Apologies in advance, but this review is likely to be bizarre and schizophrenic even by my usual standards. You see, I still can't quite work out whether Overkill is a good game - or even a game at all.
On the one hand: it's an addictive shooter with a great XP progression system, loads of guns and a heap of content. But on the other, it's a cynical, criminally basic program that's unfairly weighted towards forcing microtransaction sales.
The premise is very simple. You'll drag a gunsight around a static prerendered background and shoot sprite-based enemies as they pop out of cover. A decreasing time ring shows you how much time before you have to kill them before they open fire (similar to the Virtua Cop series, if you've ever played it), and once ammo is spent or health reaches zero, it's back to the gun shop for tender vittles and a cup of tea.
Each downed enemy gives you money and experience that can be used to purchase new weapons and advance through the ranks. The dizzying array of firepower can be upgraded in different ways, resulting in a constantly-evolving portfolio that you can be proud of. It's genuinely a lot of fun.
Each gun handles differently - as far as clicking on sprites can feel different - but even scoped weapons feel fairly inaccurate despite being treated to several upgrades. Overkill delights in occasionally letting you try the more expensive guns to see how much better they are by comparison... so could there possibly be a catch?
So far so good, but if you come at Overkill from a different angle, it suddenly becomes a much less impressive proposition. There are only four static level backdrops (paintings, basically) and you've just got to 'click' on popout targets. It's extremely primitive, vacuous, shallow, thoughtless and... well, it's essentially a free flash application. Except that the best weapons can only be unlocked by paying for them.
The levels soon become abjectly miserable without these more powerful armaments, which can only be purchased with Overkill Medals that are doled out incredibly infrequently. Unless you're ready for hours of grind, you'll need to splash some real cash to buy them in bulk. At least the scenery is nice.
Since Overkill is currently free, you might as well pick it up. Seriously. I can't think of any reason why you shouldn't. Just stay away from those tempting in-app purchases for as long as you can.
- Detailed artwork
- Addictive levelling system
- Loads of weapons and upgrades
- Point. Click. Miss. Point. Click. Die.
- Reload. Point. Click. Grind.
- Or you'll just have to buy some medals.
Summary: At the end of the day, Overkill is probably worth picking up for the sheer amount of time it can kill. It's definitely worth getting for free. Just bear in mind that it's nowhere near as deep or involving as it wants you to believe.
Developer: Craneballs Studios
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.
Price: Currently Free - App Store