Understandably, a lot of indie studios tend to ease themselves into iOS game development with something safe like, say, a simple puzzler or endless running game. That certainly isn’t the case for Action Mobile Games, whose upcoming App Store debut, 2013: Infected Wars, is a decidedly hardcore 3D horror shooter, complete with console-quality graphics and envelope-pushing features such as full campaign co-op multiplayer.
Having had the chance to play through a pretty decent chunk of 2013: Infected Wars‘ single-player mode ahead of release, I’m happy to report that its developers’ lofty ambitions have paid off, resulting in one of the meatiest, most action-packed and best looking zombie games yet to shuffle onto iDevices.
2013: Infected Wars grabs you from the word go. The world has been plunged into a zombie apocalypse following a biological attack by al-Qaeda. You play the role of one of humanity’s few remaining survivors: a gruff, gun-toting badass (what else?) tasked with venturing deep into zombie-infested territory in search of a team of mercenaries who have gone missing in action.
The game’s opening level finds you skulking through a dilapidated subway station, picking off the infected with your pistol as they emerge from hidden nooks and crannies and attack. Controls are standard enough for an iOS third-person shooter: there’s a virtual joystick on the bottom left corner of the touchscreen and zoom and auto fire buttons on the right, while you swipe a finger around the screen to aim and/or survey your surroundings.
It’s just as well the controls are fairly straightforward, because the level of difficulty quickly ratchets up as your gunfire and copious bloodletting attracts more and more zombies towards you. The zed-slaying action here is amazingly brutal and intense, and Action Mobile Games delight in showcasing the raw power of Unreal Engine by putting loads of enemies onscreen at once, which really helps sell the idea that you’re desperately outnumbered. The zombie character models are also nicely detailed, and look brilliantly disgusting when you get up close and personal.
While I’ve blasted my way through the initial few stages (and countless flesh-eaters), I get the distinct impression that I’ve merely scratched the surface of what 2013: Infected Wars has to offer — both in terms of in-game locations and encounters with a multitude of different enemy types. I haven’t unlocked the majority of weapons or the unique mercenary classes yet either. Then, of course, there’s that hugely intriguing co-op multiplayer mode (not yet up and running in the preview build we received, sadly), which is bound to garner the game a whole lot of attention upon release. So yeah, this title certainly boasts tons of content.
Whether you’re a survival horror fan or simply get a kick out seeing full-featured console-style games hitting iOS, Action Mobile Games’ 2013: Infected Wars should definitely be on your radar.
ETA:2013: Infected Wars is currently shambling its way through Apple’s App Store review process, so expect it to hit the App Store sometime in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, you can check out Action Mobile Games’ official site, Facebook page and Twitter feed for more info. We’ll also be running an interview with the developers soon, so stay tuned for that.