Like the first game, Dead Effect 2 is a first person zombie shooter set aboard a large spaceship. It fails to shed the B-movie persona of itsLike the first game, Dead Effect 2 is a first person zombie shooter set aboard a large spaceship. It fails to shed the B-movie persona of its precursor, but believes it does, making the story-based campaign oddly unsatisfying. Gameplay is good, though, and cooperative campaign, online multiplayer modes and some decent weapons & armor leveling means there is quite a bit of fun to be had. A good effort by Badfly Interactive, but stops well short of becoming a classic.
Total size on my hard drive: 10.7 GB
+ Guns are great. Not Battlefield level of gun design, but whoever designed and animated them did a great job. Badfly must have made this a priority when developing Dead Effect 2, and it shows.
+ Weapon upgrades are great. While there is no attachments system, there are a number of things that can be purchased to make your weapon of choice more powerful. The weapon does not change visually, but the damage progression is very noticeable.
+ Same for armor. There are dozens of varieties of armors available. Each suit is divided into feet, legs, chest, arms, and helmet parts, allowing mixing and matching. And each part has one or sometimes two slots for additional components.
+ Graphics are decent. Bluish light and black shadow splash across the screen often, leaving a cold and dark feeling.
+ Decently optimized. I had to reduce shadows (to medium) and bloom (I have an R7 260X), but after that I had no trouble playing the game @1080p 60fps.
+ Drop in / Drop out coop works well. Not too many random matches to be found, but they work well when they’re there.
+ Decent soundtrack (which is included as MP3 files).
+/- Headshots are OP as hell. The length of your longest killstreak in multiplayer translates directly into the post-mission bonus multiplier (a kill-streak of 50 will result in a multiplier of 50). It can be very easy for a skilled player to earn a ton of credits fast. Aim and accuracy modifications to the armor can help even more.
+/- The armor customization does demand focused specialization. If you try to create a “good at everything” build, the bonuses will be too small to make much difference.
+/- The story is actually half-way decent. Wake up in a ship, have to survive while a classy English voice tells you what to do. Do a few missions, then discover that you, the player-character, are considered the result of an experiment, and if the “relief ship” (containing lots of soldiers) catches up with the Meridian, you will be taken captive and disposed of as just another of Wagner’s clones. Danette, she of the classy English voice, has an interesting story that could have delved into all kinds of ethical concerns – but doesn’t. Not that Dead Effect 2 needed to be like The Walking Dead, but there is potential for additional depth which isn’t explored at all. Disappointing.
- The story ends too soon. You fight some creature, then – “Surprise! That was actually the final boss! To be continued!…”
- The voice acting, with the exception of Danette, is poor. Dr. Bielik sounds like a highly exaggerated Chekov (from the original Star Trek) and is annoying as heck any time he opens his mouth. And if you choose Jane as your player-character, well… Some of the worst “voice-acting” I’ve heard in a long time.
- Level design is small. It’s tight, confined and claustrophobic – so tight that there isn’t always room for two players to run past each other in a corridor. If never feels like we’re on a huge spaceship.
- Few enemy varieties. Your standard zombie, puking zombie, grenade zombie, and giant zombie. There are some good-looking bosses, but unless you’re playing a shotgun build (which risks getting close to the boss for maximum damage), it’s easy to keep them at a distance.
- There is a huge amount of loot. And I mean HUGE. I would barely get my character upgraded (which cost some serious credits) before some really epic loot would drop, making all my careful upgrading seem worthless. I expect this to happen once or twice in a loot-based game, but here it happened 4 or 5 times (more frequently as my character’s level was higher).
- Character appearance never changes, despite equipping some awesome armors.
There are definitely some talented people working at Badfly Interactive, and while Dead Effect 2 improves in many ways over the first game, it’s not the masterpiece that will launch them into the mainstream. Hopefully their next game in the series, Tau Ceti, is already under development and they make it as big and B-movie as possible. If they want to go the "serious" route, get better voice actors, open up the levels, and don't be afraid to tackle some serious issues with the story.… Expand