2020Venture – Wii U, Steam – 1 Player
A duplicate Earth has appeared in close proximity to our Earth. A group of soldiers and scientists sent to the other earth are no longer in contact. It’s your mission to travel to this doppelganger planet and find out what’s going on. Once there it soon becomes apparent that this version of Earth isn’t welcoming in the slightest. Irradiated and populated with mutants and zombies, it’s far from hospitable. The first thing you’ll notice about Chasing Dead, is the cut scenes and videos, the majority of which use actors rather than animation, which immediately reminds of Command and Conquer’s wonderfully cheesy FMV’s. Gameplay wise it’s traditional FPS, utilising all the mechanics and control as you’d expect from the genre by this point. It’s downhill from there however as once you’re thrown in to the action, the frame rate is all over the place. When you’ve got enemies in proximity, it feels like a really laggy online game. This really hinders things as some of the enemies are quicker than you as it is, and you end up blind firing at nothing half the time. Luckily there are also vehicular sections, which switches up the action and can be ridiculous fun. Ploughing into the undead pretty much makes them take off into the stratosphere. The controls are a bit iffy, but it’s one of few areas of the game that isn’t horrifically affected by slowdown.
Visually, it’s no oil painting, as you’d be forgiven for thinking it was an xbox 360 shooter from 2007, however this has no detrimental affect to the overall gameplay, but with it looking like an old 360 game, a lot of its presentation is dingy and grim. The gameplay is inconsistent, with some of it feeling quite fluid and fun, but on the other hand, the frame rate dipping really makes it a struggle to play. It’s quite difficult as it is, with there being limited ammunition and health packs dotted around the maps and levels. When you get more than a couple of enemies on screen things slow right down making it difficult to manoeuvre and fire accurately and even use melee weapons effectively. Even trivial things like walking upstairs doesn’t work half the time as it appears the character is too small to use them as intended. And that’s not to mention randomly being catapulted in the air when shooting nasties and seeing them explode with a simple kick! If the game ran like it’s supposed to, it would actually be quite enjoyable and atmospheric. Hopefully 2020V uphold what they say in the press release and take on board any feedback as if these bugs and faults get sorted out, it might turn its fortunes around. But for now, what seemed like promising and intriguing concept, is pretty much ruined.