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Trapped Dead Review

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Trapped Dead is an unfortunate, zombified husk of a game that could have not only been good but great. It has the pieces and foundation of something unique and refreshing but, like its closest peer Fort Zombie, fails to deliver on any of the fronts it set out to. This ship has sunk at port, and Headup has a lot on their plate if they want to justify their customers spending a hefty sum for such a short, broken, busted game.

“Complete the first two singleplayer missions to unlock host multiplayer”

This is the first massive red flag in Headup’s new isometric zombie game, promising players slow and tactical game play with the surprisingly egoist boast of being similar to the nearly perfect “Commandos” series–just with zombies you see. Well, having no alternative, I fired up the singleplayer (After abashedly realizing that there is not even an options menu on the main menu. Amusingly there is one in game, go figure) and found out the hard way that, in all honestly, trapped dead presents one of the most unfixably broken and busted foundations of a indie game I have played–perhaps only rivaled by the old gem Cortex Command that got abandoned all too soon.

The key problems with Trapped Dead lie in the foundations. To begin with the aesthetic is unappealing and very dull, with southern rock blasting during what should be frantic moments, and embarassing voice acting with thick–and fake–accents reminding me of what might come of a True Blood mock show. The game sprawls across a done-to-death tale of two friends being sucked into a zombie apocalypse, a fierce and fiesty love interest, the old vindicated sniper dude… its all here. The aesthetic is so boring, its a shame too since it sports a highly decent lighting and texturing side of things.

But this should be your concern: the sheer amount of bugs that present itself is… embarassing, and I am wholy confident–having gone through development scenes myself in extensive mods–that Headup did not even play the game before releasing it. The first cause for concern is when you’re asked to pick up a bat, mousing over it prematurely causes the game to crash or the bat to vanish. Upon reloading I waited until it told me to, only to have it tell me to “Click to select it onthe bottom right inventory screen”. After three minutes of looking I realized that there wasn’t one, and that I had to click in the empty space on the screen until he pulled out a bat. Yikes.

Red square is where the inventory should be. Circle for where the bat should be. Ruh roh.

Now we’re getting somewhere! Bat equipped and zombie in sight, its time to engage the sucker and… he doesn’t fight back, and my guy swings ridiculously silly. And damage markers float off their heads. Uh oh.
In the second mission I had enormous problems even trying to figure out what I was doing, with items names being blacked out, with doors not opening like they should, with zombies not taking any damage due to not possessing the “quest weapon”, and all sorts of silliness that boiled down the experience from slightly amusing to downright painful to play.

Black square is where the item name should be. Notice I still don't have an inventory. That zombie should be attacking me. Alt + F4

Items with names blacked out, save spots that make no sense, a weird, brief tutorial that, if you don’t follow, literally kills you… There’s too much restriction and control. This game is very thin skinned, its very delicate. If you try to think outside the box you pay for it, if you try to break anything you will. And that 100% linear design goes against everything about most zombie games.

Score Sheet:

Graphics – 3/5
Sound – 1.5/5
Story – ?/5
Gameplay – 2/5
Stability – 1/5

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