Free To Play Friday – Dead City (Andriod)
It’s hard being a recently-graduated chap. These days I find myself working three jobs in order to support myself and to pay my ever mounting bills and student loans. There’s almost no time left for gaming really; well except for on-the-go. Thankfully, I have my HTC ONE S for that. I have more than 30 (seriously… 30) free/freemium/paid games loaded onto my phone, yet whenever I’m travelling to work you’ll see me playing only one: Com2Us’ Dead City.
Dead City is a twin-stick shooter that has you battling the undead as you race towards safety. It’s like a fusion of your typical sidescrolling endless runner with twin-stick action of games like Gun Bros, Pew Pew, Guerilla Bob, and Beat Hazard Ultra. What I love about Dead City though is also what separates it from other freemium games on the market; you can actually advance pretty far into the game without having to pay a single cent for in-app purchases like upgrades, coins, costumes, weapons, and buffs. More on Com2Us’ Dead City after the break.
As a zombie apocalypse survivor, you have to travel through hordes of zombies towards sanctuary for the night. You see each mission you take on represents a day in the week and each week makes up a full level (complete with a tough boss fight at the end). You move from left to right, gunning down zombie hordes of varying types all the while collecting health packs and gas canisters for your badass vehicle.
Speaking of vehicles, once you’ve picked up enough gas canisters, you’ll be able to drive your vehicle and use it as a temporary battering ram; even the deadliest zombie types turn into mush when their shambling corpse meet your fender. Of course, vehicles are fully upgradable; spending cash can improve your car’s health and increase damage it does on your enemies. Thankfully, much of the cars you can purchase can be unlocked by leveling up and earning enough coins. There’s one incredibly powerful vehicle that you can only get with a $9.99 in-app purchase, but it’s not really necessary to enjoy the game.
Like the vehicles, your character can also be customized and his weapons upgraded. By week 4, I had a fully upgraded AK-47, modified by my bandanna buff (which increased chances of critical hits + movement speed) and a car that would easily mow down hordes of zombies with ease. This of course, only lasts until you get to one of the more difficult levels and you’re forced to replay previous levels to attain S rankings and earn more coins to purchase new weapons, buffs, and clothing to help you get through the tougher obstacles.
If you’ve ever played twin-stick shooters before, then you have an idea of how Dead City controls. Your left thumb handles his movement and right thumb aims and shoots. It’s repetitive violence that requires little strategy, save for dodging enemy movements and fine-tuning your aim for the occasional headshots. You’ll also have to decide whether some gas canisters are worth passing through a gauntlet of jumping/acid-spitting super zombies for.
Again, I have to applaud Com2Us for being pretty generous with cash prizes awarded per level. They could have easily nickel and dimed gamers addicted to Dead City, but instead they focused on providing value with their in-app purchases like add-ons and items. Like I said earlier, you can play through most of the game by replaying through older levels and earning more coins for upgrades. Thankfully, the gameplay and levels are fun and infinitely replayable so “grinding for coins” doesn’t feel as much like work compared to other freemium titles.
Of course, no matter how addicted I am to Dead City, I do have an issue with it’s audio presentation; not only are your ears tortured by uninteresting/generic and loud rock music, overall sound effects were low-fi and even gunshots sound like crap. For example, I was hoping that the AK-47 would at least sould loud and powerful; instead each shot sounded like a pencil hitting the table. Imagine listening to that, the annoying music, and scratchy voice cues and you’ve got yourself an aural torture device.
My advice, mute your audio while playing Dead City. Listening to two kids complaining about their first-world problems soumd more appealing than the game’s horrible audio presentation.
If you can get past its torturous audio, Dead City is a must play if you’re a fan of twin stick shooters. Not only that, you get a lot of free gameplay before you even have to think about in-app purchases. Hell, you’ll probably have so much fun replaying levels and earning coins that you’ll have an unstoppable zombie re-killing machine in no time. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get off my WordPress app so I can get back to Dead City. I’ve got a brand new rocket launcher that I’ve been itching to use on those pesky jumping zombies.
See you with a new free-to-play game next Friday!