Developer: Square Enix
Price: FREE (with in-app purchases)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad mini (Retina)

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★½☆☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

The latest from famed game developer Square Enix, Deadman’s Cross is a mash-up between both a first-person zombie shooter and a card-based battle game.

The year is 2030, and a state of martial law has been declared across America. Since the enacting of the martial law both the government and media have fallen silent. As the main character sits there day after day, hearing nothing but screams and gunfire, he eventually plucks up the courage to unbar the front door and walk out into the unknown.

photo 2What greets him are the Deadmen. A race of human-looking creatures that were once civil and law-abiding. The civilization that once was is now but a distant memory. These people obey no law, they have no morals – and they’re out for blood. Trusting their rifle as the only chance of survival, players will take to the streets of New Livingston to capture as many of these Deadmen as possible.

In this part of the game players will aim at undead targets, and fire through a sniper sight. A successful hit will see the dead race to stop one making another attempt, and a few successful hits will capture that deadman for themselves. Each Deadman one manages to capture during this stage can later be used to create a horde, and each horde of 5 Deadmen can be used to fight other hordes that one may come across. Taking up different jobs, one will aim to earn tournament passes so that they can take part in The Boneyard – a worldwide and televised event in which zombie hordes are put up to fight for a commanding and live audience every 24 hours.

While its overly-graphic art style and mission-based gameplay may have some convinced and wanting to replay, it would be wrong of me not to mention the pay-to-win aspect of Deadman’s Cross. Because, lets face it, this is overtly a pay-to-play title. Sure, one can progress without having to buy more coins, but the game becomes so increasingly difficult that many will likely succumb to buying coin packs just to make life easier.

photo 1The use of completely-automated player-vs-player card battles was also somewhat disappointing, but nevertheless expected considering another of Square Enix’s titles – Guardian Cross – follows through with this same play mechanic. Deadman’s Cross will provide an average role-playing and mission-based experience that will definitely have one wanting to play, but it’s reliance on in-app purchases (some of which can run up to $49.99), or forcing players to wait periods of time for things to refill, lets it down somewhat.

The fact that Deadman’s Cross also requires a persistent internet connection in order to play doesn’t help; essentially forcing one to have access to the internet at the time they want to play, or face the thought of not being able to play at all. Overall, the phrase “could do better” comes to mind.

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