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Shadowgun: DeadZone

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Work in progress

Product: Shadowgun: DeadZone | Developer: Madfinger Games | Publisher: Madfinger Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
Shadowgun: DeadZone iPhone, thumbnail 1
The original Shadowgun was arguably one of the first games to really illustrate how quickly mobile phones have closed the gap on traditional consoles when it comes to graphics.

The game was nothing short of beautiful, despite its rather bland premise and generic shaven-headed space marine protagonist.

While Shadowgun offered a resolutely single-player experience, developer Madfinger Games is aiming to service online players with this update. Shadowgun: DeadZone occupies the same fictional universe as its predecessor, but this time around you'll be engaging in intense multiplayer firefights rather than moving through a story.

DeadZone consists of two modes at present. Deathmatch should surely need no introduction, and Zone Control is a variant on the classic Capture the Flag setup.

During these two modes you can boost your rank and earn cash to spend on upgrading your weapon. All players start with the same basic rifle, and can customise it to create one of several different armament types.

Zone of the Enders

Because it's free to play, DeadZone has to squeeze in-app purchases into the game somehow, and predictably it's a mechanism to allow you to obtain in-game cash faster than normal. It's perfectly possible to slug away at online matches to earn your dough, but it naturally takes longer and will result in a fair degree of frustration as you're torn to pieces by players with superior firepower.

That's not the only element of DeadZone that grates. While connecting to a game is relatively easy, once you're thrown into the action you can expect a near-fatal amount of lag and random drop-outs. Players jerk around the map, often vanishing and then magically reappearing in a different location. This makes accurate shooting incredibly difficult, which leads to even more annoyance.

Dead laggy

DeadZone has the feel of a product that's half-finished - and that's largely because it is. The developer has only just brought the game out of beta, and readily admits on public forums that it's still working on improving aspects of the release.

It therefore feels a little mean to pick DeadZone apart at this early stage in its life, but the fact remains that the experience it currently offers is sadly lacking. There's a fantastic online shooter here - it just needs some more spit and polish.

Work needs to go into eradicating lag, adding more game modes, and generally bolstering the content of the game. At this stage, it seems as if Madfinger has spent a lot of time making it look as stunning as possible (which is most certainly does) and has decided to fill in the other elements later on.

As the months roll by and player feedback is taken into account, DeadZone will improve - but at the moment it's best approached with caution.
Shadowgun: DeadZone
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 26 November 2012
Gorgeous to look at but ultimately frustrating to play, Shadowgun: DeadZone needs a lot of work before it becomes the finished article
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Nov 2012
Post count:
John Shikiya | 12:54 - 27 November 2012
I've been playing this game for a while and yes paying for premium services does helps speed up exp and gold content, you can't purchase weapons and items with it. So it's still more about skill than IAP's which I'm thoroughly relieved by. The lag does feel a bit annoying and requires you to shoot a bit ahead of the player so kills can still be obtained with practice.

I just wish the rocket launcher (won't say the name) and nades were a bit less powerful, the splash damage should hurt them a bit more when they are in close proximity as well. Of course rockets can be dodged but the splash damage is pretty immense so good players with the launcher can dominate.
Nov 2012
Post count:
Josh Miazga | 10:27 - 27 November 2012
On my Ipad 2 and Motorola xoom this game run perfect, nothing like the review mention I also come out on the top 3 lots of times
Apr 2010
Post count:
jeffyg3 | 01:20 - 27 November 2012
Yeah the iPhone 4 isn't exactly a powerful system these days and it hiccups on my iPhone. My newer sweet iPad though, this game is slick. The game itself is ok, nothing too special though the graphics are really nice
Sep 2012
Post count:
Ron Goodrich | 18:28 - 26 November 2012
I've had an altogether different experience than illustrated in this review. The game has been smooth as butter on my Nexus 7, which admittedly is a stark contrast to when I tried it on my iphone4. On the Nexus 7 it runs so good I almost feel like I'm cheating, coming out on the top 3 of almost every match.