Platforms Reviewed: iPhone, iPad
Overkill 2's description reminds us of used car salesmen, except the developers at Craneballs Studios substitute vehicles for weapons. "Do you like guns? The mounted grenade launcher is the right baby for you." It's very over the top, in-your-face marketing, clearly designed to pump up smartphone and tablet users that love pulling triggers, real or otherwise. You know what? It works. It works quite well.
If any of this sounds appealing, especially if you spend time on firing ranges or grew up blasting zombies and criminals in the arcade, Overkill 2 delivers even more than its predecessor, which is also free-to-play. What we have is a virtual shooting gallery set in a war-torn environment teeming with enemy soldiers, from relatively weak grunts to tactical grenadiers, juggernauts and even heavily armored battle drones, all of which the designers modeled in 3D, set against static 2D backdrops.
Your mission, obviously, is to kill as many of these goons as possible using a variety of weapons, all of which sound unique and feature a wealth of upgrades, including stocks, laser dot sights, extended magazines, silencers and the aforementioned grenade launcher, depending on the model. Nothing fancy about the game per se. You simply point the weapon (two viewing options- aim down the sights or targeting reticule) at the bad guy you want dead and rapidly press the firing button. Enemies come in waves, so you'll need to stay alive while at the same time scoring headshots, blowing up grenades in mid air and blasting special power-up boxes that only stick around for a few seconds. Hit them, and you stand to gain bonus health, faster reloading, improved accuracy, armor and a valuable airstrike that clears the screen. Meanwhile, real life scenarios crop up to make things difficult. Weapons have a tendency to jam at the worst moments, forcing you to deal with that while under duress. Guns kick upwards, so you'll need to get the hang of how each individual weapon handles while also making upgrades to improve stability.
This ties into the game's digital economy, and as we expected, Craneballs splits weapons and equipment between two currencies, those being medals and coins. The former is more difficult to come by, and you'll need medals to acquire valuable medkits and armor. The developers were smart (tricky even) in the way they went about doing this, so the next gun remains just out of reach, while the current one constantly requires upgrades to move to new levels, which means you'll have to make the smartest choices instead of splurging on a new toy. Basically, you can grind the hours away or just fork over the cash, but IAP isn't necessarily cheap. The base packages, 100 medals or 20,000 coins, cost $2.99 a piece. You're better off spending $9.99 for 370 medals, or the same amount for $74,000 coins; even then, you may not have leveled high enough to purchase what you desire.
Thankfully, Craneballs offers deals on the black market, and you'll soon discover ways to score free loot, either by rating the game on the App Store and "liking" it on Facebook, or signing up for Tapjoy. Considering the game is generally fun to play, though, we have no issue replaying old levels for more dough.
Throw in a very addictive Survival mode, leaderboards, in-game achievements and 3D models of each pistol, machine gun and sniper rifle, and Overkill 2 contains plenty of appealing features that help make it one of the coolest freemium titles. Still not convinced? The description boasts "a ton of explosions & blood." What more do you need?
Editor's Note:The Android version was apparently pulled from the Google Play store due to issues. We expect to see it shortly. Meanwhile, Craneballs updated the iOS edition.
What's Hot:Thirty-one meticulously crafted weapons, plenty of upgrades, intense arcade-style gunplay, never-ending Survival mode, leaderboards.
What's Not:Guns and equipment on the pricey side.