As an avid zombie fan, I always jump at the chance to review games with the living dead. When I heard about Maximum Games newest release, Dead Alliance, I was happy to check it out. Until I actually played the game. Upon first glance, this game feels a lot like Killing Floor 2, which I got for free as a PS Plus game a couple months back. I liked Killing Floor 2 but ultimately stopped playing because it became really repetitive. Now with that in mind, playing through Dead Alliance was like playing an unfinished version of that. Set in a post apocalyptic world, your job is to get from one point to another and kill zombies. Pretty basic zombie stuff here. However, it is possible to have a generic idea become something amazing. This was not the case here. The graphics were not polished, the animations were generic and the game wasn’t challenging or scary for that matter. Even so, I tried to give this game a chance because it is not always about the graphics.
If you are looking for a single player mode, this is not the game for you. This game in nothing more than a multiplayer shooter, with some online survival mode and some offline experiences in which you can play against bots. I started with online with the Attrition mode, which was clunky and not quick to match. This mode requires you to get to the other side while capturing checkpoints and slaughtering zombies. Now this is multiplayer so it required matchmaking but when players were not matched, bots would get put in their place. I know that bots are not supposed to be tough but Dead Alliance makes their AI downright stupid, in that they make boneheaded moves and they are easily defeated, which makes Dead Alliance boring after two rounds. On the other end, if you get a bot on your team, this makes your life hell, as this mode requires some team work. The other team will mow you down and once again, the AI will not care. This is so frustrating that even without the other glaring issues, it ruined Dead Alliance for me already. On the other shoe, the offline was bad because, once again, the bots were dumb and not fun to play against. The lack of good AI really ruins everything about this game.
As someone who plays Destiny, I know all about the grind. Getting points and kills to level up, finding cool new weapons and getting rid of the old crappy ones. Dead Alliance has a grind but not one that you want to put the time in. You can kill hundreds of zombies and win multiple games and not level up very fast, which feels like you get little reward for all of the hard work. This really made me feel like my time was being wasted and I wasn’t grinding toward a good reward. Not a great recipe to get people to keep coming back.
Even though this game feels clunky, there are a couple of redeeming parts. While playing through some of the online, Dead Alliance encourages you to distract the undead and try to lure them to attack your enemy. You can do this through a variety of ways and weapons, and at some points it is actually a fun experience to do so. I was able to gather a bunch of the creatures and create a barrier for my enemies to try and fight through in capture the flag, which was pretty cool. I also liked the different weapon choices and thought they were able to be used together in a creative way by using them to kill and distract the zombies. Even so, more weapon choices would have been nice.
I would not in good conscious recommend you to buy this game at the current $39.99 price point. This game is unpolished and not fun for most people who could go find better versions of what this is. I would say if you ever see this game for free, leave it where you find it because it is dead on arrival. Go pre-order Call of Duty and play their zombie mode for $20 more.