Madfinger Games released Dead Trigger 2 last week for Android and iOS. As the sequel to one of the most technically impressive first-person shooter games on mobile platforms, I was expecting even more quality out of Dead Trigger 2. Madfinger has once again managed to squeeze great graphics and a decent amount of content in a relatively small file size. At the same time, don’t expect a bunch of variety in terms of what you’re doing in the game. Dead Trigger 2 is still built upon each level having a specific objective that doesn’t take too long to complete. This is a good quality for a mobile game to have, but doing similar things over and over again could start to wear you down after a while. Don’t let that deter you though. Dead Trigger 2 is very much a worthy sequel in a variety of ways.
The first thing that stood out to me when playing Dead Trigger 2 on an iPhone 5 was the default control scheme. In the first game, you controlled movement, aiming and shooting. In Dead Trigger 2, the game handles the shooting for you. This might sound like Madfinger made the game much easier, but I’d argue it’s more convenient for touchscreen controls. Even though shooting is done for you, you’re still responsible for aiming. The game also won’t start spraying bullets until you’re within range of the zombies. At no point did I feel like bullets were wasted due to the AI’s decision making. Reloading is also handled automatically. Again, the computer reloaded my weapons in the same manner as I would have. If you prefer to handle all the controls yourself, there is an option to alter the controls or enable support for a compatible controller.
Another big change in the game is the addition of the hideout. The hideout acts as a hub world that gives you access to different missions. The hideout also contains a handful of human characters that can produce health items, explosives, buffs and upgrades. In the grand scheme of things, the introduction of these characters is just a way to add more context to the resistance theme Dead Trigger 2 is going for. Everything they do could easily be replaced by generic upgrade menus, but that would make things less interesting wouldn’t it?
What about in-game purchases? The original Dead Trigger was pretty reasonable about optional purchases, and not buying anything didn’t hinder the overall experience. Gold is the premium currency in Dead Trigger 2, and the buy-in price for the lowest amount of gold is more expensive than the first game. Instead of starting at $0.99, Dead Trigger 2 charges $2.99 for 150 gold. Gold can be used to purchase boosts for things such as money, health and damage from the smuggler NPC, or speed up production on items and upgrades. Madfinger has developed a pretty fair balance between premium and non-premium currency. For example, you can only spend in-game dollars to buy items and upgrade the abilities of the NPCs. The gold is only used to speed things up. You also can’t use gold to buy the best weapon in the game early on. You have to earn blueprints by defeating special zombies in order to create new weapons. Dead Trigger 2 is quite generous with the non-premium currency.
The missions take place around the world. You start things off in the United States before traveling to Africa to eliminate the zombie threat. No matter where you are, the missions usually involve finding a person or item, interacting with some kind of contraption and clearing the area of zombies. There’s also a new sniper-oriented mission that let’s you control the bullet once it leaves the rifle. I enjoy these because you’re never in any danger of getting attacked. You just have to stop the zombies from advancing too far.
Under all the missions is a meta-game that involves everyone that’s playing. Every zombie that’s killed goes towards a community goal. Once the goal is reached, everyone that participated will get rewards. The current rewards for killing all the zombies in Tripoli are two Second Chance revivals and 10 painkillers.
The biggest downer about Dead Trigger 2 is the fact that you can’t play the game without a network connection. An authentication process is required every time you launch the game. I know most people tend to be connected in one way or another these days, but it’s still a barrier that I’d like to see removed.
All in all, this is a great free game that doesn’t abuse in-app purchases. Madfinger is very good at what it does and I consider it to be one of the top mobile game developers out there. Go download this game.