[Review] Dead Block (PS3) – Trapped Without Quality
Also on: PC, Xbox 360; Publisher: Digital Reality; Developer: Candygun Games; Players: 1 – 4; Released: July 19, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Site
Trends will inevitably hit gaming and certain genres or themes will be exploited to the point where they are present in virtually every other release. Like in games and movies, zombies are now swarming a multitude of games, from Call of Duty: Black Ops to Ryu ga Gotoku Of the End (Yakuza of the End). The latest to try its hand at zombie bashing action is Dead Block, which fails with its weak game mechanics and will have a hard time keeping players’ attention when there are so many better options available.
The mark of a boring game lies in tedium and repetition. For the most part, actions in Dead Block will only involve mashing or holding on a button. Whether destroying cabinets, searching through objects, or bashing in a zombie’s head, both players’ patience and their controllers’ durability will be put to the test. The only exception comes in the form of a mediocre music rhythm section at the end of every level, which hardly alleviates the game’s problems.
While they all look aesthetically different, the tools are all basically traps with little functional variety. As though the repetition throughout doesn’t hurt enough, single player brings no joy – only stress. Although levels can include up to two additional allies, it doesn’t help when they only stand around as a horde of zombies swarm through the door. It felt that for every object searched or zombie killed by computer ally, I was able to do so five more times already. Frustration sets in further from the game’s awful camera, which hardly gives a good view of the surrounding and feels claustrophobic to boot.
The generic feeling of the game goes past the gameplay and permeates the designs as well. The three characters reek of dull archetypes, with a fat Boy Scout, scruffy construction worker, and attitude-filled traffic warden. Music at the end of every level is pretty slow and bass heavy, which leaves a lot to be desired and probably explains the lack of difficulty in the button presses as well. The game’s visuals and audio only feels like a sad coat of paint to cover up the game’s even sadder gameplay.
Dead Block is an example of a game cashing in on a trend with no thought put into the product. Boring, repetitive gameplay combined with a lackluster presentation is proof enough. There’s really no redeeming element to this game – even mediocrity is out of reach for Dead Block.
Note: A promotional code was provided to Denkiphile for review purposes by the publisher.