Published on July 12th, 2013 | by Kristian Ivanov0
Contract Killer Zombies 2: Origins Review
Glu seems to be one of those companies that you either like or hate…they generally focus on heavy in-app purchases (IAP) in their games, often also throwing off the game balance in the process. However, there’s one thing that can’t be denied – their games are quite polished when it comes to their core, unlike other companies that often have issues even on launch. Today’s review is one of their games: Contract Killer Zombies 2: Origins, a third person action game.
The game is based around arena-like stages, similar to other games like Dead Trigger. Each arena has one of multiple objectives:
- Rescue – you must find the survivor, then escort him to the exit point
- Protect – you must escort a survivor to multiple points in the area, protect him while he’s doing something, then escort him to the exit point
- Find supplies – you must look around the for the multiple supplies scattered in the map, get them and reach the exit point
- Clean-up – kill all the zombies in the area
- Defend – protect a gate from being overwhelmed by zombies. For this one, you must have a sniper rifle, and you can’t die since you’re on top of a building where the zombies can’t reach you. Also, the longer you last, the more EXP you get
- Arena – (my personal favorite) you’re in a small arena, with waves of zombies constantly attacking you, and the idea is to kill as many as you can…the longer you survive, the more stuff you get
While fighting the undead, you’ll be armed with multiple weapons, such as dual handguns, shotguns, assault rifles etc., along with some helpful items like different grenade types, med-kits and defibrillators (for reviving). This might seem pretty cool at first, but you’ll often find that you’ll have to be careful how much and what weapon you use during the stage. Many times I found myself using a sniper rifle even in close combat to save ammo for my other weapons, which I know I’ll need for stronger enemies. There are sometimes ammo boxes in the stages, but usually it’s not the case…you’re also given the option to pay a few glu-coins (real money currency) for a refill no matter where you are.
Each mission also has one of more optional briefcases hidden in random places which you need to keep an eye out for. At first, these might seem optional, but later in the game, you’ll find that they’re pretty much required if you want to even do anything. These briefcases hold bonus items such as money, slight EXP bonus or if you’re very lucky, an item (which will save you glu-coins).
The controls, as it seems to be standard for Glu games, are actually pretty good. The default control auto-fires your weapon when you point it at a zombie, but for those that don’t like it, you’re also given the option to switch to more classic control scheme and shoot manually.
The game features good graphics for a small-screen device. The environments are nicely detailed, even though they’re completely static. I personally would’ve liked to see some explosive barrels or crates or breakable glass. Despite that, the stages have a good amount of optional locations where you don’t really need to go unless you’re searching for briefcases, which i personally appreciate. The stage variety itself seems ok…they’re not that many, but that seems to be the standard for games of this type, so I can’t really blame them.
Weapon variety on the other hand is a weak point of the game. You unlock weapons as you level-up, and of course you also have the highly-over-powered glu-coin ones right from the start. Initially it’s kind’a cool, but later, you’ll notice how there’s no actual weapon choice, everything is a straight upgrade, so if you were hoping to have one type of weapon effective against a type of zombie while giving you a disadvantage against another, you won’t find it in this game.
Speaking of zombies, there’s also a pretty nice variety of them here, ranging from basic zombies, scientist zombies, fire-fighter zombies, throwers, pipers etc. Each type has its own specific traits, such as “no head-hots” for fire-fighter zombies, double damage if you shoot throwers when they are “reloading” etc. This gives the gameplay some variate and will force you to develop specific tactics if you want to use as little ammo as possible and not take much damage in the process.
However, eventually you’ll start taking a lot of damage…and you’ll start using your items. Some of them however are pretty useless, such as the regular grenades…hitting something with them is next to impossible unless you apply a lot of strategy. Pipe bombs on the other hand are the most useful item, nearly guaranteeing your way out even from huge crowds.
Sound-wise, the game is kind’a lacking. The weapons sound fine, but the music only seems to exist in the menu screen. The voice actors also don’t seem to do a good job…I personally assume they didn’t hire dedicated voice actors, which you can easily tell by most of the dialog in the game.
As you all should know, Glu is not really one of the developers that pays big attention to balancing a game…however, this one is singleplayer only, that is usually a good excuse to ignore over-powered weapons in the game store…or at least I see it as one. On the other hand, except for regular grenades, which as I said already are useless, all other items cannot be purchased unless you spend glu-coins. Melee and Exotic weapons are also a case where you either spend glu-coins or you shouldn’t bother at all…in the case of the melee weapons, everything you can buy with in-game money comes with a guarantee that you’ll get hit a few times before being able to kill a zombie.
The game also has a “side mission” mechanic, where as you complete side objectives such as “kill X number of zombies” or “rescue X number of survivors”, you fill up a star-bar and once full – you receive a couple of glu-coins. This might seem like a pretty fair thing…and depending how you play, it can be either true or false. If you’re skilled enough and don’t use any glu-coins on items, you’ll eventually be able to buy a nice weapon with them…but if you keep buying med-kits, pipe bombs or even ammo refills, you’ll never see the awesome firepower of the glu-coin weapons.
I would classify this game as a mixed bag. While it offers some really cool things and some arguably bad ones, I personally consider it a good game. Unlike other games Glu published such as Eternity Warriors 2, this game is singleplayer only so the very unbalanced glu-coin weapons are not a bother to me. The gameplay variety is also good enough to justify spending time playing.
There are things which I would like to see improved, as it stands, it’s one of the better action games available on Google Play, and seeing how it’s free, I recommend you give it a shot and decide yourself if it fits your personal taste.
Summary: One of the better action games available. While it has its problems, they are not enough to stop you from enjoying shooting zombies and rescuing survivors.