Dead Trigger Review: The iOS Zombie Shooter to Rule Them All
There are few things that have gotten more cliche than a zombie game in the App Store, so MADFINGER Games had the odds against them when they set out to follow up SHADOWGUN with Dead Trigger. But the developer (also behind the Samurai franchise) managed to create a zombie game that sells itself off just a few screenshots… It’s unbelievable what 99 cents buys you these days in the App Store, and Dead Trigger is such a prime example. There are some nitpicks to be mentioned—or apparently shouted from a rooftop if you’re doing a review in the App Store—but the complete package of Dead Trigger is so gorgeous and ground breaking that it cannot be missed by anyone with a passing interest in FPS games on the iPhone/iPad.
Normally with a shooter like this, we’d start with the background and give an explanation of what caused your character to be wielding a gun and blasting whatever moves. But Dead Trigger hardly bothers with any preamble. Instead, you’re dropped into a desecrated city and told that you’re one of few survivors who avoided a strange virus and find themselves living amongst bloodthirsty zombies. The story is all very generic, and it stays that way, which is why we’re not going to talk about it anymore—
—Instead, let’s get to what counts. You might not spend much time worrying about the characters and story of Dead Trigger, but there will be something amazing to SEE with every moment you play the game. The environments all glisten with superb lighting, moisture effects, and blood spatters. And each detail of your enemies’ glowing eyes, open wounds, and clothing is always rendered in perfect detail that can often distract from the headshot you’re trying to execute… It’s more than just looks, though, it’s also amazing the way things MOVE. The developer says “high-end motion capture” was used to create the character animations, and the resulting physics make every kill replay-worthy.
It wouldn’t be a zombie game without a struggle for weapons and ammunition. And that’s where many users have taken issue with Dead Trigger’s model. See, the 99 cent asking price seems low for a game of this caliber, but the thing is, you can barely get by if that’s all you pony up, because soon you’ll find yourself needing bigger and better weapons just to survive, and the prospect of building up your money without succumbing to the in-app purchases is incredibly daunting… It’s true, the way MADFINGER established the model might be flawed, but to get the most out of Dead Trigger, I recommend looking at it as a $4—$6 purchase right off the bat (99 cents for the download, the rest for AK47s, blade choppers, laser amputators, baits, grenades, pistols, weapon slots, and more). There’s no question that the game is worth that much.
Another point that will hopefully be addressed by the developers relates to accuracy. The physics of watching a zombie suffer from your torrent of bullets is half the fun, but it does seem like the ragdoll effect sometimes results in missed shots that should have certainly hit their target. It’s almost like there’s a window where the zombie is too busy with his animation to bother being hit by your bullet, and that can be frustrating since the rest of the game is so responsive and perfected.
For awhile there, it seemed that zombies were taking a rest from their constant bombardment of the App Store. But now we know why—they were saving up for this! Dead Trigger from MADFINGER Games exists on a wholly different level from what’s gone before. The visuals exceed even what has been seen in blockbuster games like NOVA 3 and Dead Space, and those little surprises that unfold throughout the gameplay keep you wanting more despite the sometimes-repetitious missions that have you guarding this door, picking up that box, or killing “x” number of zombies… Sure, the pricing model is wonky and the storyline/characters are lackluster, but don’t let that stop you from experiencing this remarkable advancement in the iOS FPS genre.
Our Score: 4 Out of 5