Dead Effect is a First Person Shooter that has you surviving a zombie infestation abroad a spacecraft. It was originally a smartphone game later ported on to the PC. Starting off you are given the option to play as either a male or female. It is an entirely aesthetic choice as both have the same skills and access to the same weaponry. We are then given the choice of either playing Biohazard mode where you have to survive a certain amount of waves, Survival where you have to stay alive for a set time and finally the self-explanatory Story mode.
Story mode is where you should start at to familiarize yourself with the game and upgrade your gear. The story is that your character has just awoken from cryosleep and is trying to escape the craft with the help of a mysterious man who tries his damnedest to make you turn the voice slider all the way down due to his very poor Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation. Voice acting, in general, is terrible. I’m unsure if they were going for a cheesy vibe though it did not work out and is bad enough to make me spend the second paragraph of this review talking about it when I typically don’t care much about voice acting.
In stark contrast to the voice acting, the graphics are pretty darn impressive, especially considering it was a phone game. You will soon encounter your first zombies and must blast them away. The ones you encounter in the beginning are your original slow walking zombies who will start to run if they get within a few feet of you. Their strength is in their numbers and will nearly always encounter a large horde of them at once. You can use iron sights to aim but firing from your hips is just as accurate and makes it easier to maneuver around in order to avoid being swarmed.
The environments are very constrained due to it being a phone game, but it makes sense considering we are aboard a spacecraft. There is a sprinting button which is guaranteed to make you nauseous after a few uses. For some reason, it reverts back to its original extremely narrow field of view whenever you sprint and back to whatever you have it set on once you stop. The sudden tunnel vision and just as suddenly transition to actually being able to see again is the entire reason why I kept far, far away from the sprint key while playing this title. There is no jumping in this game, so you will spend all of your time walking around which does not make for the most exciting of times.
Having a smartphone FPS make a transition to the PC does lead to some balancing issues due to how superior the keyboard and mouse is for this genre. You’ll be effortlessly pulling off headshots left and right with the only thing holding you back is the slow reloading animation of your guns and some zombies being very damage spongy until you upgrade your weapon more. Currency is obtained by completing missions and exploring the environments. It is a linear game but has decent room to explore off the path yet with all there is to find being ammo which you typically don’t need, money and extremely boring notes to read, you’ll more likely than not decide to ignore them entirely.
Much of the loot are in lockers where you have to repeatedly press on your spacebar to get open which gets old fast as you may imagine. You can buy other weapons such as chainsaws and bows with your cash, but you’ll have to begin the grind of collecting cash to make it useful via upgrading. That leads you to sticking with the same gun, and that gets boring fast. The other use for money is to instantly revive yourself though that feature is only available in some missions. Which missions those are is beyond me, the only way to know is to die and hope for the best.
For those astute enough to recall me mentioning how the keyboard and mouse makes it very easy, that fact still stands. This title dishes out the worst kind of challenge. That of being killed in one hit in a situation you had no clue was about to happen. You see, there is a grenade chucking zombie that looks very identical to the rest of the undead and can pinpoint his throw from quite a distance, as soon as you even so much as peek around a corner. They do not run out of grenades and without having any immediately distinctive features from the rest of the horde will likely instakill you, causing you to replay the mission again.
The campaign has 12 missions and will be over in less than 3 hours. From the first mission, you will have seen nearly everything it has to offer minus the instakill zombies, the annoying hacking mini-games, and a few unimpressive boss fights. Hacking has you try to find several chosen symbols from a large selection. You’ll have a few seconds to find the current one, and failing causes them to change before you try again. I am not a fan of it, and in later missions, you will have to enter fairly large strings to get through some areas. There are two boss fights. The first one is very easy while the second one is very cheap, not much else to say about them.
Your character has two special abilities at his disposal, one is bullet time, and the other sends a shock-wave around you that destroys any zombies that happen to be near, useful if you get surrounded. You can only take a certain number of hits before dying, and interestingly enough there is no health regeneration. Instead you must find and stand in a health pod to patch yourself up. If you were to somehow run out of ammo, you do have a rather cool glove as your last resort that allows you to fire a short stream of lightning at your foes.
Aside from the currency, there are gold bars that randomly drop from zombies or can be earned from playing the other modes. These allow you to purchase certain weapons and allow you to escape from death if you have 20 of them which is a substantial amount. Due to spending nearly all your time fighting zombies in the story mode, there isn’t much of a motivation to play the other modes though more content is hardly a bad thing. That’s the thing about this game, it is not terrible, it just gets insanely boring very quick. With that being said, the combination of boring gameplay, cheap challenge and other bad features such as having to button smash to open lockers make it a game I simply cannot recommend, even at its low price.