Dead Land Review PS4

Dead Land Review

dead land review

Dead Land review copy purchased by PSU

The procession of cheap, poorly-made games out to make a quick buck on the PlayStation Store is far too dense to cover, but it still helps to pluck one or two of them from the bubbling brook of badness from time to time. Doing so is a good way to remind yourself of what a bad game really looks like.

The latest maggoty morsel to drop from the rotten ceiling, and onto PSU’s dinner plate is Dead Land. With a name that generic you know you’re in for a good time before you even dare take a look at a screenshot, but still, we must press on and discuss the game further.

Dead Land Review: Suffer the Little Shamblers

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The menu screen is an effective advert for the level of quality to expect.

Dead Land is a first-person endless runner that sees your nameless, faceless avatar sprinting through crowds of the undead to…escape? There’s no proper end goal to Dead Land, to be honest. You just run, maybe knock a few shuffling husks on their crumbling behinds. The objective really is just to beat your last best distance, earn coins, and unlock better weapons to help you go further still.

On the upside, this means Dead Land is inoffensively simple, not complicating things by having multi-button inputs or a variety of gameplay options. For a few quid, you get what you pay for, right? Well…no.

Plenty of independent titles are low cost on the PlayStation Store, but that doesn’t mean there’s no effort and ambition to be found. Dead Land is cheap in every sense of the word. It wisely tries to hide its graphical deficiencies by setting the entire game at night and also in its attempts to blind you with the lights that denote checkpoints. Yet whenever you get up close and personal with the horde, those deficiencies are plain to see. In fairness, Dead Land is far from the worst looking game, it’s just incredibly bland and basic.

Which describes pretty much everything about how Dead Land plays too. You move left or you move right. If something gets in your way. you give it a good ol’ thwack with your axe (or shoot it if you’ve upgraded to a gun). The only real skill required comes from having your view obscured by tall grass, meaning you will see certain zombies right at the last second. Otherwise, it’s remarkably easy to weave in and out of the crowds (at least when the hit detection lines up properly).

Dead Land Review: Downwardly Mobile

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Despite being an endless runner, Dead Land lumbers along like its zombies.

Enjoyment is limited as a result. It will likely not surprise you to learn that Dead Land is also a free-to-play mobile game, and it really shows before you’ve so much as completed your first run. As a mobile game, you’d likely ignore it in a sea of other copycat endless runner titles grasping to any semi-relevant bastion of pop culture as a theme. So porting it to a console and charging cash money, no matter how small that amount might be, is misguided and doesn’t come across as anything but a cynical cash grab.

You should be entitled to sell your game anywhere of course, but a consistency in how you sell it and a modicum of quality goes a long way to making sure that game is received well in one way or another. Dead Land is far too low effort to be given the benefit of the doubt, let alone given your money.




The Final Word

Dead Land may be an endless runner, but you'll definitely want it to end. It's cheap and far from cheerful.