Title: Dead Alliance
Developer: IllFonic, Psyop Games, Maximum Games
Publisher: Maximum Games
Genre: Action FPS
Available On: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Version Tested: Xbox One
Official Site: https://deadalliance.com/
Release Date: August 29th, 2017
Where to Buy it: Steam, Microsoft Store, PlayStation Store
Dead Alliance is one of the most disappointing first-person shooter games to come out over the last few years. Since gaining some attention during E3 2017, I quickly became intrigued by what Dead Alliance could be. It was your typical FPS with a twist. Zombies would be scattered throughout the map to be used as an obstacle (and a weapon) for both you and your enemies. This concept was unique enough to make its own niche in the multiplayer FPS market.
Unfortunately, Dead Alliance fails to execute on its distinct concept at almost every opportunity. The multiplayer is uninspired and feels copied and pasted from any FPS game that came before. This would have been somewhat acceptable if the zombies were an actual threat. Most zombies move so slow that they are less of a weapon and more of a minor inconvenience for you to run around. The length of games is far too long as well. Most matches I played were one-sided so after five minutes I was ready to move on to the next one.
You are equipped with Z-Mods that you can use to attract or distract zombies to a certain area. Again, this is a great concept but poorly executed. The Z-Mods should be a fun feature that potentially affects the result of the game but instead, they are completely pointless due to the atrocious zombie AI and the fact that it’s just easier to shoot (or stab) everything in sight. I’m not exaggerating by saying that either. The pistol and knife are the only two weapons you need for the duration of the game.
Everything feels standard for an FPS here from the game modes (team deathmatch, free-for-all, capture the point, king of the hill, capture the flag, etc.) to the controls. It’s mindless action that eventually pulls you in, if only for a short time. Honestly, this is probably the most positive thing I can say about Dead Alliance. However, after a few games, you’ll be bored out of your mind due to playing the same map multiple times during a 30-minute play-session (there are only six maps total).
Then there are the bugs. Make no mistake when I tell you that this game is broken. Every few games or so a match will result in a game-breaking glitch or a network error that sends you back to the main screen. This reminds me of the issues Friday The 13th suffered when it released back in May 2017 (some of the devs of Friday the 13th also worked on Dead Alliance coincidentally). It seems that the developers have no interest in fixing these issues considering they are still present months after its release.
Graphics aren’t anything to brag about either as Dead Alliance looks like an Xbox 360 game made ten years ago. All of the zombies look exactly alike and the same can be said for the players themselves. This would not be as big of an issue if the gameplay had anything redeeming qualities to keep my focus away from the hideous character designs.
Okay, graphics and gameplay are mediocre at best but maybe the weapons are pretty cool? Nope, all of the weapons are standard for any FPS. It feels like I’ve been saying this throughout the review but it is the best way to describe most features in the game. There isn’t anything to set Dead Alliance apart from its peers. They could have featured a weapon creator (much like the Dead Rising series) or unique weapons to unlock (like the Borderlands series) that would make the gameplay somewhat redeemable. That is what Dead Alliance could have had. What it does have is lackluster customization where you unlock weapons, attachments, Z-Mods, etc. as you progress. Then you purchase these items using in-game currency.
Dead Alliance does feature some form of single-player but it is just a horde mode. Hold this point, kill zombies, quickly run to the next point, and repeat. This is my problem with the game as a whole. It is lazy. It doesn’t provide anything worth my time and effort. Modes and weapons feel tacked on to check off boxes all FPS have to go through. For a price tag of $40 or $25 (multiplayer only) at launch, this is unacceptable. I honestly can’t even recommend you to buy this game for a price tag of $10 in its current state.
Verdict: Dead Alliance is an unfinished, uninspired mess that could have been so much better. Lack of maps, weapons to select, game-breaking bugs, and mediocre gameplay make this one of the most frustrating FPS to release in a long time.
- Mindless action that eventually pulls you in, if only for a short period of time
- Uninspiring gameplay
- Horrible visuals and character designs
- Tacked on horde mode
- Game-Breaking bugs
- Lack of content