Dead Raid is a typical example of a good idea for a video game, handled with lackluster execution. The premise is simple and clichÃ©, but in a good way: Zombies are rising out of the ground, and it falls to you to put them back there through the tried and true means of high-velocity lead poisoning– through the head, if at all possible.
It’s a concept which has carried games such as Resident Evil and Dead Rising to lofty heights, and has even become something of a running joke in other non-zombie relates games, such as Call of Duty. Simply put, people love zombies, and they love putting them down even more.
Bask in the beauty of blood splatter.
Dead Raid manages to reduce all of this down to its most basic fundamentals, as zombies emerge all around you in a 360-degree field, shambling towards you as the mantra “beat or be eaten” runs through your mind. Graphically, the game doesn’t look bad– just a little artificial. The zombies look like zombies, but at the same time, you will probably not lose any sleep over any of the sights you see on your iPhone.
So where does the game fall short, with such a simple premise? Controls. Simply put, you have more to fear from the insufficient controls than the zombies. That’s because the controls are what allow the zombies to draw in so close.
This zombie just came from The Gap.
Instead of simply tapping where you want to shoot, you must drag a targeting reticule across the screen, line it up, and then press the gun icon. The problem with this is that it’s slow, and when you have hordes of the undead answering the dinner bell and making their way toward your brain for the after-5 special, speed is key.
There is an option to increase the sensitivity of the reticule sliding, but it doesn’t help too much– even at its fastest, it just isn’t fast enough to keep up with Undead Fred and the Crusty Corpse Gang.
Dead Raid might have had one saving grace, in the form of gyroscope-based movement. Unfortunately, that option is not yet available.
Dead Raid’s heart may be in the right place, but without a more responsive and intuitive way of aiming at and shooting zombies, that heart just makes a delicious side-dish for your brains.