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Extraction: Project Outbreak Review
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Extraction: Project Outbreak, a top-down zombie shooter developed by ShortRound and published by Chillingo, is a recent release from the app store. Utilizing an interesting one-touch input method to dispatch the undead, Extraction employs a stylish presentation that’s both easy to manage and fun to play.

Extraction: Project Outbreak Pros:

  • Detailed environments with nice shading/lighting effects
  • Upgradeable character and weapons
  • Interesting one-touch control mechanics
  • Crystal integration for leaderboards and achievements

Extraction: Project Outbreak Cons:

  • Controls can be finicky
  • Fairly short campaign with no multiplayer options
  • Crashing issues

Extraction: Project Outbreak contains multiple missions in each of 20 different zones in its single-player campaign. The missions show some variety, but not a great deal. You’ll typically find yourself needing to meet a target kill count, run an escort to extract scientists from an obviously dangerous situation, or keep the shamblers at bay while engineers fix an important object. You hop off of a helo that touches down briefly at the start of each mission, placing you in the thick of things with a primary and secondary weapon. A ticking timer provides some incentive to move quickly, despite the sizeable environments that feel ripe for exploration. A variety of enemy types will descend upon you as you mill about, though you rarely feel overwhelmed. Some move quickly, some spin in circles, and others are the slow-moving, mind-their-own-business types. Each level has intel boxes that can be picked up, as well as ammo and health drops. Successfully surviving a mission earns credits which can be spent to upgrade you weaponry (larger clips, more damage, better range, increased accuracy, etc.) and unlock better weapons. Your character also earns experience points, which are used to bolster his own stats across attributes such as armor, speed, melee, and gun skill. Once your task is complete, you must return to the LZ to hitch a ride to the next locale before the timer expires.

Graphically, Extraction features very detailed environments with terrific shading and lighting effects that create a realistic scene. The viewpoint is pulled back pretty far, making all people look pretty small and giving border areas a same-y look. Fortunately, yellow indicators will lead you toward doors and corridors. The hit detection is a little weird, as we watched our character pass right through large rocks and other types of barriers, though complex walls do force you to move around. There is a map that gives you an overview of the entire level in the event that you do get confused or lost. The audio is crisp and the soundtrack offers a good deal of artillery noise to heighten the experience. The one-touch controls work well enough, as your character will move to any tapped area and fire upon areas that you swipe. You can even set up chains and future targeted attacks by swiping while your character is carrying out his initial attack. Swapping weapons and reloading are handled via a couple of on-screen buttons in the lower left corner. There is a tendency for the controls not to register as consistently as expected, with swipes being ignored and taps not always causing the character to move, most notably when being attacked by enemies. The small effective screen space, hampered by a fairly large and obtrusive HUD, creates a need for constant tapping to keep moving. These issues are mitigated somewhat by the larger iPad screen.

Replay value is decent, though the lack of difficulty levels and the relative ease with which missions can be completed don’t offer a lot of compelling reasons to keep coming back. Multiple profiles do allow more than one gamer to play on a single device without impacting the stats of another. Crystal integration brings leaderboards and achievements into play. Some crashing issues have made themselves known, too, diminishing our enjoyment a bit. A universal app for $0.99, Extraction: Project Outbreak is a flawed but fun 3.5-Dimple effort.

Extraction: Project Outbreak Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-11-22T02:31:16+00:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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