Science-Fiction Weekly – Dead Effect 2, Exclusive Look At New Dreadnought Ships
If you consider yourself a big mobile gamer, you may be familiar with the name Dead Effect. According to the series' developer, Bad Fly Interactive, Dead Effect 2 has been downloaded over seven million times on mobile devices since its launch on October 28, 2015. Don't worry, I had no clue this series existed either, which is unfortunate since I'm loving the hell out of the Xbox One port. The game hit Xbox Live and PlayStation Network last week, and I think it's worth a look, but not for typical reasons.
Don't read too much into Dead Effect 2's name; it isn't an amalgamation of Mass Effect and Dead Space. Bad Fly has paved its own path into the science-fiction world with a zombie-killing experience that embraces camp to a degree we rarely see. As much as Dead Effect 2 tries to deliver intense run-and-gun action, the real fun comes from the hilarious spoken dialogue. The type of humor that is deployed is hard to read, but that's part of what makes it fun. I honestly don't know if this game is supposed to be comedic or not. Did Bad Fly try to make cool characters and missed the mark entirely? Or do they have masterful command of all things cheese? No matter what the intended result was, if you love watching low-budget Syfy movies, this game is fired from the same Ion Cannon.
That's not to say the gameplay isn't fun. It's a little sloppy control-wise, and the A.I. loves running into bullet showers, but the gunplay feels nice and the action rarely has a lull in it, delivering nicely in enemy variety and making each conflict feel like a real fight.
Don't expect much from the story, however. Yes, it's technically science-fiction, but outside of the outer-space setting (on the Spaceship ESS Meridian), and a lab experiment gone awry, killing is the name of the game. The tight corridors don't offer much in terms of maneuverability, but swinging swords or using high-powered weapons to down zombie dogs and brain-eating astronauts is oddly satisfying. I'm four hours into the adventure, and it's holding my interest nicely. Along with the humor, the game offers a surprising amount of depth in its weapons (of which there are over 300), as well as the various upgrade systems. Implants deliver combat boosts like strength bonuses, improved accuracy (through new eyes), and other things that can enhance your potential. The player also levels up, and points can be exchanged for new class-based abilities. If you choose a melee character like I did, you can equip one special such as a ground slam or the ability to pull or throw enemies. Points can alternatively be used to activate 14 special abilities, as well as general or weapon abilities. Like I said, it has depth, but camp remains the star.
I haven't said "Xbox record that" this much while playing a game before. I couldn't believe the ridiculous stuff my character was saying, and the people around him are just as silly and hard to believe. Here's how a typical conversation unfolds in Dead Effect 2:
And I know you want to see more of Minikin, so here he is in action:
Finally, take a look at a boss fight. I have no idea why he explodes at the end, but I approve. Why not make him explode is the real question here.
That's Dead Effect 2. If you enjoy watching Game Informer's Super Replay series, I have a feeling you enjoyed the clips I shared and want to see more. The entire game is filled with content just like this. It's currently retailing for $20 on Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Now let's talk about Dreadnought. I raved about piloting a capital-class ship in this game a few weeks ago, and now we're getting an intimate look at several new vessels, along with "Hero Ships" that should be available when the game launches later this year. Hero Ships are uniquely designed, giving players instant access to high-end weapons and modules. The catch: These beefed-up alternatives are micro-transactions. As developer Yager points out, "While Hero Ships don't give you an outright advantage in battle, they do offer more specialized options."
Yager provided Science-Fiction Weekly an exclusive look at six vessels. The first three fall into the Dreadnought-class designed by Jupiter Arms, a manufacturer of weapons and defense systems. As Yager points out, "[Jupiter Arms'] employees live and work in pursuit of a common purpose: to build the best, most efficiently destructive tech in the Solar System."
The Jutland was taken to the frontlines of all post-War raider skirmishes in the Jovian system, crushing its enemies with its heavy-caliber guns. Commissioned by Jupiter Arms' Shiphead Machia, the Jutland is one of the biggest, slowest and sturdiest ships in the Jupiter Arms fleet and it is still a mystery how it the well-guarded monster ship ended up on Sinley Bay.
The Monarch is a true behemoth. Solid and armed to the teeth with Heavy Ballistic Cannons, its close-range power is second to none. While the Monarch packs guns that can decimate the sides of any vessel, it is the slowest, least-agile ship in the Solar System. This gargantuan Dreadnought was originally captained by Shiphead Rout as the flagship of Jupiter Arms’ fleet. Its strength and durability have since been pushed to unrivaled levels.
Trident (Hero Ship)
This Monarch-class Dreadnought is a weapon of vengeance. Commanded by Captain Melville Blanco under the banner of the Pan-Colonial Fleet, this flagship represents its captain’s crushing defeat at the hands of a Transhuman Dreadnought—and obsessive pursuit of retribution.
The final three ships are tactical cruisers from Akula Vektor, which Yager describes as a "combination of two megacorps: Akula, a defense manufacturer, and Vektor, a producer of anti-gravity systems and other civil tech. Its members are unsophisticated, no-nonsense realists, but their ultimate goal is steadfastly optimistic: to create a battleship that is incapable of being destroyed."
Legend has it that the audacious Ambassador Spinoza Dek always flew the Koschei right to the front of skirmishes, although the traditional position of a Tac Cruiser is at the back. As a tribute to Captain Dek's hubris, this ship was converted into an ironclad tactical cruiser right at home on the frontlines.
The slow, thick-armored Ohkta is designed to do two things: heal allies, and soak up damage like a tank. Its healing-only primary weapon makes it perfect for repairing teammates from a safe, defensive position.
The Ohkta was commissioned by Akula’s Director of Ethical Hacking, General Reid Guth, who sought to create “the queen of all support vessels.” After Guth defected to Sinley Bay, he pushed it far beyond its original specs.
Kali (Hero Ship)
The Kali is the Flagship of Commodore Rajesh, head of security at Akula’s refinery moon Phoebe. Rajesh is notorious for his cruelty and the crews in his fleet are famous for their efficiency. The Kali is a legend amongst mercenaries who have attempted to attack Phoebe and survived – they tell tales of a seemingly indestructible fleet, made almost invulnerable by the Kali's unstoppable support prowess.
Out of these six ships, the I'm looking forward to flying the Trident the most. That's a nice looking ship, and it's called a "weapon of vengeance." You can't really top that.
That's it for this week's Science-Fiction Weekly. I can think of no better way to end this column than with more Minikin. Enjoy!