If a zombie apocalypse were ever to occur, some people would stand up and fight for survival while others would run in the other direction while trying not to soil themselves.
Shooter, the imaginatively named protagonist of Contract Killer: Zombies, has no choice but to stand his ground as he is confined to a wheelchair. Thankfully, he seems more than content with this state of affairs.
Glu’s latest freemium effort is a decent first-person shooter whose quality compensates for the annoyances in its structure and repetitive missions.
You control Shooter through a series of missions that take place in a city infested with the undead. Your central task is to survive while protecting Shooter's fellow survivors. Shooter's disability impinges on the action in that you can't move during missions - you have to pivot about on a single point, like a fixed turret.
Missions generally involve assisting survivors during their escape attempts or in their efforts to find supplies. Fellow survivor Evelyn often accompanies you on these missions, and although she's capable of holding her own she'll often run into difficulties if you neglect her. Currency and experience is on offer on each level, allowing you to get your hands on more powerful weapons.
Missions are displayed on an aerial map of the deserted city, which helps to give an impression of the scale of the settlement and the chaos inflicted on it since the apocalypse. Levels may only showcase a tiny portion of the city, but the polished graphics and dark colours help to manufacture an eerie atmosphere accompanied by a suitably sinister soundtrack.
Zombies don’t run
You can equip up to two weapons per level. You aim these by dragging the screen and fire them by tapping the virtual button. You don't need to concern yourself with finding ammunition on your wheelchair, as it's unlimited, but you you have to account for the time it takes to reload a weapon.
The weapons store appears on the city map, and this is the place to acquire new equipment. Types of rifle, shotgun, and pistol are restricted by level and each costs an amount of normal currency or the game’s premium currency, which you acquire through in-app purchases.
These premium items are inevitable given the game’s freemium structure, but Contract Killer: Zombies is quite a bargain. Its vision of a post-apocalyptic environment is superbly recreated, and the shooting action is solid enough to satisfy the most bloodthirsty gamers.
The end of the world
The story does a good job of setting the scene, but it’s no Walking Dead, as occasionally cringeworthy dialogue serves to demonstrate.
Missions get repetitive, and a bit of variety to supplement the general rescue sorties and stationary combat would have been welcome. It’s also disappointing that you're unable to explore the gameworld, given how tantalisingly dangerous and fully formed it looks.
It’s also frustrating not being able to access the game’s full arsenal without in-app purchases - especially when certain weapons would be ideal for a particular mission.
But for the price, if you can put up with the advertisements and the inability to access everything the game has to offer without stumping up some extra cash, Contract Killer: Zombies is a bargain.