The Drowning’s like buying a Lamborghini to drive around London. Sure, it looks great, but you’ve still gotta’ stop at the lights like everyone else. When you’re moving, you might as well be on a pushbike.
The game’s opening is like a budget Call of Duty: in first-person, you’re beached on a wooden boat. You’re surrounded by impressive environments in a closed environment with ugly character models waiting to be shot. It's all very accessible really - the arcade-style missions, the unintentionally hilarious upgrade screen, the star ratings - but the narrative is oddly po-faced, which doesn’t match the rest of the game’s tone. The end of the world is pretty cheery... but not.
FPS games don’t work very well without a traditional controller, and this is no exception. If the questions is 'how do you solve a problem like virtual thumbsticks?', what The Drowning has come up with isn’t the answer. Navigation is handled by tapping your intended location, and you swipe to look around. Your character weaves around obstacles well enough, but it just feels... wrong. You shoot by tapping the screen with two fingers, the middle point between them being the place the bullet will strike.
Often, you’ll tap two fingers at the screen and one finger will land first, sending you to the opposite end of the arena. I say ‘arena’ because that’s really all there is. There’s no campaign in a traditional sense, just tight maps where you either attack or defend against waves of enemies, collecting points... It’s Angry Birds: Shoot-Gun Edition.
Mostly you’ll be firing bullets into people's heads, running around like a moron and then repeating and it feels like a grind a long time before it needs to. You'll need to grind too, as the later enemies can only be killed with specific, unlockable guns. It’s free, but for a game about water zombies, it’s dry.
Played for 5 hours. Click here to read about VideoGamer.com's new review policy.