Whenever people ask: “Do you want the good news first, or the bad news?” I invariably request the bad first. Why the hell would you choose to hear the good news with a potentially massive black cloud hanging over your head?
So, Contract Killer: Zombies. Do you want the good news first, or the bad news?
I’m going to completely contradict the opening paragraph and explain to you first of all why Contract Killer: Zombies is good. Really good. But don’t get too excited; there's a black cloud in the form of several hundred words explaining why Contract Killer: Zombies is one of the most infuriating games I’ve ever played.
In Contract Killer: Zombies, you play the part of wheelchair-bound Shooter. His immobility means he gets to sit back and shoot zombies with an array of weapons while everyone else does the legwork. Is that politically incorrect? Ach, he’s just a character.
Contract Killer: Zombies is essentially a first person shooter, with the action taking place across a number of fixed locales. It’s initially very impressive visually, but you’ll soon get pretty tired of seeing the same old levels.
But hey, you get to blast the heck out of zombies with a shotgun. What more could you ask for?
There are three different difficulty levels, namely novice, veteran and expert. The tougher the level, the more XP and moolah you can expect to receive. With that moolah, you can buy bigger and better weapons.
Being developed by Glu Mobile, it’s very much in the same vein as the excellent Gun Bros. But, by that same token, you can also expect a whole bunch of freemium sh*t. Argh.
Contract Killer: Zombies is initially a lot of fun. The levels usually involve protecting your buddy Evelyn as she goes on supply runs, or carving a path for survivors to make it to the rescue chopper. Not entirely original, but all good fun.
Good fun for the first hour or two.
By the time you get to a level called Box of Mystery, you’ll realise you have little to no chance of getting past it without better weapons. Specifically, I could really use the medical gun to give Evelyn a health boost. Alas, I can’t afford it.
Well, I say I can’t afford it. What I mean is: I can’t afford it with my in-game currency, but Glu is all too happy to take real money from me in exchange for better weaponry.
I guess, at this stage, it comes down to your opinion on the freemium model. Personally, I’d rather pay up front and get to enjoy the game in full, rather than feel that I’m being forced to part with money. It’s arguably tantamount to blackmail.
Freemium stuff aside, there are a few other things that began to bother me about Contract Killer: Zombies. First of all, the camera occasionally jerks 90 degrees to the left or right, which is particularly annoying when the action gets frantic.
Possibly even worse than that, I’ve had a few levels get completely stuck. It sounds like a zombie is getting lost off screen somewhere, which means I’m unable to blast him/her and instigate the next wave.
Admittedly, this did work to my favour on one expert level in particular, in which Evelyn was able to do an entire supply run unhindered by the living dead. A cheap victory, but certain levels demand that you blast ‘em all before being able to progress.
So, yeah, Contract Killer: Zombies had me very nearly blown away during the first couple of hours of gaming. The interface is slick, it looks good, there’s some suitably cheesy voice acting, you get to shoot zombies’ heads off with a shotgun…
But the aforementioned flaws completely ruin a potentially brilliant experience. Shame really.
Oh, I should mention that my friend with an HTC Desire running Android 2.2 (Froyo) was unable to download the game, though the minimum requirement is listed as 2.0. I was playing on my HTC Desire HD with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
Also, after downloading the relatively small app, I had to download a 350MB data pack. Be prepared.
- Enjoyably cheesy voice acting
- Some levels get stuck
- Camera jerkery
- Freemium stuff
Summary: Contract Killer: Zombies is a mostly brilliant game, hindered by a few technical flaws (that could potentially be resolved with an update) and the freemium stuff.
Developer: Glu Mobile
Requires: Android 2.0 or above
Price: free @ Android Market