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Dead Frontier Review: Taking On the Zombie Apocalypse - Edit

The zombie apocalypse has been an entertaining subject for my time on this earth. A lot of cinema and games have been released using an outbreak of flesh-munching corpses as the primary threat. Walking Dead extremely successful franchise now, so the idea really has become a genre in and of itself. From flops like Dead Island to successfully recurring series’ like Resident Evil, nothing comes close to the experience of bashing in an unnamed walking cadaver’s skull in. Dead Frontier was no different, although for many reasons this will not be my top contender for zombie carnage.

Gameplay 5/10

The gameplay of Dead Frontier makes sense; however, it rarely makes you feel your impending doom. DF starts off by allowing you to make some minor changes to your character, and to pick a class. The classes aren’t really balanced, not that it’s much of an issue; a lot of them seem to be designed around the idea of using them for RP reasons. Once sorted, you are dropped into the beginner town, with hints that you should go out into the danger zone of the inner city. Seems simple enough, although this is where the game takes a difficulty (and consequently a fun factor) drop. Ammo scarcity can be avoided by circle-strafing with melee weapons, and the same can be said for medical supplies. The zombies don’t provide much of a challenge once you learn the movements; however the game can still be fairly entertaining at times. More often than not I would simply agro a lot of zombies to give myself a bit more fun and intensity. I noticed food satiation is a factor in the game, but I never really reached terribly low levels while scavenging. The food system itself seems far less intense than say DayZ’s system. Dead Frontier certainly has some solid concepts to it, and their goals are pretty visible, but they just don’t seem to reach an extremely entertaining state of gameplay.

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Aesthetics 7/10

While certainly not comparable to say CryEngine games, the graphics, sound and animations are reasonably decent. A long time ago, Dead Frontier was not in 3D, but even then it was pretty good looking. Admittedly my expectations were not very high, but the aesthetics are done reasonably well and I was impressed. The interfaces were well produced and easy to understand, while sporting obvious zombie flare here and there. There are very simple physics in the game (this comes from a guy who accidently ‘kicked’ a trash can and got mauled because of it), some of which handle well. The corpses do not ragdoll about too much, and they don’t move once still. The game looks a lot older than it really is, but it functions well despite this.

Innovation 6/10

Zombie survival has been somewhat of a hot subject as of late (I attribute it to the huge DayZ boom), so while Dead Frontier doesn’t stand out much on its own, one can see what they set out to accomplish and that there are multiple concepts brought together here. Top-Down is a nice touch -makes aim not such a huge factor-, and the ability to jump in with minimal registration or newbie zones is respectable and well appreciated.

Longevity 5/10

I cannot really see myself playing this for very long, and the sentiment is shared among people I’ve asked. If it were a phone app, I could see myself playing this at otherwise boring times like waiting in line or on the toilet. However, I can’t very well carry my laptop and router box with me everywhere, so the practicality goes out the window. I can see what you wanted to do Jagged Blade, and while I did find it entertaining at times, the game is just not sticking.

Polish 8/10

I don’t think I ran into a bug in this game once. There was no issue in using a browser, as some typical browser-based games can have issues. This really aids into the factor of being able to jump into the game easily, so I’m glad the game has received quite a bit of polishing. However, most players on my screen would teleport across the screen even with a pretty decent internet connection.

Value 7/10

Dead Frontier has a cash shop, and by most people it appears to be pretty powerful stuff that they sell. However, as stated in the gameplay section above, you don’t really need any of the extra power. The stuff you get in the game is pretty much all you’ll need. That said, Dead Frontier struck me as something where only time really factors into anything related to cost. If it can bring a reasonable amount of enjoyment for free, then it’s certainly worth the value. I really can’t defend that cash shop though.

Social 5/10

There isn’t really isn’t much of a social aspect to this game. There aren’t any outstanding, new tools for it and there are only a few simple mechanics in place. If I was going to be talking to anyone while playing, it would be over a 3rd party voice application because movement is highly needed to survive.

Conclusion

I’m probably not going to touch this game unless I’m really, really bored. There are some decent concepts present, and the game is functional, although this comes pretty low on my list of games I want to play for extended periods of time. Showing this to a friend of mine (not very computer savvy), and he ranted a raved about how a mobile version would be awesome. He shared the sentiment that playing this heavily on a computer would be a waste.

Final Score

6.1

Pros
 Can be fun in a pinch
 Easy to jump into
Cons
 Aging game
 Cash shop is ridiculous
 Not very challenging

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