Dead Effect 2 is a game worth celebrating.
People often underestimate the impact that Doom had on the gaming world. It wasn’t the original first-person shooter (FPS), not by a long shot (pun intended). It certainly wasn’t the first space marine game.
It was, however, the first FPS to have a lot of enemies onscreen.
That’s what the Doom franchise put on the table: Wholesale demon carnage.
When Doom II came out, it was more of the same. It ‘followed the brand’, as they say. Not only did it have just as many enemies onscreen, but it also included different enemy types. Consider the Pain Demon who could spew out even more enemies or the Archvile who could resurrect fallen enemies.
In other words, you could now literally fail the game (well, ‘die’) by not killing enemies quickly enough. I mean, Doom always had that dynamic but now it was ramped up into gankville territory.
Doom II also popularised the double-barrelled shotgun in FPSs, because it was just so damn good.
When I heard that Doom 3 was going to be released (all those years ago), I got very very excited.
And how many enemies would there be onscreen? What new weapons would this game bring us?
With PCs getting more and more powerful it was looking good!
Doom 3? Half-Life 2.5 more like.
But it wasn’t good. It was a generic space marine game that felt more like a Quake entry than a Doom entry.
“What’s the difference?” I hear you ask, over my space marine comms.
Quake traded off ‘enemy count’ for ‘polygon count’.
In other words, the graphics were more complex. As a result, there were fewer enemies in the game world (because if there were too many it’d negatively affect performance).
Doom 3 was the first game in the series to put visual complexity above enemy count. It didn’t ‘follow the brand’, as they still say.
The pacing of the game was horrendous as well – you didn’t even get to shoot until after about 20 minutes! 20 minutes which literally just swaps between ‘walking’ and ‘unskippable cutscenes which remove control from the player’, might I add. Contrast and compare to Doom and Doom II which drop you right into the action and have the good sense to leave you there.
Further, the weapons in Doom 3 made you feel like you were shooting a bag of potatoes with a nerf gun (in terms of both the sound design and feeling of impact)
So much for the ‘how many enemies onscreen?’ question.
So how about the new weapons?
An automatic rifle. Serviceable enough, but hardly ground-breaking. It was no double-barrelled shotgun, that’s for sure.
The DLC ‘Resurrection Of Evil‘ added the Grabber, which is identical to the Gravity Gun from the Half-Life 2 in all but name.
The DLC also saw the return of the double-barrelled shotgun, which felt just as weak as all the other weapons and made me uninstall the game in disgust.
I was gutted – and not by a demon like I should have been.
How I Met Your Dead Effect
On Steam (spits on floor), you can have a wishlist (which is exactly what it sounds like). A few years back, I wanted to cull my wishlist, so I bought the cheapest games and culled the rest of them because screw AAA companies.
And that’s how I came across Dead Effect, a game by BadFly Interactive (BFI).
Surprisingly, it wasn’t a comedy mashup of Dead Space and Mass Effect. I feel bad for anyone who has that idea and makes that game because now they’ll have to call it ‘Mass Space‘ which just sounds like a physics simulator.
Doom Effect 3
I loved Dead Effect. It was essentially a modern version of Doom. It was almost exactly what I wanted from Doom 3, and only cost 1/3rd of the price.
I soon fell in love with the game.
I started posting in the Steam forums for Dead Effect and got a reply from the Devs who informed me that Dead Effect 2 was currently in Early Access.
So – here’s a game I love, and the sequel is in Early Access but I don’t do Early Access because I’m a grumpy old man who doesn’t understand modern gaming.
Of course, it was an easy decision because the game was due to be released after 2 weeks.
Dead Effect 2: The Dead Effectening
I bought Dead Effect 2 on the day it was released and I loved it. It was Dead Effect, but more and better. I still haven’t stopped playing it. Mind you, I don’t play it often – because I don’t want the novelty to wear off.
Having said that: I’ve finished the game at least five times and I’m still in love with it even though some sections are damn annoying.
It’s not perfect by any means – but it is perfect for old school gamers.
Literally NO other game gets this much love from me. There are games that I have a larger playtime on, sure – but then I’ll go without playing them for years afterward (like Fallout: New Vegas or Dishonored).
But Dead Effect 2? Like I said, I’m still playing it as often as I ever did.
Dead Effect 2 is LITERALLY the game I wanted from Doom 3. Thousands of enemies are killed over the course of the game compared to the mere hundreds in Doom 3.
New (and upgradeable) weapons. Challenge mode. Skill trees. Characters to choose from who all have different voice lines, but the female character doesn’t have less strength/health/whatever. It even has a campaign co-op mode, which is something sorely lacking from most modern games.
As Russell Crowe once said: ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
I mean, sure, the dialogue is a little cheesy, but it’s cheesy in a B-movie kind of way that makes you expect Bruce Campbell to appear. For the record, Bruce Campbell doesn’t appear – but there is a ‘Boomstick’ line though.
And best of all, it’s a modern game with modern graphics but without all the other crap I hate like microtransactions and lootboxes.
So imagine my surprise when I found out…
THIS IS A MOBILE GAME?
Yep. The game I hold in the highest personal regard as a PC game is a FRIGGIN’ MOBILE PORT.
Do you have ANY idea what that does to my head?
Dead Effect is a mobile series ported to PC that doesn’t have microtransactions or lootboxes. Meanwhile, literally thousands of non-mobile games – many of them so-called AAA games – are using those same old tired worn out mobile gimmicks from 10 years ago. How innovative. Yawn.
You can’t buy the DLC for Dead Effect 2 though.
BECAUSE THEY GAVE IT AWAY FOR FREE.
Not a bad effort for a small Indie team of five people!
Side Note: it’s really more of an expansion than DLC. OLD SCHOOL, BABY!
The REAL Dead Effect
I’ve got a running gag with a gaming buddy of mine. We finished the main campaign together and now we mostly 1-on-1 PvP.
Every time he kills me he says “That’s the REAL Dead Effect here”.
It makes me wonder in a silly kind of way: What IS the real Dead Effect?
Ostensibly, it’s the biological chicanery that happens in the storyline, but I mean the question in the sense of ‘what does the game represent?’
To me, Dead Effect 2 isn’t just a game, it’s a game that I wanted 10 years ago and never got because id Software (the makers of the Doom series) dropped the ball on horde-based combat.
It’s a community of like-minded people who don’t care about the trappings of modern gaming.
It’s a Dev team that will actually respond to your questions on Steam – shout out to Shigor, the best damn Community Manager I’ve ever met!
It’s a nearly perfect throwback (not an insult) to the old-school days of gaming, right down to having a demo available (something else lacking from most modern games, on PC at least).
And I ask you: Isn’t that the REAL Dead Effect here?
I really wanted to finish on that line, but I should point out that the REAL Dead Effect (2) is actually HERE – and remember there’s a demo there so you can try it for free!
This is the line I will finish on: For those curious, I tried Doom (2016) and found that I much prefer Dead Effect 2.