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iPhone App Video Review: Extraction: Project Outbreak

by Andrew Koziara

Extraction: Project Outbreak is the one of the latest top down shooters to hit the iPhone from developer Shortround Games and publisher Chillingo. Rather than go with the massively overused twin stick controls, this game opts to play like your classic dungeon crawler instead. The innovative controls are refreshing, and the game has great production values and gameplay, even if it quickly gets repetitive.

The game is set during a generic outbreak of your basic zombie making virus. You are part of a team trying to reclaim various territories to establish a stronger foothold for humanity. The focus here is really the gameplay though, which is excellent. To move your character, you just tap where you want him to go like your basic Diablo or Torchlight, and to shoot enemies, you simply swipe across them to auto target them. Swiping at a the correct speed will let you pull off special trick shots, but I found this to be very difficult to pull off in the heat of battle. I don't know, maybe I've just trained myself with years of twitch gaming and there's nothing I can do about it, but I basically ignored this feature. You can also melee by swiping back and forth across enemies that get a bit too close for comfort.

You enter a zone packing a main assault weapon, a pistol, and grenades. As you kill enemies and complete missions, you'll receive experience and credits. When you level up, you choose to increase one of four traits, and your choices are rather limited. Once you've accumulated enough credits, you can upgrade your weapons or replace them with shinier new ones. As always, you can purchase extra credits or special bonuses in-app, but it's really not necessary, and you can easily succeed without them.

My main gripe with this game is the severe lack of mission variety. They may dress it up in a few different ways, but it really boils down to "kill a certain number of enemies" and "escort this scientist/engineer/soldier to a place so they can do a thing." The game is still very well made and fun to play, but you probably should avoid prolonged play sessions. The graphics and sound are well done, as are the unique controls. This is a one dollar, iOS Universal game, and it's definitely worth giving a shot.

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