2013: Infected Wars Review

2015-03-24-122028

Title: 2013 Infected Wars
Developer: Action Mobile, Inc.
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 778 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

As we have said on reviews in the past, shooting games are a rare breed on the PS Vita.  PlayStation Mobile has been messing around and experimenting with the genre with small games, as we have shown lately.  However, native shooters are a breed that is growing, but still isn’t a huge part of the system’s library.  There are some first person and third person shooters on the Vita, but they aren’t in heavy quantity.

One thing to note is that most of the shooters on the Vita are first-person shooters.  Games like Borderlands 2, Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified, and Killzone Mercenary are shown with a first-person perspective.  While shooters are rare on the Vita, third person shooters are even more rare to see coming out.  If you’re a fan of shooters like Resident Evil 4 or Gears of War, your options are more limited.

Today, however, we got a surprise release in the form of a new third person shooter for the Vita.  Having originally released on iOS, Action Mobile Inc. has used what resources their small team has available to bring their flagship Mobile game over to the PS Vita as a native title.  Having originally released for the iPhone and iPad, here is my official review of 2013: Infected Wars!

Story

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It is the year 2013 and the militant group Al-Qaeda has engineered a virus intended to use against the West.  The idea behind the virus was to take the West out of the picture by mutating them into undead monsters and having Al-Qaeda begin a New World Order.  However, it doesn’t go as planned and, before long, the entire world is riddled with zombies and monsters known as “The Infected” with what few humans left alive left to scavenge for food and supplies.

The story of Infected Wars revolves around a nameless Mercenary whom has been sent in after a group of mercenaries known as “Alpha Team”, who went missing on a routine mission to scavenge for supplies.  Your goal is to track down Alpha Team and recover supplies in a nearby quarantine zone to bring back to your bosses.

The story of the game isn’t going to hold your attention, as it isn’t any more special than any other zombie apocalypse story you’re going to be told.  It does a good job at displaying why the world is in the apocalyptic state it is in and you do get regular radio conversations as you play through the game, but it’s not going to be anything overly extraordinary.

Gameplay

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Infected Wars is, as I said above, a third person shooter.  As you play through the game, you will be moving around and gunning down hordes of the undead through various environments.  While there are some RPG elements thrown into the mix as well with classes and leveling them up, you will be spending the majority of the game running through an apocalyptic world in a third-person perspective and firing off weapons against undead monsters.

When you first boot up the game, there is only one gameplay mode for you to go into, which is the Campaign.  This will have you trekking through 8 missions as you go on your mission to track down Alpha Team and recover supplies for your base.  One thing to note is that the Multiplayer Co-Op mode from the iOS release was removed for the Vita release, due to insufficient funds for the development team.  Because of this, Infected Wars on the Vita is a single player game.

As you go into the game, you will have four difficulty options available to you as well as “Iron Man” mode for any difficulty, where you’re given only a single life throughout the entire campaign.  The rest of the difficulty is different in that the harder the difficulty, the more difficult the enemies and the weaker your armor.  You also can’t recover your weapons if you die in the two highest difficulty levels.

As you go through each stage, you will be moving through various environments of the apocalyptic Earth, forging a path through ruined tunnels systems, cities, and more.  Each area of the game will have you fighting off waves of enemies until a key area opens up for you to progress, whether that is placing C4 Charges on a subway train or climbing over debris to get to the next area.  This will continue until you reach the end of the mission and can proceed to the next mission.

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Things of note for moving through the stages are earning money, accessing the shop, and finding salvage.  There are two different types of currency in the game, which are Gold and Cash.  Cash is gained by defeating enemies and Gold is obtained by obtaining hidden salvage bags throughout the level and being able to choose one once you clear it and move onto the next.  They are also used for different things.  Cash is used to buy new weapons as well as ammo refills, health packs, and armor packs from the in-game shop that is available to you at all times.  Gold is used for upgrades, like increasing your clip size.

