Dead Effect 2 is a first-person shooter that incorporates RPG elements, upgrade your character, weapons and gear as you fight to take control of the monster infested ship, the ESS Meridian. How does this mobile port fair on Xbox One? Read our review below…
Dead Effect 2 from Badfly Interactive is an ambitious effort to blend survival horror with science fiction in this action heavy first person shooter with RPG elements. Players are given the opportunity to choose from one of three medically enhanced, super soldier protagonists before starting the game. Dead Effect 2 earns a bonus point here by including a female character model as an option, a decision that is not always available in similarly themed AAA titles. The character awakens aboard the space ship, ESS Meridian, which happened to be humanity’s first attempt at interstellar colonization. Medical experimentation has gone awry on the ship, however, and it has become overrun by a variety of zombies and mutants.
Our hero is not alone on the ESS Meridian, as the voice of fellow experimentation, Danette, broadcasts over a communication device to assist the player in finding their way through the first mission. Completing the first mission brings the player and Danette face to face in a centralized area of the ship that eventually serves as a base. Its at this moment in the game that the graphical quality of the game takes a hit and the reality that this is truly a mobile port becomes apparent. While Danette’s facial features suffered greatly from poor shading in some scenes, someone at Badfly Interactive focused their efforts into what they clearly felt mattered most – her robust chest and prominent nipples are proudly displayed in a body con dress that suffer not from the same shading woes as her face. Just as bonus points for including a character model can be doled out, so to can they be taken away for unnecessarily overt sexualisation.
In addition to Danette, the player will be guided through missions to save two other helpful NPCs. The first of which, Minikin, is hailed as a top of the line engineer but his extended stay in stasis via cryo chamber has resulted in lasting brain damage. Dead Effect 2 already suffered from awkward and unnatural voice acting, so the decision to have Minikin speak in broken English with a tendency to refer to himself in the 3rd person merely adds insult to injury and further thrusts the character into the Idiot Savant trope. Despite Minikin’s aversion to proper English, he is well suited for upgrading the player’s weaponry. The second NPC, a German doctor, is on hand to assist the player in upgrading their body through implants and improved pieces of physical gear. While the NPCs speak of these upgrades as if they’re necessary, most of the improvements make such minor changes to gameplay that they’re almost obsolete.
Dead Effect 2 isn’t all grainy nipples and bad dialogue, though, as there is an impressively detailed story hiding among the mutants and gore should players take their time to uncover it. In the center of the base is a hologram of the ship that neatly contains the games 20 missions and various replayable modes. It is worth noting that Dead Effect 2’s multiplayer options have been removed in the Xbox One variation of the game, so those of us that would have liked to drag a friend through wave after wave of zombies in space are left wanting.
As surprising as it may seem from the airing of grievances above, Dead Effect 2 still pulls off being a game that is enjoyable to play. Stripped of its excess and left only as a first person shooter with an interesting premise that leaves the player to survive on a space ship that is overrun by zombies, Dead Effect 2 had the potential to rope players in and keep them coming back. The game runs well, with no crashes or screen freezing to speak of and the controls feel console native even though it began life as a mobile port. Ultimately, though, Dead Effect 2 could have benefited from more time to shed the bloat and polishing to what would have remained.
A download code was provided for this review by the developer/publisher