Into the Dead 2 Review - Blink and You Die

Bet you won’t survive this zombie run.

4 weeks ago by Christopher Buffa

Now that my wife and I have two kids, relaxing on the couch to play games for several hours is nearly impossible; I can’t remember the last time I parked my butt on the sofa, PlayStation controller in hand. That said, portable gaming lets me get my fix within minutes, which is one reason why Into the Dead 2 is a current favorite. I also love zombies and guns, so this game and I were on a collision course the moment PikPok revealed it for iOS and Android. 

No big surprise that Into the Dead 2 plays similar to its predecessor. It’s a running game viewed from the first person, where you frantically tap the screen to shred zombies with gunfire while zigzagging through creepy cornfields, barns and along train tracks.  The fun comes from seeing how far you can go without being torn to pieces, and unlocking all manner of things, like weapons, gun parts to make upgrades, and the two virtual currencies, silver and gold. Plus, you can beat levels in minutes, which makes Into the Dead 2 a cool game to play while standing in line somewhere or waiting for the kids to finish eating. 

There’s a story mode, but I didn’t find it interesting enough to pay attention; I played this mode to complete level specific missions and unlock cool stuff. In addition, the game includes daily challenges where I can earn some extra cash while test firing weapons that I don’t have in my inventory, along with a Survival mode where I go on zombie runs and then the game compares my scores with other players’.

Similar to other zombie games, Into the Dead 2 has plenty of weapons to mess around with, like pistols, shotguns, automatic rifles, and grenades. It even has some dogs that help take out zombies while on a run, but as I learned the hard way, these pets don’t always kill the zombies and will at times run around them, so it’s not a good idea to follow close behind. Ah yes, and make sure you blink conservatively, otherwise you’ll likely miss the gray-colored zombies hiding in those cornfields.

The game’s easy at first. Zombies shamble along and I confuse them by quickly changing direction at the last possible moment, but then the difficulty ramps up to the point where I am desperately searching for ammo and literally running for my virtual life. You can describe Into the Dead 2 as a run and gun shooter, but bullets are scarce, and the finding ammo crates isn’t always easy.  You might run past one without realizing, and you don’t have complete control of the character, which means if you see an ammo dump all the way on the left, you probably won’t be able to reach it, especially if there’s a barrier; the game doesn’t have a jump button. 

Running into walls is another issue. Smack into the side of a barn and the character continues running while the game moves him left or right, but the walls are wide enough that you probably won’t last more than a couple of second before the zombies attack from behind. This combined with the scarcity of the ammo dumps means lots of trial and error, as well as some cheap deaths where I’m screaming “COME ON” at the screen. 

I like the game, but it does come with the same familiar trappings one should expect whenever downloading something for free for iOS or Android. Unlocking all of the weapons will take a while, but the developers will let you purchase them individually for an absurd $9.99 per gun. You can also watch ads for other games in order to open more supply crates, and gold is by far the most difficult resource to find in large amounts. That is, unless you want to buy more.

Into the Dead 2 is a cool game that’s worth checking out this Halloween. There does seem to be a paywall, where later stages become so hard that you might need a more powerful gun to survive, but the beauty of free games like this one is that if you won’t pay to win, then all you lost was a bit of time.

Pros
  • Nails that post-apocalyptic zombie vibe.
  • Very addictive – OK I'll try one more time!
  • Daily challenges keep me coming back.
  • Always good for a quick adrenaline rush.
Cons
  • Running into a wall means I'm dead.
  • Hard to reach faraway ammo dumps.
  • There's a lot of grinding for the best weapons.