September 18, 2017

Dead Alliance - Review

After watching several videos during the development of Dead Alliance I was keen to play what looked to be a new twist on the deluge of FPS/SQUAD type games that are currently available unlike in COD in this game zombies can be both your friend or your worst enemy and promised to add new elements to the already crowded zombie shooter genre. Unfortunately, even though the idea is unique and in some ways exciting the game is let down badly by its execution.

Dead alliance contains all the usual modes you are used to as far as online shooters go such as team deathmatch and capture the flag the twist here is that not only are you waging warfare against others players you also have a horde of zombies inhabiting each map that you have to contend with. You can choose to eradicate the zombies using whatever trusty gun you currently have equipped or use grenades to "weaponise" them and send them rushing towards your opponents, hopefully resulting in their deaths. As you progress through multiplayer matches you earn cash and experience that can be used to upgrade your existing equipment via weapon attachments or purchase entirely new guns that you can take into the fray with you, Unfortunately, most of the weapons in this game aren't different enough from each other to even warrant a purchase, even the weapon attachments (apart from the different sights) don't seem to make much difference to how each weapon handles.

The first thing that will hit you about Dead Alliance is that the menu screens are quite poorly designed and hard to use, they honestly look like they were designed about 20 years ago and don't offer many tips or visual feedback so navigating around some sections are a chore. Unfortunately, this also carries over to the game as a whole the HUD isn't well designed and looks like no care was paid to it and the playing environment is let down by low res textures and overall the tones are quite muted and drab. The zombies themselves are passable but there isn't really much of a variance in the models and you will find yourself looking at the same zombies over and over again. I could look past a lot of these issues if the performance of the game wasn't so bad but disappointingly the game seems to chug, the gameplay just isn't smooth at all and seems to be running at about 15fps which is unforgivable for any game let alone an FPS, the graphical lag and stutter I encountered whilst moving around were quite dreadful and made the game almost unplayable in most situations especially those involving hordes of zombies or more than one other player. The shooting mechanics of the game are also very clunky especially when aiming down sights , there is a rather off putting delay between pushing the R2 button to the time it takes for you actually look down your sights, it tends to throw your timing right off and lets face it timing when aiming is especially important in first person shooter games like this.

Matchmaking also seemed to be an issue, I am not sure if that is due to a lack of people playing the game or whether the net code is at fault but half the servers I managed to join (after a lengthy wait on most occasions) seemed to be filled with bots, and these bots weren't the sharpest tools in the shed either, numerous times I witnessed bots continuously just running against walls, this made them easy targets and certainly not much fun to play against if you like a challenge. Even when I did manage to find human team mates and opponents the sluggish performance of the game and clunky aiming system still didn't manage to inspire much more fun. With the weapon attachments and visual customisations being on the slim side and not really adding much to affect the gameplay I just didn't feel like there was anything pushing me to progress in the game. The rewards simply weren't worth the effort.

I really wanted this game to be great, I was totally on board with the unique type of gameplay this title offered but unfortunately with the technical issues I encountered, the lack of online opponents and the lack of any rewards that I consider to be worth it for progressing through the game I just cannot recommend this game especially considering the numerous other fantastic online shooters that currently exist.

Thanks to Maximum Games for supplying the game for review

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