasher, or a crawling dog-lizard thing, has one setting: head straight for you.

As such, each battle consists of your blasting away while simultaneously backing away from a baying mob, leading to a morbid Benny Hill chase.

Crowd control

There's the usual virtual control setup here in which movement is attributed to a left stick and aiming and firing is mapped to the right.

Changing weapons is a complete pain, requiring a press of the 'pause' button and then cycling through your available options.

IAPs explained
£1.49 / $1.99 gets you 50 gold coins, which you can in turn exchange for $33,400 of in-game cash. That can kit you out extremely well, as the most expensive weapon in each category is only $4,000.

It's the upgrades to your core abilities that really sap the funds, for they cost anywhere between 50 and 150 gold coins.
Still, these weapons are reasonably varied, with a couple of variations of the usual pistol, shotgun, SMG, and assault rifle range - plus a couple of spicy explosive treats mixed in for good measure - available.

You can buy these with cash earned in the game or via a good old IAP.

You can also level-up your mercenary to improve its special abilities - there are four specialist types, each suited to a particular style of play.

Infecting a partner

As it stands, then, 2013: Infected Wars is on course for strictly average status. It's solid, and it looks quite nice in a drab early-noughties console game kind of way. But it's completely brainless and repetitive.

However, that co-op multiplayer mode does provide some redemption. Not much, as your interaction is limited to running through the same dumb levels popping the same zombie heads, with no chat options or two-person-specific mechanics other than the ability to revive a fallen comrade.

But simply being in the same game world with another human and sharing the same backs-to-the-wall experience undoubtedly boosts the fun factor. The Game Center service here is strong and stable, too. So, provided there's another player out there, you should be able to form a match.

2013: Infected Wars is a deeply ordinary and forgettable shooter that's lifted by the novel presence of co-operative multiplayer. Even then, it still barely registers as above-average. Those specifically looking to play out a post-apocalyptic buddy movie situation on their iOS device will, however, doubtless find this a blast.
2013: Infected Wars
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 9 September 2013
A deeply ordinary third-person shooter made considerably more interesting by the addition of co-op multiplayer
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