Into the Dead 2 review
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Into the Dead 2 review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on October 23rd, 2017
Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: MONETIZED CORPSE
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This runner is difficult only because of its free-to-play design.

Developer: PikPok

Price: Free
Version: 1.0.6
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starblankstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Into the Dead 2 is a runner where you must dodge or shoot zombies in order to stay alive. It's not a particularly original premise, nor is it a game that seems concerned about bringing much new to the table. Instead, it's a game that wants to put you on a free-to-play treadmill as you play levels that are so simple, even a shambling corpse could get through them pretty easily.

Run, shoot, repeat

You play Into the Dead 2 from the first-person perspective as you run through abandoned streets, fields, and other environments that are littered with undead creatures that want to eat you. Your character runs on his own, and swiping on one side of the screen controls movement to the left and right. You can also tap the other side of the screen to shoot at zombies if you aren't able to dodge them.

The running of Into the Dead 2 is not of the infinite variety. Instead, players need to reach a pre-defined point in order to survive. In addition to a Story Mode that doles out some dialogue between levels, Into the Dead 2 features a Survival Mode and Daily Challenges, which are only mild variations on the “avoid and/or kill zombies” gameplay present in Story Mode.

Outrunning undead

The running in Into the Dead 2 feels pretty solid, as the game moves at a smooth framerate and the game itself has some nicely polished visuals. It can feel satisfying to maneuver your way through webs of zombies, but a lot of the rest of the game feels pretty unnecessary.

Although Into the Dead 2 lets you carry guns, you don't really need to use them. Dodging zombies is so easy that it's not uncommon to play whole levels where you never feel like you need to fire a shot. Unfortunately though, much of Into the Dead 2's progression system is designed around players using guns to kill zombies, which just incentivizes players to play dangerously and feed into the game's deep web of free-to-play system.

Monetized monotony

When you complete levels and objectives in Into the Dead 2, you earn lootboxes which can reward you with parts for new guns, in-game currency, and other items. In a runner that feels as easy as Into the Dead 2, there doesn't seem to be much reason to engage with or use any of this stuff, but the game eventually puts up walls to its content unless you keep up with its progression systems.

If you aren't actively upgrading guns or completing objectives, your progress in the game's Story Mode will halt. In addition, zombies get stronger between levels, making it so that your guns won't be effective against them if you aren't constantly upgrading them. This isn't as huge a problem since dodging zombies in Into the Dead 2 is pretty easy, but it's still annoying.

The bottom line

Into the Dead 2 isn't a particularly innovative runner, but it looks and feels good, at least up to a point. The free-to-play systems in the game eventually force you to engage with parts of it that feel like they're only there to make you spend currency you either earned or bought. It's at this point that Into the Dead 2 changes from a decently mindless runner into an insidious one.

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