Trapped Dead: Lockdown
Gameplay 6
Graphics 7
Sound 6

If you are not tired of killing zombies yet, Trapped Dead: Lockdown invites you to a small American town to get acquainted with the undead locals. The game features five different playable characters, hordes of zombies and buckets of blood, but because it is a linear experience it can also become rather repetitive. The game is still entertaining and features a lengthy campaign as well as multi-player with four players, but if you are not a fan of the genre this is unlikely to sway you.

Gameplay: Enjoyable, but repetitive and there are a couple of minor annoyances.

Graphics: The visuals are detailed and the locations varied.

Sound: Decent voice acting, but the music and sound effects are largely forgettable

Summary 6.3 Above Average
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Trapped Dead: Lockdown

Developer: Bigmoon Studios | Publisher: Headup Games | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Action / Indie / RPG | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

If popular culture is to be believed it is only a matter of time before every small American town is overrun with the living dead. This is indeed what happens in Trapped Dead: Lockdown, an action role playing game from Bigmoon Studios. Each of the five selectable characters in the game are on a quest that leads them to the town, which they reach just before the military places it under lockdown. With thousands of blood thirsty zombies roaming the streets it is up to you to help them survive long enough to accomplish their mission.

If the name sounds familiar you might have played or heard about the similarly titled tactical real time strategy title that was released in 2011. Lockdown is based on the same IP as the original game, but is made by a different developer that opted for a different game style. It is a good thing too as the original game got a pretty poor reception. It is almost a pity that the name was retained as it definitely casts doubt over this game and might even deter a few players from checking it out.

As lockdown is an action role playing game you will be spending the majority of your time dispatching the hordes of undead that crawl, shuffle, stagger and run in your direction. After choosing between the marine, butcher, assassin, marshal and exorcist, who all have their own strengths and weaknesses, you have to guide them through the numerous locations in the game. From rainy streets and a bloody prison to a train yard, junkyard, cave, factory, sewers, hospital and even graveyard, the game certainly doesn’t have a shortage of levels. These levels are not randomly generated however and because they are very linear can become quite repetitive. There are a couple of highlights that break up the repetition though, such as one level that gives you access to a variety of cars with which to plow through the undead. For the most part though your missions consist of killing zombies, fighting to marked locations in order to collect items or escorting suicidal civilians.

The zombies come in all shapes and sizes, from cheerleaders and rednecks to crawling torsos, undead dogs and more. Some zombies are also faster than others and a few will even attempt to run away in order to feed so that they can regain health before storming back. Instead of earning experience points when you kill the undead, your character loses “fear” points, which basically amounts to the same thing. When a character levels up you unlock new abilities from skill trees that are unique to each of them. You also get to push stat points into areas such as the strength, intelligence, melee abilities or spiritual powers of your character. You can select up to three passive and two active abilities for your character in addition to one ability per weapon that they are wielding. Unlike some other action RPGs there is no way to upgrade or modify your equipment and weapons apart from assigning these skills.

The game actually features a nice selection of weapons that range from pistols and shotguns to knives, axes, swords, crossbows and Tasers. Your character can wield two weapons at the same time, but some weapons cannot be used by certain characters. Fortunately, you’ll find traders on each map to whom you can sell all your surplus equipment or use to repair your items. The latter is especially important as equipment in this game breaks with alarming frequency. Dealing with the inventory is a bit clunky as there is no way to sort items and the game does not pause while you are rooting through your backpack looking for something to replace that weapon which just broke. The game does feature multiple difficulty settings though, so if you find yourself mobbed a bit too often you can always try an easier setting. It is doubtful that you would need to however as each time you die your character simply respawns at the nearest checkpoint.

Trapped Dead: Lockdown is viewed from an isometric overhead perspective and generally the visuals are quite good. I’m not talking AAA quality, but the amount of detail packed into each scene is nice. The animations are a little stiff at times, but not that noticeable amidst all the action. The view cannot be zoomed or rotated, which feels a bit restrictive at first, but you get used to it. The video options include three preset quality settings, while Vsync, anti-aliasing and shadows can be toggled separately. I liked the weather effects in the game and there is no shortage of blood spraying everywhere either. The levels are also quite large and I appreciate the amount of variety when it comes to the locations. All the weapons and items you equip on your character is also visible in the gameworld, which is nice, but it can be a little strange to see the exorcist running around with a welding helmet and bulletproof vest.

When it comes to audio Trapped Dead: Lockdown does well with its character voices which sounded a bit more professional than what I expected. The music is largely forgettable though and, while atmospheric, never really stood out. The same can be said about the sound effects, which is adequate at best. The game can be played using the traditional keyboard and mouse method or by using a gamepad, which is always welcome. I’m also glad that the game includes a key for keeping your character stationary as it is all too easy to miss click an enemy and run straight into the fray instead of shooting from a distance. While the game is entertaining to play in the single player mode, ideally you’ll want to team up with three other friends and tackle the multi-player mode together. Working as a team definitely increases the entertainment value of the game and makes it feel a little less repetitive.

I enjoyed the majority of my time with Lockdown, especially the multi-player, but the game is not without its faults. Early in the game your character becomes infected and must constantly take medicine to prevent health loss. This is quite annoying and I don’t really see the point. The fact that the game only uses auto saves and not manual saves is another annoyance. I managed to reach the graveyard level on my first playthrough, but the game didn’t register an important quest artifact that I had collected and I couldn’t proceed with the story. Since I couldn’t revert to an earlier save I had no choice but the restart the game completely. This didn’t happen again during my second playthrough, but it definitely made me very paranoid. Finally, the game doesn’t feature any female characters, which is a little odd and the story differences between the characters are not really big enough to compel you into finishing the game with all of them.

One thing is for sure, Trapped Dead: Lockdown is a big step up from the previous game, but despite an enjoyable premise will probably not appeal to everyone. If you enjoy action role playing games and don’t mind a B-movie setting instead of the typical fantasy fare there is definitely fun to be had here. The list of small annoyances and repetition mars the experience somewhat however and the rather high price tag also prevents it from being an impulse buy. It is a pity that there isn’t a demo available for players to try as this can definitely be a love it or hate it kind of game. I can recommend it to fans of the genre, but compared to similar titles such as the Van Helsing series it falls short.

System Requirements

  • OS: XP(SP3)/Vista/Windows 7/8/8.1
  • Processor: 2 GHz Processor
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c/Shader3.0 compatible, VRAM 512 MB
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1
  • Processor: 2 GHz Processor Dual Core or higher
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c/Shader3.0 compatible, VRAM 512 MB
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

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3 Comments

  1. ToomanOM March 24, 2015
    Reply

    “It is almost a pity that the name was retained as it definitely casts doubt over this game and might even deter a few players from checking it out.” So much this. I got burned with the trainwreck that was Trapped Dead and the only reason I even looked at reviews of this one is morbid curiosity. I doubt others will even bother.

  2. FS2Fighter March 24, 2015
    Reply

    With so many bundles on the market (bundlestars, gala, royal, humble, lazyguys etc etc) and the high chance that games like this will get bundled sooner than later I just cant justify such a high purchase, especially if the game isn’t flat out awesome. It sucks for indies but it is what it is.

  3. AoLetGo March 24, 2015
    Reply

    I think I will wait a few days to see if this ends up in a $1 humble bundle. Learned my lesson with Bridge Constructor.

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