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Dead Effect 2

Game: Dead Effect 2
Platform: Steam
Developer: BadFly Interactive, a.s.
Publisher: BadFly Interactive, a.s.
Date Reviewed: 06/07/2016
Reviewed by: [TMC]Quicksilver6

EDIT 3/8/16: Since I actually rather like this game, I've decided to provide more than a sentence's worth of review.

EDIT 5/6/16: They have addressed issues I had during early access for the full release, namely not being able to tell exact stats. You can now pick raw numbers, a percentage, or just the bars if you like. Also the addition of new weapons and higher level caps helps reduce the bullet sponge feeling of bosses. Having upgraded abilities such as the electric ball or bullet time to max makes a crucial difference in being able to manage them for a prolonged time.

I also forgot to mention that you can buy ammo and med packs in advance, which helps prevent situations in which you run dry and there are no pickups. As far as I can tell, there is no limit and the game pauses in single player when you are in the inventory. The only question is will you hit the inventory button in time.

THE LONG REVIEW: This game, a sequel to the humbly budgeted but still fun Dead Effect 1, expands into a Borderlands/Destiny-esque style of play, with a lot more elements effecting your shooting rather than just "Upgrade these stock weapons". I'll start with the rundown and positives.

WHAT IT IS: An FPS. (Yes, A sci-fi FPS with zombies, I know, wonders never cease, keep reading)

However now it's an RPG/FPS similar to Destiny/Borderlands - Zombies and soldiers drop gear ranging from guns to augments to upgrades in the usual color coded scheme, plain colors being lame, and the more offensively the color, the better the weapon. Your health is shown on screen, and does not regenerate by itself. You have to find regeneration stations that take time to recharge after being used. You can also carry an absurd amount of medkits in your pants. (Hey, you're a cyborg. What's a morphine overdose when you've got heart, chest, and brain implants?)

UNLIKE Destiny and Borderlands, there's not ten thousand side quests nipping at your heels. Side missions are in their own contained areas or are extra challenges to do when replaying the story mission for achievements. There's no quest log.

There's a campaign that unlocks more side mission areas and stuff to do, as well as more gameplay elements, but if you feel like you need more money, or you only have about 5-15 minutes to spare, side missions are perfect since they rarely run longer than that.

You got your generic missions that you can do over and over again, timed survival, wave elimination survival, and Lone Wolf "Fight Human Soldiers" missions. You can set the difficulty and length of almost all these missions.

Shooting wise, it's straight forward. Aim down the sights, shoot zombies, become aware of their HP and XP. You have a taser arm thing that's so powerful it makes heads explode but eats ability energy, a one handed secondary, a primary and grenades.

You can take a melee weapon, including space hanzo steel katanas of course, in the secondary slot. The primary slot is where everything from shotguns to plasma guns to grenade launchers go. There are not only a large number of weapons, but also a variety of types that have effect how you play. Don't take the shotgun and Katana when you need to be fighting a small quick annoying drone thing that shoots at range! Also, ONLY THE STIG PISTOL HAS THE MOTION TRACKER. I mention this because the game doesn't.

You can also do Co-op for just about any mission, but there's nothing like raids as of yet. It's purely if you want to do it. You won't turn a corner and run into a level 40 orange boss thing that stomps you out of nowhere.

It's all pretty fun and accessible, but there are some problems...

THE NOT-SO-GOOD (AND BAD)

The hud is kind of obtuse and isn't really intuitive. You have health, stamina and energy, represented by a colored bar of squares for each. It's really hard to gauge how much of each you have as there are no numbers, or even an option for it. This is pretty distressing when you have nothing in the health bar but aren't dead.

There's actually a lot of information the game doesn't tell you - it's not clear how long the health stations take to recharge, and it's clearly time based. Some enemies clearly have an armor stat such as robotic drones and bosses - but how much? There's no way to tell how effective your weapons are until you shoot them. By then it's too late to change weapons, you can only do that in the hub!

There are some optional objectives in some missions such as "avoid detection". The AI for this desperately needs reworking. In the Water Purification mission, you are encouraged but not required to avoid a patrolling drone. The Drone's pattern of movement is hard to figure out, and doesn't work the way you'd think - I "snuck by" about three times by simply crouch walking to the door as it slowly hovered over my shoulder, but when I was "caught" it was trying to finish the level where it looked at me across the room and sounded the alarm!

Speaking of robots, Boss enemies are just terrible. They have great visual design and their attacks are impressive, but they're terrible to fight! You need a really high damage weapon, but most weapons don't seem to do much. Sniper Rifles are really effective, but grenade launchers just do a piddling amount of damage to these armored enemies.

I don't think I should be emptying all of my weapon stores on one solitary enemy, even a boss, and that's when I'm doing nothing but headshots. If I had to make a suggestion - give me something to shoot at or some kind of opportunity to do more damage than usual. Shooting a zombie cosmonaut in their broken faceplate seems intuitive, but doesn't help much.

Overall, a fun, shlock-tastic game, but still in need of some rebalancing.

SUGGESTIONS:
They're still adding content, so I don't know how much of this will be valid.

I could really use a number popup, even if it's only for the player's information only. Also The STIG is the only gun with a motion tracker - you should mention that, it makes a weak weapon incredibly useful.

Please rework the boss fights. It's a time-consuming slog at the moment with every weapon I've tried, and I've tried 10 and 12 gauge Shotguns, ARs, Katanas, Knives, Mining picks, Machetes, Grenades (HE, HV and Tripmine), revolvers, STIGS, Gauss guns, plasma rifles, Sniper rifles, grenade launchers, and even my trusty stun glove. I think the stun glove has done the most consistent damage to bosses like the Golem or Minigun zombie.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: Easily the best B-grade Syfy channel movie I've ever played, bad acting and all!

 

(But seriously, it's good cheesy fun)

TMC - The Mowers Clan - Gaming Organization