The big thing of note is that Gold is very hard to come by.  After a single stage, you may only come out with 2-5 Gold, whereas the cheapest upgrades cost as much as 50 Gold a piece.  The iOS release remedied this with Micro-Transactions, allowing players to use real money to buy in-game gold.  Unless it releases as DLC later on, this version doesn’t have that option.  It is a relief to those that do not like Micro-Transactions, but makes getting enough gold for upgrades very grind-heavy.  After my first run through the entire game, I had 12 gold to my name.

Actually progressing through each stage has you running around areas and fighting off hordes of the undead.  Each area will send waves of enemies after you as you go through checkpoints that you’ll need to shoot down with the firearms at your disposal.  Fighting off all of the enemies in the area will open up new areas you can interact with to move forward, though some areas will require you to stay around a certain object to turn off sound as you fend off enemies that are all around you to move forward.  The enemies also have variety, varying from human zombies to animals to huge mutated bosses.

You have 14 weapons that are available to you, but you’ll need to earn cash to buy them.  Thankfully, the shop is available to you at any moment you pause the game, so you can quickly just pause after downing some enemies to go in and buy a new weapon for you to use.  You have a variety of weapons from handguns to shotguns to assault rifles to sniper rifles to rocket launchers and each weapon handles different from any other weapon, even comparing handguns to other handguns.

Across the 8 missions, Infected Wars should take you at least 3 or 4 hours to play through once.  On the normal difficulty, I averaged between 20 and 30 minutes for each mission without trying to rush through each area and looking around for the salvage bags.  It’s not an incredibly long game, but it’s got a decent amount of length for the $4.99 price tag.

Controls

To those who did not like the controls of the iOS version of this game, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t be forced to use touch controls to move around and fire off your weapons.  There are some touch controls for some of the menus (which also have button controls), but you won’t be forced into touch controls like in the Mobile version of this game.  Another thing to note is that the game is currently not compatible with the PlayStation TV, but the developer is working on a patch to fix that.

Update: The PSTV Patch is now Live, so the game works there as well as utilizing Inverse Aim

While you’re only be using the D-Pad and X and Triangle buttons in the menus, you’ll be using almost every button available to you as you are gunning down enemies.  You will be using the Left Analog Stick to move and the Right Analog Stick to move your aim/camera.  The D-Pad is used for switching weapons.  Firing off your weapon will be done with the R trigger and the L trigger is used to zoom in or enter Scope Mode (slowing your movement at the same time).

Reloading your weapon is done with the Circle button and you can use the Square button to interact with objects and doors. Opening the Menu is the final action you can take, which can be done with the Start, Select, and Triangle buttons.  All in all, it’s not a hard control scheme to master, though it should be noted that the controls cannot be re-mapped and are not explained to you, outside of looking through the Help menu from the Main Menu.

Presentation

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The visual presentation of Infected Wars is very detailed with a few jagged edges thrown in, here and there.  The visual presentation looks about the same as it did on iOS, which looked good for a Mobile game.  On the Vita, you can tell there are some areas where things could’ve been improved but it has a lot of detail and looks really nice on the Vita’s screen.

The way the rest of the game is good, for the most part, but has some hiccups.  The load times for the game are good, as they only last a few seconds between areas.  The hiccups come from frame-drops when there is a lot on the screen at once.  There can be 10-20 enemies on-screen at once if not more.  This isn’t a problem until they get close to you.  When you start having more than 5 enemies right on you at once, frames will jump around until they’re gone.  This also happens in many sequences when you’re changing areas.

 

Summary

2013: Infected Wars is the Vita’s newest third-person shooter.  On the downside, the Multiplayer has been removed, getting gold is very grind-heavy, and there are some frame issues when the screen gets overloaded with enemies.  Past this is a solid third-person shooter that any shooting fan can get some enjoyment out of. 

7/10

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