Published on December 13th, 2017 | by Craig Forshey0
Deadly Labs Review
Arcade antics and environmental physics collide in this unique 3D shooter from Rebound Games.
Combining elements of light gun shooters, 3D puzzlers, and base defense games Deadly Labs takes a different tack from your typical shoot ’em up as players race to stop a horde of radioactive monsters from destroying the world. Players find themselves in a top secret lab where a sabotaged experiment into manipulating nuclear energy has resulted in the creation of an army of adorably ugly creatures that wouldn’t have been out of place in the TV show Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. While these toothy abominations were originally meant for good an evil scientist has manipulated their DNA for his own nefarious purposes and they will soon gather enough nuclear material to trigger a meltdown and begin the process of annihilating humanity. It’s up to players to put their throwing arm to good use and pelt these odd entities into submission with gobs of radioactive anti-matter that will bring the base crashing down around them.
Throughout Deadly Labs’ 16 level campaign players must prevent a series of nuclear barrels from reaching critical mass by destroying the creatures before they can dump more material into them. Players move around each 3D environment with a virtual analog stick and tap on the screen to aim a shot at enemies. It won’t be as simple as tapping on a monster to take them out though as players must take trajectory and physics into account as each shot flies through the air with realistic arcs. This is easier said than done as the monsters scurry around each level and duck behind obstacles in their mission to be a perpetual nuisance. Aiming for their eyestalks will take them down the quickest but is also the trickiest option due to the much smaller hitbox.
Luckily, players have an armory of countermeasures at their disposal to help aid them in their struggle. Being a scientist, players can build different kinds of useful turrets like tesla cannons and chainsaw platforms to thin out the herds at the cost of some accumulated resources. These aren’t always available but they can make or break some of the tougher missions. Additional ammo types are also available such as bullet-time esque sniper blobs and room clearing grenades which can be a life saver in a pinch such as when a monster is just about to add more nuclear waste to a barrel. On top of all that players will sometimes run into special levels where they have no weapons and must pick up objects in the level and hurl them at enemies with all their might which can make for some tricky situations.
Each of the 3D environments in the game feel well designed and will usually have bonus objectives such as finding hidden items or performing specific types of kills. Completing all the bonus objectives in each section of the game will unlock an extra endless mission where players attempt to best other players’ high scores.
While they don’t boast a super high polygon count the characters and other 3D models fit Deadly Labs’ cartoon aesthetic rather well and are endearingly goofy in their own way. Rather than a static setup each level feels alive and filled with moving parts for players to break. Windows can be shattered to reveal secrets, throwable objects are everywhere, and monsters can be knocked off ramps or into vats of acid. Knowing the layout of the level and what routes the monsters will take can greatly increase players’ chances of survival.
Summary: Deadly Labs is a charismatic physics based shooter that fans of the genre will adore.