Quickie Review: DED

Developer: L. Stotch

DEDStart

From the creator of Bloody Walls comes yet another atmospheric, monochrome, 2D, side-scrolling shooter. This time around, instead of being a young man trying to survive the zombie apocalypse and secure yourself a vaccine for your own countdown to death, you’re an old man hunting down the people responsible for the murder of your family and the kidnapping of your grandchild (from what I can gather from the similarly dialogue-less story). After coming home to find his son and daughter-in-law (or, daughter and son-in-law) lifeless and their child missing, our protagonist runs off on a bloody campaign of revenge. The game, while offering a more realistic setting and plot, is slightly more difficult, even in easy mode (or, maybe I’m just bad at it). There are two gameplay modes (story mode and survival); two difficulty settings (easy and hardcore), which determine how close you can get to an enemy before you can kill them and they start shooting at you, and two different weapon types (hand guns and shotguns), which determines attack strength and bullet count. While the basic keyboard and mouse controls are slightly different from Bloody Walls (it eliminates the mouse input entirely, and allows for the remapping of keys), the more strict limitation on ammo types means having to put a little more thought into your placement on the screen and in what order you handle each incoming threat. Clearing each of the 10 levels opens up the next, slightly more difficult location (which introduces newer, smarter enemy types), and there are 10 achievements to be earned in the game, the majority of which are related to kill count and will naturally be earned through your first playthrough. You earn points which can be attributed to different perks, although you can’t grind cleared areas for more points, which is frustrating when you find yourself repeatedly failing the same level. Visually, it’s cleaner and crisper than Bloody Walls (with the return of the blood-red accents), and the sound is equally good, possessing one track for the main levels playing on repeat (but, not aggravating me). DED is short (although I have yet to finish it), fun (for the most part), free (which is always a good thing), and most of all, a neat little time-waster.

 

Pros:

  • Free
  • Conveys the plot in its entirety without text, so (aside from the main menu) the game is playable in any language
  • Simple controls
  • The one track that plays during confrontations fits the atmosphere and doesn’t grate on my nerves
  • Reasonably challenging
  • Clean visuals

Cons:

  • Inability to grind means having to learn from past mistakes, but after a while, you begin to wonder if the fault was actually in the leveling system and not your impatience or slow reaction times
  • Feels a little too similar to Bloody Walls
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