| Deadlock: Online
War may be hell, but the massive number of military combat simulators that exist on practically every gaming platform available proves that it’s also hugely profitable, too.
Not that iPhone twin-stick shooter Deadlock: Online seeks to part you from your money too hastily. The game is entirely free to download, with its real cost hidden beneath some seriously addictive multiplayer gameplay.Full metal jacket
Deadlock: Online controls like any other twin-stick blaster. You move your plucky little soldier with the left-hand virtual pad and control his aim with the right-hand pad.
Grenades are hurled by dragging the icon in the direction you wish to throw the incendiary device, and reloading is a matter of tapping a button placed just above the right-hand pad. You can switch your current weapon by tapping the top-right corner of the screen.
It’s a pretty streamlined interface, which is all to the good as Deadlock: Online can be a demanding and action-packed experience at times. Two teams duke it out for total domination over five different maps, and while it’s possible to play offline against computer-controlled opponents, this game only really comes alive when you’re dodging shrapnel with genuine human beings.
Modes such as Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag will be instantly familiar to anyone who has been near a FPS game within the last decade, but the top-down, twin-stick gameplay makes it feel unique.All guns blazing
Fire fights are tense and gripping affairs - especially when you consider the wide array of environmental cover available. Intelligent players will be constantly on the move, weaving in and out of office chairs, barrels, and all manner of other obstacles to ensure their opponents never have a clear shot.
Success in battle earns you unlock points which can be used to purchase more powerful weapons and equipment. It’s here that the ‘freemium’ aspect comes into play: by using real cash, you can gain unlock points quicker and therefore avoid having to toil away for hours to get the best gear.
Of course, no one is holding a gun to your head (pun intended) and forcing you to take this route, and to be honest if you’ve the patience then you can have much more fun working your way up the ranks the honest way.Connection lost
Deadlock: Online’s performance is generally solid, although we did experience a few dropped connections which prematurely ended a few matches. Despite these minor hiccups, the game is a joy to play against other people.
The levels themselves are wildly different in layout and this encourages you to cook up different strategies for each one.
Online shooters tend to be of the FPS variety, so it’s pleasing to see a developer take the genre in a slightly different – but entirely satisfying – direction. Deadlock: Online’s lack of a price tag makes it a no-brainer: you simply have nothing to lose by giving this unique shooter a try.