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Review: Dead 'n' Furious (AKA Touch the Dead) - Nintendo DS

by Steven Williamson on 18 January 2008, 10:10

Tags: Dead n Furious , Koch Media, DS, Shoot 'em up

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You better hope that the groaning coming from the bedroom is the wife playing Dead 'n' Furious

The first thing that instantly jumped out of the screen at me was how smooth the game runs. At times there were half a dozen zombies lunging towards me, instilling a panic into my fingertips as I attempted to move rapidly from one to the other blowing their limbs to pieces, yet there is no slowdown to hamper the experience (a decent feat for a DS shooter).

Some of the 3D environments are cunningly covered up with the darkness that you come to expect from horror titles so it’s hard to really tell how great or awful they look, but the zombies do look dreadful in places, complete with jagged edges that me made groan as much as the zombies themselves. However, the lighter sections make decent use of the graphics engine and the poor zombie graphics don’t take anything away from the actual gameplay. In fact, the zombies animate extremely well (apart from having no facial animation whatsoever) and when you shoot them in various parts of their body they react how you’d expect them to, by spinning around when you shoot them in the shoulder or dropping dramatically to the ground when you shoot at their leg. The touch detection seems spot on and as soon as your stylus touches a body part the zombie reacts immediately. Blowing zombies' heads clean off is always a satisfying experience.

Control-wise, Dead ‘n’ Furious is pretty solid. The stylus is used to zap the zombies by tapping on their different body parts as they emerge from the shadows. You can reload your weapons by dragging the stylus from the weapon clip on the right hand side of the screen to the bottom left, where your magazine clip is located, and you can also switch weapons using the d-pad. The added option is there to adjust camera angles, which is ideal for searching for extra health and ammunition that is hidden in crates. As you progress through the levels the hand-gun just isn’t powerful enough to take out all of the zombies, so you’ll come across an assortment of weapons to try out. Thankfully, switching between weapons (something you’ll need to do often due to running out of ammo) is made simple thanks to the weapon management screen that appears on the upper of the DS’s dual screens; meanwhile the action continues to flow on the lower screen.