Zombie games have become a staple of the iOS App Store game diet, and in particular, twin stick zombie shooters can be found in large numbers in many corners of the store. So, it does need something pretty special to make us sit up and take notice, with the latest effort being Left2Die from Everplay.
Now, while Left2Die doesnt bring anything particularly new to the table, what it does do is bring what is probably the most polished and feature complete zombie shooter on iPhone and iPad so far.
Left2Die has your standard setup, as you have to defend yourself against waves of zombies attacking from all angles, but it does it with such confidence and swagger, that you may very well find this replacing other games of this type on your homescreen. The first thing you will notice is the high quality of the graphics, with superb lighting and weather effects bringing detailed levels to life. The characters are all well put together and animate extremely well, and everything moves very smoothly indeed. You may get some slowdown here and there on an iPhone 3GS, but anything from an iPhone 4 and up will run the game with little problem.
You have to survive in various levels, each of which has been well designed. There are bottlenecks, cubby holes and defensible buildings everywhere, and it is good to see this kind of game get some decent levels, which is an area many twin stick shooters almost ignore.
You have the usual kit of shotguns, pistols and machine guns, with more interesting weapons unlock-able further on. You start with just a basic shotgun, a baseball bat and chainsaw, with the rest available for purchase in the store, but don’t worry as you really don’t need to do much grinding to unlock most of the weapons and the IAPs are of the optional variety. There are also some different characters to buy, each with varying powers, and these do take longer to unlock.
A word of warning: the game gives you a shotgun to start out with, which takes forever to reload and is tricky to aim. Try to unlock the first machine gun as quickly as you can as the first impressions of the game given off by the shotgun are not good, so please persevere and get that Uzi.
There are 60 single player missions, and a survival mode for playing on your own, but I am guessing that most players will be spending a lot of their time in the multiplayer area. This brilliant addition, which uses Game Center to log you in and find players, lets you partake in two modes, co-op and deathmatch.
Deathmatch lets you battle other players in the standard fashion, but it is the co-op where the game truly shines. You can either play with a random player or invite someone from your Game Center game list, choose a level and your equipment and off you go. I found the online play to be extremely smooth in the dozen or so matches that I took part in, and the only issues were caused by the optional voice chat, which did tend to bog things down a bit. It is a nice extra, but if you want smooth online play, I would leave it switched off, as it also seem to play havoc with the volume.
For $1.29, this is a great little game. Nice graphics, decent gameplay, well designed levels and excellent online play make this one of the best twin stick games on iOS.