Into the Dead 2 Review (Switch) – Duck, duck, zombie

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Into the Dead 2 originally released as a mobile game with feasible monetization settings. Now, it’s here on the Switch as a premium game with all microtransactions removed, but now, we have to ask, is it a good game for the Switch?


Pros:
+Unlockables are satisfying albeit they require some work to earn
+Challenges are fun and add to the replayability of the game
+Runs buttery smooth and looks great both docked and in handheld modes
+Offers a slightly intriguing story of a man working to get to his family

Cons:
-Battery life does get borked while playing in handheld mode
-$34.99 is a bit steep for a game of this kind
-Hit detection could use some work


It’s nearly three in the morning before I finally put my Switch down to write this review. I’ve been trying to nail out my final details just for what you are reading now. I’ve deleted my review, I’ve started over, and I’ve once again begun to type, having decided that this will be the final draft.

A lot of it stems from the fact I’ve never played a game like Into the Dead 2. I’ve never played a game where your character is pushed forward on their own, forcing you to eliminate zombies in your path as you navigate fields, streets, forests, and farms filled to the brim with the undead.

To me, it was offputting, a unique experience I’ve never had before. Granted I’ve played games like House of the Dead and Area 51, those were a different beast in their own right. They were games that pushed you from one side to another, forcing you to aim in a particular direction without any movement options what-so-ever.

Into the Dead 2 takes it to a different level. You’ll always be moving forward, always trying to survive, and ultimately making your characters safe return to his family. Except, there was a question I had to ask myself: How much fun is it actually? Well, let’s chat a bit.

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Into the Dead 2 holds your hand as you move through each and every level

When it comes to games holding my hand, I’m not a fan. I love the ability to go from one place to another in a not-so-linear fashion. I love the ability to have the freedom of choice – to pick and choose the path I take. That’s not the case here, which to me, was a bit of a learning curve.

I needed to refresh my perspective, adjust to a game such as this, and take my time to learn to enjoy it. Once I did that, it was smooth sailing. The gameplay experience is rather simple as control designs are rather intuitive. Use the left thumbstick to move left and right, use the triggers to pop a nearby zombie or three, and work your way through each and every level.

Along the way, you get simple pick-ups that can increase your ammo. Yup, that’s it, just your ammo. You earn things such as grenades and weapon upgrades that can be used once per level. While this sounds hard to manage, it’s not, just remember that you have to earn these and they aren’t cheap to replenish through the in-game store.

However, to unlock things, you will need to complete certain levels and or chapters in order to obtain them. You’ll need to take into mind there are over 60 stages to enjoy and each one does come filled-to-the-brim with their very own challenges you will need to complete in order to unlock every item in the game.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m still unlocking weapons as some do require so many challenges and gold to obtain. That aside, the story is more-or-less played out through a walkie talkie. While that does some a bit dumb, it works, and honestly, it adds to the sense of urgency.

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The complexity of the game doesn’t change all that much, but it’s still fun

One thing that really stands about this game is that it isn’t a complex title. It’s not one that’s going to take you days or weeks to master. Instead, it’s a simple and fun title, one that puts your ability to pay attention to your challenges to the test and ultimately pushes your ability to try your hardest to a whole new level.

While that sounds dumbfounding and way too easy, it’s not, there are some challenges that will take a couple of tries since you have to find hidden items that act as weapons and usually do have specific challenges tied to them for that stage. Those of you who want more than just a few dozen maps have a lot more to look forward to.

The team has added in a Side Story mode that allows those who have beaten certain stages to take on brand new chapters to enjoy. If you haven’t unlocked those you can take on the challenge modes which offer better rewards for how good you do, usually depending on how many zombies you can kill.

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Performance, sound, and graphics actually aren’t all that bad

One thing to appreciate about Into the Dead 2 isn’t how smooth it plays, but also, how good it sounds, how beautiful the graphics actually are. Every setting is absolutely haunting, each map feels uniquely designed despite the fact you will see quite a few models and textures get used quite a few times.

While it sounds like a small problem, it’s not, especially since you have to consider this was originally a game meant for Android and iOS devices before it was ported over to the Nintendo Switch. The only thing to really take note of here is battery life.

One issue I have had so far is the battery life with the game. It does tend to drain the battery almost as quickly as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I’ve noticed that it tanks and rather quickly for some unknown reason, averaging in just under three hours while in handheld mode.

Which let’s be honest, it is kind of weird for a game such as this since it was a mobile game when it initially launched. Luckily, it’s not treated like once since PikPok left all the microtransactions back on mobile devices.

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Conclusion

I’ll be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting a lot from Into the Dead 2. I was expecting more of a mobile experience than a handheld or console-based one. The game, albeit fun, is a pick-up-and-go title. It’s one you’re going to use to burn downtime while waiting on a bigger game to download or update to complete. Heck, it’s even great if you need to burn some time on a train, on a plane, or in a car.

Into the Dead 2
Platforms: 
Nintendo Switch
Version Reviewed: 
Nintendo Switch
Developer:
PikPok
Publisher: 
Versus Evil
Release Date: 
Available Now
Cost:
 $34.99

The only complaint I actually have is that progression is locked behind challenges. I’d love to have seen a level up system in place that allowed you to get items that would help with your progression. Heck, even seeing some of the currency become a bit more accessible would have been nice as well. That aside though, it’s a solid game, but if you’re wanting to shell out $34.99, I’d advise staying elsewhere for the time being. It’s a bit of a steep buy-in for a game such as this.


Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game for review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.


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About the Writer(s):

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.

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