Shadowgun: DeadZone - let the console-quality multiplayer mayhem begin! (review)

Shadowgun: DeadZone - let the console-quality multiplayer mayhem begin! (review)
If you play games on your smartphone, then you've probably heard of Shadowgun - a third-person shooter with beautiful graphics and gameplay that's actually worth playing. It was the first mobile game to take advantage of the cross-platform Unity engine, and it showed. Shadowgun looked arguably better than all similar games out there, including Gameloft's renowned titles like N.O.V.A.

Now the same dev studio Madfinger Games, which made a name for itself after a small app piracy scandal, is bringing us a new game from the same series, called Shadowgun: DeadZone. What's so important about it? Well, it's got multiplayer. Console-quality multiplayer!

In fact, Shadowgun: DeadZone is a multiplayer-only game, which allows you to battle it out against other players from around the world. The game keeps the same third-person view, with the camera trailing behind your character, and you can even use the cover system that was present in the first game, which makes things a lot more interesting. There are to modes: Deathmatch and Zone Control. The first one doesn't need explanation, while the second one is team-based, with a few control points scattered around the map. You and your teammates have to stay in close proximity of the points in order to control them and win points. We like both modes, and since the game is so new, you don't need to worry about server population.

Graphics-wise, DeadZone is among the very best looking-games right now. Madfiner Games stay true to their techy style of dimly-lit areas with a lot of additional effects like smoke and lens flares. Overall, the visuals are a pleasure to behold and among the strongest assets of the game. That is, in case you have a powerful phone that can run it on high or very high details. It it ran just fine on the Galaxy S III and iPhone 5, but struggled greatly (read: was unplayable) on an iPhone 4. You should be able to get decent frame-rates on anything in between, as long as you don't pump the graphics up too much.

There are some additional features to keep you interested like unlockable characters, weapons, items and a whole bunch of other stuff. This happens by spending money which you win in the game, but of course, you can get additional funds with an in-app purchase. There is a great diversity of characters, weapons and items so you'll definitely have a reason to continue playing.

There are two major problems we have with Shadowgun: DeadZone right now. The first one is the controls, and we actually have this problem with pretty much any other real-time action game that uses a virtual joystick and action keys. Playing such a game on a touchscreen is a pain in the neck (and in other places as well), which is a shame, because this is a game that can be tons of fun if it could just be played comfortably. Mirroring the display to an HDTV and pairing a controller is highly recommended!

The other issue we have is that the game seems to be a bit buggy right now. For example, finding a suitable match happens very quickly, but we often found the game stuck while trying to join a match. Reinitializing your attempt to join a game one or two times usually solves this. But there are also other instances where we just had to end-task DeadZone in order to get ourselves out of an endless map flyby or some other screen.

All in all, however, these issues cannot really ruin the perfect impression that this game makes. If there's really such a thing like console-quality gaming on a mobile handset, then Shadowgun: DeadZone is the closest you can get. What's even cooler is that it costs you practically nothing - the game can be played for free, and it's entirely up to you if you want to purchase any additional items.

Are you still here? What are you waiting for? Go get DeadZone and enter the multiplayer mayhem!

Download Shadowgun: DeadZone for Android | iOS



1. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

I remember when I got my galaxy s3 a month back. I decided to play shadowgun for the first time. I concluded that the graphics coupled with Amoled screen were simply orgasmic.

7. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

I am gonna play this sucka on the Note 2!

15. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

Enjoy the graphics!


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

This game takes up 230mb of Ram, when playing the game

5. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

But our phones have a gig of ram. Looks like u have an iPhone 4S

6. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

Mine has 2 gigs ^^

16. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

But I got the quad core and the good graphics!

3. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Good review, thanks Ray! I'll play it as soon as I can get a Nexus 4...

4. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Modern combat 3 and Nova 3 are by orders of magnitude bigger, more serious games than this. This is more of a little tech demonstrator that can't be compared to gameloft shooters

8. ian132

Posts: 28; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

Gameloft shooters are terrible. There badly coded and always huge in size. Also MC3 is just a copy off of call of duty. The games also utilize way lower textures than other high graphics. Try dead trigger youll see the best graphics.

10. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

This comment makes me suspect you either never played Nova or MC, either played them on a bad phone. Dead trigger? Don't make me laugh. Comparing a simple little concept vs a full blown fps

12. ian132

Posts: 28; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

I've played both I remember downloading the first nova on my second gen iPod year ago but I'm sorry the graphics are way worse on Gameloft games. Nova 3 does have some nice lighting and particle effects but the environments just simple are comprised of the higher resolution textures that are found in games like riptide shadow gun , etc

9. nacho69

Posts: 21; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Agreed. I downloaded this game and spent 2hours playing, but its lack of a customizable button layout, server connection wait times, and general feel aren't up to par with gamelofts offerings. NOVA 3 is a lot better in terms of graphical effects, customizable layout, multiplayer, and control schemes (either strictly touch or touch + gyro). Being a free game though, none of these should matter, but it still doesn't compare. I would still rather pay 6$ for a solid overall game with a campaign and multiplayer in one app. Modern Combat 4 for iOS and android will be released soon and I recommend that game for anyone who has a high end smartphone.

11. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

This. I tried both and there's no comparison really. Considering how complete and large gameloft shooters are, the graphics shouldn't be even put in the same basket with relatively simple games as this

20. Ray.S

Posts: 459; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

It has customizable button layout, but the option only appears while you are in a game. While in an actual game, open the menu, and you'll see it there.

13. gaurang

Posts: 94; Member since: Nov 16, 2012

still far inferior to level of detail on console games....these mobile games will need more time to catch the quality of console games...

14. kirholstov

Posts: 146; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

It always crashes on iOS :(

17. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

I have been playing it on my ipad since the past two months. Are you playing this on an iPhone 3GS?

18. kirholstov

Posts: 146; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

iPad 2

19. mihaidenis

Posts: 23; Member since: Sep 09, 2012

It's about Madfinger and not Madfiner....check your spell....

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