Deadstone isn’t a head turner, nor will it be fondly remembered several years down the road. The game has its strengths, with most of them lying in the gameplay category. For fans of the top-down shooter genre, this game does offer somewhat of a twist with elements of tower defense added into the mix, along with deep character progression in terms of skills and stats.
The story is your typical ho-hum zombie story line. A deadly virus was released, zombies break out (this time on another planet), and nothing that does anything special in the main serious storyline. However, developer Timeslip Softworks do have an alternate version of the story that takes a walk into the more humorous side of things, which while it doesn’t hit on every joke, does offer a fun take on storytelling and was appreciated. However, the game is let down in the reinforcement of that story via its presentation and visuals. Animations feel robotic like and the games setting mainly occurs on one base in the campaign, which doesn’t change throughout the playthrough that often. Only elements of a sandstorm and night are added, and the 6 enemy types start to wear on the eyes quickly. There’s absolutely no characterization to the zombies themselves, as the individual who was transformed is most certainly lost. Graphics wise, the game isn’t impressive, but does not feel like it was the main focus of the game.
The actual gameplay will be hit and miss with people. The core mechanics work well, and in particular, the damage mechanic regarding hitting the zombie and doing higher/lower damage depending on how “center” the shot is, gives the player an incentive to be accurate with his shots. The 4 main stats and various perks can make the character the powerhouse you want to make, and is probably the strongest aspect of the game. You can invest a lot in mechanics and hope your mines and turrets offset your weak nature, or you can be a fast powerhouse with a shotgun that hopefully doesn’t take too much damage along the way. Survival mode in particular lets this work well, as you experiment to see how far you get. Controls are reasonable, with abilities to customize sensitivity for players who prefer to play with a controller.
However, the main campaign is way too long. The 6 enemy types, which range from a zombie dog with explosives strapped to it, to a gun wielding zombie, are introduced earlier in the campaign, and there’s no variety after that. All that’s introduced in the later levels is the same mechanics before, with just more numbers behind it. It suffers from being too long: the gameplay is stretched and can get rather boring after a while. The co-op portion feels like a wasted opportunity, as only local co-op exists, and only in one single screen (as opposed to split screen), forcing player 1 to be in control of the game.
All in All, it’s an average game, that can get some fun out of the user, but won’t be turning too many heads.
This game was obtained from the developer and reviewed on the PC platform
While the game lets you customize your character a lot and the base gunplay is great, the gameplay will turn stale quickly. The visuals and presentation don't add much, and the game will appeal to those who love the genre, and want to do the best in concurrent runs.