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Dead Trigger 2

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Undead on arrival

Product: Dead Trigger 2 | Developer: Madfinger Games | Publisher: Madfinger Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Dead Trigger 2 iPad, thumbnail 1
Juan Carlo de Shooty, my alter ego in Dead Trigger 2, is feeling pragmatic about the zombie apocalypse. He spends almost as much time quipping and egging himself on as he does slaughtering the undead.

He'll whoop like a sports fan as he clobbers the skulls of lumps of meat that were once human, as though he's been waiting his whole life for the world to go bonkers, honing his skills and his zombie-annoying banter to fully take advantage of the situation.

It's a little off-putting, but it's in keeping with the overall feel of Madfinger's second dribbly bite at the zombie shooter cherry. It's a motley mash-up of borrowed FPS ideas that sometimes gels together to create a gruesome, if not exactly atmospheric, whole.

Old blood

Once again you're dropped into the blubbering belly of a world taken over by a zombie toxin. There's a story about survivors banding together to fight against the infection, but it plays second fiddle to the gory violence at the core of the game.

The controls are simplified, making for a far less frustrating experience. You slide a finger around the left of the screen to move, and one round the right of the screen to turn your head. When the reticule on your screen settles on a zombie, you start to fire automatically.

The removal of a 'fire' button means you can concentrate on aiming, which bypasses a lot of the problems of the touchscreen FPS. It's not perfect, especially when there are explosive barrels lying around everywhere, but it's a smoother experience than other games in the genre.

If you prefer you can use a dedicated 'fire' button, and there are different set-piece sections as well where the controls are a little more conventional. But in a world where ammo is scarce, knowing you're not wasting any is a good enough reason to stick with the simpler input scheme.

Just shoot it

The game is diced up into small chunks called missions. You're dropped into a level with a set of objectives you need to complete before extraction. One early example sees you collecting some flares to signal a helicopter, then defending the landing zone from a zombie onslaught.

There's little originality in these escapades, but they're mechanically sound, and enjoyable to a point. They're also quick enough that you don't really have time to notice the repetition. One minute you're guarding an engineer with a sniper rifle, the next you're filling up a generator with fuel to kickstart the power.

IAPs explained
You can buy bundles of gold, which you can spend on getting rid of wait timers, exchange for in-game cash, and purchase a variety of other things.

Bundles start at £1.99 / $2.99 for 150 coins, up to £34.99 / $49.99 for 7,000.

It's a similar price to what you'd pay in other games of this ilk, but you're rarely badgered to throw down any cash.
As well as the story missions there are separate trials that you can take part in to earn extra cash and XP. They follow similar lines, with a ticking clock or a tally of zombies to get rid of in order to secure the cash and experience.

Dead zombies drop wads of notes and packs of bullets, and headshots and dismemberment get you more bucks for some reason. You're always alerted when special zombies appear, and keeping some ammo and grenades held back for these encounters is a good idea.

Home truths

Your home base is filled with a team who ply you with the equipment you need to keep alive, but you need to wait for them to finish up unless you lace their palms with gold, Dead Trigger 2's freemium currency.

The payment model rarely gets in the way, though, and you don't have to browse through interminable shopping menus to get to the grisly meat at the centre of the game.

Much like Juan Carlo de Shooty, Dead Trigger 2 is ridiculous. Thankfully, it's ridiculous in most of the right ways, and while its brainless ebb and flow of horrible violence does turn to grind in the long run it's satisfying enough that you won't mind.
Dead Trigger 2
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 24 October 2013
The carnage is satisfying and the violence is meaty. Dead Trigger 2 might not be fresh, but it's solid, dependable fun
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