Ladies and gentlemen, meet Dead Trigger 2, sequel to last year’s surprisingly good FPS. Yes, it’s more of the same but better, but it’s lots better.
When I reviewed the first Dead Trigger last year, I mused: “While proper console controllers afford you the luxury of moving and aiming and shooting at the same time, you can only ever do two at a time on a touch display.”
The default controls in Dead Trigger 2 simply task you with moving and aiming; shooting happens automatically - as does reloading. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that loss of control initially (there are different setups available, incidentally), but within the first 60 seconds of play I found myself shouting: “This is brilliant!”
In addition to feeling less cumbersome, the game simply flows better. There’s no need to continually adjust your hands, and the experience ultimately feels more immersive and intuitive.
The zombies also flow thick and fast since you can dispatch them significantly quicker. We’re not exactly talking Left 4 Dead-style hordes, but there’s no shortage of undead in Dead Trigger 2, which is kinda the whole point.
The other majorly sexy addition in Dead Trigger 2 is a skull indicator that shows which direction zombies are approaching from when they get close. It’s absolutely crucial.
We also have melee weapons, instantly bringing to mind the likes of Dead Island. Clobbering zombies over the head with the wrench is suitably brutal.
When it comes to using the sniper rifle, there’s a neat feature that allows you to control the bullet for a short time when it’s in flight, so you can direct the projectile to your chosen zombie’s head or groin or whatever. Great stuff.
As for the zombies themselves, there are a number of special zombies in Dead Trigger 2, including Kamikaze who has an explosive barrel strapped to him, and Vomitron who’s essentially the Spitter from Left 4 Dead.
The coolest special zombie however, for my money, is the radioactive one. Get too close and he’ll drain your health. Pretty neat.
Over in the central hideout, you’ll find a number of allies, keen to build stuff for you, including the medic, the gunsmith and the engineer.
Of course, since Dead Trigger 2 is free, you can spend real-life money to speed production along; the game adopts a Real Racing 3-style waiting system for upgrades. Personally, I blasted through the game in around five hours without spending a penny, though I did set some of the more challenging levels to Easy (you can choose Easy, Medium or Hard before each level).
Bizarrely, there’s no option to replay the story levels, which is especially disappointing considering the campaign is relatively short. There are, however, plenty of one-off challenges including Assault (kill X zombies) and Survivor (survive for a specific period of time).
A couple more random negatives I noted down: no offline play, and the protagonist sounds a little too Duke Nukem at points with no sense of irony (Far Cry Blood Dragon nailed that particular trick), but on the whole Dead Trigger 2 is pretty great.
- Looks great; varied environments
- The controls
- The skull indicator
- The special zombies
- The sniper rifle and melee weapons
- The campaign is really quite short and can’t replay levels
- I’d rather pay up front than endure the waiting time thing
- The protagonist sounds like Duke Nukem
- No offline play
- Brutally hard at points
Summary: Dead Trigger 2 is more of the same, but much better. Primarily, it addresses the inherent problems with smartphone FPS controls, but more importantly, it’s just plain fun to play.
Developer: Madfinger Games
Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Android requirements: Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) or above