Shadowgun is a cutting edge iOS game that delivers gorgeous 3D third person shooter gameplay. Madfinger Games has been hard at work, and now Shadowgun: DeadZone is out, which is the online multiplayer variation. When you think of online multiplayer shooters, you think of console gameplay, but Madfinger has done their best to deliver it to iOS. The game uses the same outstanding Unity engine for amazing 3D graphics, and it’s all been taken online with silky smooth playback.
After playing the first match, I can’t help, but compare it to Unreal Tournament 3 in terms of the multiplayer action. Every match features 12 players at once so there’s a constant flow of shooting action with enemies around you at almost all times. There are multiple maps based on Shadowgun, and the best aspect is that they’re relatively condensed so that you’re always running into enemies, unlike some other multiplayer games where expansive environments are a detriment. There are two games modes with the free for all Deathmatch, and team based Zone Control, and the game is free so there’s a constant supply of players so there’s virtually no waiting to get playing.
The graphics engine is no doubt superb, but the online multiplayer gameplay is the star of the show, and it should be. This is the best online multiplayer experience on iOS, and once you start it’s so easy to just keep respawning in new rounds. The two modes are nice and varied as well, and the team gameplay is super enjoyable with a capture the flag feel. The gameplay, graphics, and online connectivity are at the top level of the App Store, but the payment structure drags down the entire experience.
The free aspect is understandable to get players, but the in-app purchases just deter you from wanting to keep playing. First off, there’s a premium account which is accessible when you buy one of the gold packs, but the premium account is only accessible for a limited time. You can spend $10, and the premium account only lasts three months, and it’s amazing that your in-app purchase can expire. It would be great to see a full game unlock option, but instead you only get the full features for a specific time.
If that wasn’t problem enough, the matches aren’t balanced to those who are premium players, and those who are not. That means free players can be overmatched as premium players can buy better weapons. The game should create matches based on user experience and purchases so you can be matched up with similar players. You would think with such a great game, Madfinger couldn’t mess it up, but they have.
Shadowgun: Deadzone (Free, Universal) is a great game with a terrible payment structure. It’s an experience not to be missed on iOS, but just be forewarned about payments, and match making.