iPhone Game Review: Tactical Soldier: Undead Rising Reviewed by Abisco / Abbass-Ali Siwjee
Tactical Soldier: Undead Rising is the first chapter in a series of turn based strategy games involving you controlling a team of soldiers fighting your way through hordes of undead, and trying to figure out what's going on. The unlikely combination of Turned Based Strategy (TBS) and Zombie action is sure to turn a few heads, but believe me when I say this is no gimmick.
Gameplay within Tactical Soldier: Undead Rising is pretty much standard turn based shooter fare. You have a few characters on your squad, each of them have action points. Action points are consumed by walking, shooting your gun, picking up objects, or interacting with the environment. You will need to figure out where exactly you would like to move your soldiers to in each turn. On top of this, there is the layer of RPG elements, where after accumulating a certain amount of XP per character, you can upgrade their skills, their speed, amount of action points, and much, much more.
The place where everything gets flipped on its head is probably the zombie aspect. Most TBS have you slowly fighting enemies that attack from one path, and only a handful at a time. Tactical Soldier: Undead Rising on the other hand has zombies of all kinds attacking from many different directions. You will seldom find a zombie attack that attacks from only one path, and the worst part about it is that they are all really fast.
It does create quite a bit of tension, trying to survive the onslaught of zombies while following story objectives. Speaking of story objectives, the game has quite an intriguing story, though it seems kind of like standard fare with the whole scientist experiment gone wrong (at least, that?s what it seems like). The game uses comic strips to go from level to level, and each character you have is interesting, though clich?d. All in all, the game has a lot going for it, the zombies really separates the game from other TBS, while the TBS separates this game from other zombie games. It really is a love made in heaven (hell?), and it really makes the player think strategically.
Thankfully you never feel like you need to be a ?pro? since the game slowly teaches you all the fundamentals, so by the time where you are officially on your own, you can at least make simplistic strategies easily, but this game also has enough depth for those wanting a real strategic affair.
The game really looks amazing. Everything is 3D, from the zombies, to the game design, to the character models? it really just looks great. You also have the comic strips, which are admittedly underwhelming, they do the job of conveying a story, but they feel like they could have had a bit more work done on them. The problem with the game though is the controls. I found the camera controls in particular hard to maneuver at times. It really takes time to get used to the controls, but it is necessary for it to be difficult, since the game allows you to look at the screen in any depth of field you want. What does this mean? This means you can zoom in and watch the action up close, or from high up to see a better strategic view. The controls do take a little getting used to, but after a bit of time, you will be really happy that the game has such options. That isn?t to say it?s perfect, I still find some elements of the HUD annoying, but these are all minor gripes, and seldom lead to death.
The music in the game is actually really good. It really is disturbing how haunting the music can be, or the lack of music at times. But the lack of music isn?t really a sign of laziness, but rather adds to the experience. When you don?t have some ambient sounds, you have the menacing sounds of the zombies, the groans and terrors; it all really just adds up makes a great overall experience. The sound is great and fits the game perfectly.
Overall Tactical Soldier: Undead Rising really is great. With about 6-8 hours of gameplay, it really is a great game for anyone even remotely interested in turn based shooters. The game has a good story, and looks great.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - The game looks great, 3D models really fit in well, the comics could have used a little work though Sound: - 4 - Great music and ambient effects that really fit in well with the game Controls: - 3 - The game has some hard to use controls, namely when concerned with the camera, but after getting used to it, a lot of the problems go away. Gameplay: - 5 - A really fun game with lots of strategic and RPG elements, and most importantly, zombies! The game is varied and fun, and that?s what matters
Playing Hints and Tips:
The game is about strategy, so make sure you pay attention to what?s going on, where enemies are, and most importantly what each characters strengths are. Also make sure that you pick up any extra medkits and grenades, you?ll need them!