When you see a Chillingo published sticker slapped on a game, you know you can expect not only a good game but also
a level of quality that stands out from the crowd. Traditionally releasing games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, Chillingo have recently set their sights on different genres, noticeably Anomaly Warzone, (review here) and now Extraction: Project Outbreak.
Extraction: Project Outbreak is a top down shooter with everybody’s favorite videogame feature… zombies! Freakin’ Zombies! It amazes me why most games these days feel the need to include these flesh eating leeches polluting my iPad screen… Short rant about zombies over though, this is one of the better-designed zombie games for the iPhone/iPad, plus I prefer to think of them as ‘the infected’ instead.
Controls are some of the best I’ve experienced on the iPad, you navigate the map by tapping to set a marker, much like in RTS games, sounds pretty standard right? Well this is where Extraction: Project Outbreak starts to get clever! When it comes to shooting zombies you don’t tap them to initiate battle, or even have a shoot button at your disposal, you slide your finger over all the available enemies to create a chain, leaving the rest up to auto-fire. This allows you the freedom to still move around the map whilst blasting the heads off the infected. It’s a very balanced mix between both action and strategy that you can sit comfortably on your couch and enjoy.
You work your way through 20 different zones each containing 2 to 3 different objective based stages including Rescue, Exterminate, Escort and Protect. As the game progresses, the levels begin to feel overly familiar, mostly because, although excellently detailed, the environments remain quite similar in visual design. Extraction keeps you coming back though with its leveling system. Broken down, you level up your character and your weapons separately. You’re rewarded experience points for every kill and you can earn more points with longer chains, environment kills or performing a skill shot. Skill shots aren’t easy though, and the difficulty varies depending on your weapon. At the top of the screen is a meter and as you drag your finger to chain your attacks your speed is measured, if you can match your drag pace to the green area you’ll perform a skill shot and earn more points. This is no easy task, and personally I gave up on it in the end because I was hopeless at consistently scoring skill shots.
You’re also allowed to upgrade your stats mid mission if you level up during the process of ridding the world of zombie scum, enhancing either your Armour, Speed, Melee or Gun Skills. Upgrading your weapons however is a different story and is above all else what keeps me coming back for more. You start the game with a standard Famas and pistol, and with each mission, depending on your performance you’re given credits that you can spend on upgrading your current weapons. Once you’ve maxed out your existing stats to the maximum level you will unlock the next weapon to use and upgrade. If that wasn’t enough, the real fun starts when you unlock gadgets like the Droids or Sentry Guns that come in incredibly handy when you’re on those pesky protect missions. If you’re impatient and have real money in your pocket just waiting to be spent, then you can directly purchase the credits you need to upgrade your weapons via an in-app purchase, but I don’t’ believe in paying for something you can earn in the game, plus Extraction is very rewarding so you shouldn’t feel the need to spend the extra money.
Not only is Extraction: Project Outbreak rewarding but it brings a terrific control scheme to a well paced action game on the iPad that simply works without having onscreen buttons cluttering your view. There is an immense amount of attention focused on the little details as well as the gameplay too, combined with suitable atmospheric music and sounds makes it a great buy.
Extraction: Project Outbreak is out now for $0.99. Get it on the .