Deadlock:Online, a fantastic new online multiplayer-enabled dual-stick shooter from Crescent Moon Games, has just been released and is available from the app store. We previewed the offline modes a few months ago and now that we have been able to engage human opponents in virtual battle, we’re happy to report that Deadlock:Online is brutally fun and painfully addictive.
- Great 3D visuals with distinct environments and nice design
- Multiple online and offline modes
- Universal app that syncs across devices
- Plenty of weapons and other amenities to unlock and use in battle
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards, achievements, and matchmaking
- Some online bugs to be worked out
- Bots will kick your butt 6 ways from Sunday
- Minor control quirks, too easy to hit chat button accidentally in middle of battle
Even if you don’t have a wi-fi connection, you can still enjoy blasting some baddies in either a Bot Match or Survival mode. Bot Match pits you against a bunch of AI opponents, and they are no slouches. Survival offers you limited health and ammo as you attempt to defeat wave after wave of enemies. You can snag the occasional ammo or health pick-up, but you’ll need to be conservative and accurate or you could find yourself with empty clips and a badly banged-up body very quickly. Of course, the main attraction is the online play, allowing you to get savage with friends and players from around the world. Deadlock:Online offers Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture and Hold modes within 5 distinct environments (Parking Lot, Office, Warehouse, Bank, and Arctic Base). Up to 8 players can participate in a match with little to no lag. You can select Quick Play to get tossed into a random game, Custom Game to create a new game or join an existing game of your choosing, or Tournaments to compete for prizes in daily and weekly contests.
Sporting a loadout system that provides access to over 30 weapons ranging from pistols to SMGs to rifles, as well as amenities like helmets, armor, sights, and grenades, you’ll have plenty of firepower to use while fragging enemies left and right. Each weapon and item is rated on various parameters, such as damage, accuracy, mobility, etc., which makes certain weapons/items better than others in various situations. Only a few weapons/items will be available from the start, with access to others earned through unlock points. Unlock points are only gained through online play as you earn experience points and rank up your character. You can also nab unlock points through the use of share codes, by winning tournaments, or dropping some cash or iTunes credit on IAPs. Your personal stats (total XP, kills, deaths, wins, and losses) are tied in to your GameCenter account, allowing you access to play on any device without having to start from square one.
Graphically, the game’s 3D visuals are great and the environments are fairly spread out, offering plenty of cover and multiple ways in and out of locations. Deadlock:Online utilizes a combination of top-down and angled top-down viewpoints which dynamically change as you move around. Environmental objects can obscure your view, with trees in the foreground affecting your ability to see your player just as easily as when you move behind a building. Enemies are marked in red, while friendlies are outlined in blue. Radar arrows appear around the screen to indicate the location of other players. Your health indicator in the upper left corner shows how close you are to dying, though it will refill over time if you can avoid taking fire. Matches are timed, with a countdown timer and score indicator appearing at the screen bottom. There is a great musical score that plays over menus, but no in-game music. There are plenty of gunfire sound effects to enjoy, though. Dual-stick controls are of the standard variety, with the left stick controlling movement and the right stick aiming/firing. Weapons are switched by tapping the weapon icon, and ammo is reloaded by tapping the reload icon. Dragging the grenade icon toward its target will unleash the explosive device on unsuspecting foes. Weapons dropped by dead players will appear as an icon on the screen’s left side, requiring a tap to pick up. All buttons are in convenient locations, making it easy to manage even during intense fighting.
Replay value is terrific, as the drive to rank up and unlock bigger and better weapons should keep you playing for some time. Daily/weekly tournaments should also provide a good deal of incentive to fire up the game often. GameCenter integration allows for global leaderboards, achievements to earn, and easy matchmaking for online fights. A universal app, Deadlock:Online is a 4.5-Dimple powerhouse that is launching for free (yes, FREE!) for a limited time to encourage plenty of users to compete in online play.