Review – Touch the Dead aka Dead and Furious (Nintendo DS)
Considering that the Nintendo DS is a family / wide age console (from 3 to 93 or something like that) it is pretty spoiled for Zombie action. As well as the excellent port of the Playstation original ‘Resident Evil’ (complete with some of the worst voice acting and crap dialogue ever) there is a game that utilizes the touch pad technology of the DS with some nice graphics and solid action. That game is ‘Dead and Furious’ aka ‘Touch the Dead.’
Set in a prison where, for whatever reason (does it matter??), everyone apart from one man has been rendered revenant, and you are that one man, and you need to get out of the prison. Or else. This is an on rails shooter, so there is no need for you to make constant decisions on movement – there is no pretence this is free roaming. Your job is to use the touchpad and stylus to launch weapon hell at the undead and make sure you keep your weapon locked and loaded (another touch pad operation). As you go through stages of the game, from prison cells to sewers and hospital wards, you are met with a steady stream of zombies that just keep coming at you, and as you may expect, as the game progresses there are more of them and they are harder to keep down. It is the sheer weight of numbers that makes this enjoyable – there are more than enough zombies to incapacitate permanently. As is standard in these games you progress through some levels, looking for weapon upgrades, ammo and health and then you get to a boss. The boss levels are not particularly challenging, but it is the relentlessness of the action that again is the key to the game and makes it compelling. The hero of ‘Dead and Furious’ is a generic anti-hero complete with dialogue peppered with bad jokes that is supposed to pull the narrative along. But the key to this game is not about an involving plot – its all about ACTION and this game delivers. The menu screen and boss stages even have a soundtrack of thrashing heavy metal to add to the ambience, and the whole thing has a grungy, desperate feel – despite playing it on a screen not much bigger than some mobile phone displays, there are some real sweaty palm and gritted teeth moments, which is a testament to clever game design and some thought on how a zombie shooter should operate on a handheld. There is enough health and ammo out there so it never gets too tactical – just keep blasting and blasting and blasting……………
If you are a DS owner with any interest in Zombies you can have your more cerebral zombie blaster with a halfway decent plot (Resident Evil Deadly Silence) or you can have a full-on Zombie bloodbath that is mindless and lots and lots of fun while it lasts. It also has a certain amount of return value, in that you can pick it up again and again even if you have completed the game.