Dead Frontier Review: Creepy is it’s Middle Name
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
The game’s first impression to me is that it’d probably another failed attempt on creating a “scary” MMO. However, as I played through Dead Frontier, the chills I got were real enough for me to acknowledge that the game does provide the creep factor I never expected it to.
I must admit, even if the game takes on the usual path most zombie games tread on. Dead Frontier brings a whole new meaning to the term “zombie killing” in browser-based games. My first reason for saying this is that the game uses Flash instead of the usual text prompts, which enables you to experience the creepiness of the game in a different way to that of normal browser games. Furthermore, the game effectively maximizes what Flash can do in providing the creep factor that you feel as you play. The second reason is that the game has a lot of familiar elements that are found in real life. Though this has been used a lot on other zombie browser games, the mix of the dark atmosphere brought upon by the game’s dark flash-based interface completes the whole creepy experience.
The third reason is the game’s eerie soundtrack. The mix of the dark atmosphere, familiarity, and Dead Frontier’s eerie audio adds to the sense of hopelessness you have if you are living in a dark post-apocalyptic world. The slow and deliberate tempo of the sound provides the constant tension even though the tracks seem to just repeat for the duration of the game.
Dead frontier has a huge roster of characters you can use and each is based on actual professions in real life. This adds to the “familiar to real life” element of the game that further puts you in the shoes of your character. Each character has a starting weapon and specific bonuses such as more exp boost or more starting money. Every character starts from scratch and basically the character you choose is based on your preference of gaming style.
The game uses the overhead view and you use both the mouse and keyboard for movement. There’s also a fog system implemented in the game, which impedes your vision to only a few inches in front of you. The fog adds suspense to your game even if you already have big guns at your disposal because you don’t know how many or how strong the zombies that you are out there are, so there’s an off chance that you can be run over by zombies if you don’t pay attention to your surroundings. Speaking of which, the zombies in Dead Frontier are not the typical zombies that are easy to kill. They are faster than your usual zombies and the majority of them are harder to take down even if you have guns. The variation of the zombies keeps you on your toes and makes every trip into the game an adventure.
The game feels like those custom maps you get to play in Warcraft III, especially if you get to join in areas with other players. The multiplayer feature gives the game more character and adds another reason to keep on playing. What I liked about the multiplayer feature in the game is that even if you are with other players the fog system is still in effect. Although this time you get see more due to other people’s field of vision, however there is still a limit as to how much you can see. This adds to the tactical element with how you play with other people because you can’t just go guns-a-blazing because you have other people to worry about as well.
Speaking of which, communication is chat based and there is no voice chat available. This can be seen in two ways. Number one it is a challenge, because you have to feel the other player or find an easier way of communicating what you want to happen. Number two, it is a nuisance because you can’t really express your commands, suggestions or thoughts in the game, plus it’s very awkward for you to switch from controlling your character to chatting. Also, the game seems to become harder when you join other players. There are more zombies who pop out and there are times that you have to dance around them just to survive and escape, mind you, you are already in a group so don’t expect the game to be easier.
Dead Frontier uses a stat-based gaming system where your character levels up and has stats points that you can put on certain attributes. This gives the game a sort of “goal” for you to work toward.
There are a variety of weapons in the game. You get to choose from melee weapons all the way through to the standard guns that you often come across in zombie-themed games. The variety is good but not huge, but you don’t notice so much because you are generally busy concentrating on working toward your next level and the next stronger weapon. The game mirrors real life to an extent because you also have to buy the ammunition for your weapons, so there’s a possibility you can run out of bullets while being mobbed. This makes your Dead Frontier experience more than just a shooter game but also a tactical one much like Resident Evil.
Weapon in Dead Frontier
Dead Frontier is an unbelievably good browser game to play. Even if it applies the overused zombie post-apocalyptic theme it provides players enough reasons to play. Furthermore, I am quite surprised that a game like this has made me think twice about MMOs not being able to break the “horror” genre. Though this game is only creepy it made me hope that there might come a time where a MMO may in fact be good enough to make a successful horror-themed game. The game still needs a lot of improvements however it already has solid game play and even a catchy and entrancing opening video. If you are a fan of the zombie genre and are currently looking for a decent zombie themed MMO, then I highly suggest playing Dead Frontier.
– It’s not text based
– You get to choose between single player and multiplayer modes
– The game is simply addicting.
– Awkward chat system
– The game is creepy but can’t be considered as horror
– The game is hard for beginners.