Dead Block Reviews

  • ButterflyxEdgeButterflyxEdge380,941
    26 Jul 2011
    26 4 4
    Everyone knows that if there was a zombie apocalypse, the best way to survive wouldn’t be by brute force. Fighting your way through undead would be risky. The best defence is a good offense, and this idea applies to Dead Block. In the words of Max Brooks: “Organize before they Rise!”

    The main aim of the game is to defend yourself from the waves of incoming zombies by barricading doors and windows (à la Call of Duty) as you search for the items needed to destroy the (current) zombie horde. These being a guitar, amplifier and a speaker. That’s right, you rock these undead back to hell.

    Barricades and traps can only be built if you hold enough resources. Wood is obtained by trashing pretty much anything: furniture, electricals and even toilets (!) supply you with boards of wood which you can use to temporarily block the path of the incoming waves. Items found throughout the stages can be searched via a quick trigger-bashing mini game, which uncovers various items. Your objective items include coins, which can fund a health boost or boot up a jukebox causing all zombies nearby to mosh out and damage each other; distraction items such as steaks and TV aerials (because what zombie doesn’t love TV?) and, most importantly, nuts. These allow you to build traps to aid your defence and in turn, your survival.

    There are three characters in Dead Block, each with unique strengths and weaknesses. The Builder, who can build and destroy the quickest; the chubby Boy Scout can search items lightning fast and the Policewoman does the most damage in direct combat. The stages vary from placing you alone (with these stages proving tricky at times) or with one, or even both other characters helping you out. The AI is actually quite impressive- they’ll search items, reinforce defences and fight off any enemies they encounter. More often than not, you’ll find that the AI controlled characters are the ones that do the majority of finding of items you need to complete the level, while you build traps and set up a formidable defence. The only time the AI is likely to come into trouble is if you direct them into it. With a quick hold of a button, they’ll come running to you and immediately lend a hand with whatever it is that needs doing. You can also switch between characters and take control of each, if you want to quickly take advantage of their strengths.

    Whilst you can attack and kill zombies in melee combat, the system is clumsy and rather oddly assigned to the front shoulder button. Luckily, it’s more important to strategically make your way around the stages (which vary from family homes and schools to music stores) holding off the horde in the most effective way you can. Each character has unique traps, each having a different effect. Door blocking nuclear bombs that detonate when weakened, rolling pins hanging from door frames to give any passers by a minor knock on the head and even a contraption that drops poo on the undead, somehow causing recurring damage, to name just a few of the set-ups available to aid you.
    Once your search is complete and you’ve uncovered your guitar parts, you have to fight your way to the set-up before shredding the zombies to ‘death’ by playing a button mashing mini game. While some may argue that the trashing of furniture and searching items is boring, I found it to be rather addictive. The game constantly requires forward planning, careful use of resources and where applicable, good use of the AI. Finding yourself cornered or unable to control the waves is the last thing you want- even the strongest character can easily become overwhelmed and pummeled by a group of stray zombies. It’s all about control.

    In multiplayer, up to four people can pick any character they wish and fight their way through the eight stages seen in the single player, but oddly the game is split-screen only. Online capabilities would have opened this up a little and increased the game’s relatively short lifespan, both the single and multi-player modes only lasting around two hours each. Having said that, for the more psychotic completionists each level has medals to be won for searching and destroying everything; getting a substantial amount of kills and for not dying, with gold medals only being obtainable on the hardest difficulty setting. Dead Block is not the easiest game on its ‘normal’ setting either, particularly during the stages where you are completely alone.

    Dead Block is not the most complex game around, and while it may be short lived, it’s simple, addictive fun.

    Score: 7/10


    Addictive gameplay
    Even more fun in split screen


    Short overall
    Lacks online multiplayer
    Can become repetitive

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    Shemp HowardReally enjoyed this read. Well written review. I can tell you have been writing reviews for sometime. TA is lucky to have you as a Newshound. You have a great talent for writing. Keep up the good work.
    Posted by Shemp Howard on 27 Jul 11 at 18:12
    I could have made a much shorter review

    This game has no online coop so don't buy the epic fail called deadlock that I give 0 stars.

    But you sir get a thumbs up :)
    Posted by CounterInsurgnt on 21 Aug 11 18:17:27
    Posted on 21 Aug 11 at 18:19
    LAFTAMy advice is to AVOID this game. It freezes constantly, when changing characters and completing levels. AVOID!
    Posted by LAFTA on 10 Dec 12 at 16:02
  • PuritanSoulPuritanSoul1,248,493
    21 Aug 2011
    5 6 0
    Fantastic game - left for dead versus team fortress!!! A must for any zombie fan!! And the Elvis-esque music just rocks!!!! Only downside is no live multi player. The acheivements are pretty solid, so perhaps best avoiding if you are looking for easy cheivo's. Strategy evolves around finding guitar and speaker parts in the house by searching objects, whilst keeping the zombies out by blocking up the windows/using traps. A lot if button mashing to break items for wood and to search, and simple puzzles to collect bonus items to enhance your character. No saves within the level, and most levels take 10-15 mins. On normal difficulty level I have found the difficulty curve well balanced so far.
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