Review: Slaughter

Slaughter is a single-player action game on both iOS and Android, offered at a very low price of $0.99.


Developed by Ray Spark


At a low price of $0.99, and with no microtransactions, it was a no brainer to give Slaughter a try, but I was a little worried. This is by no means a good game, but what it is?


It's a fun distraction when you need something quick to play.


The story is interesting but it's not told well at all. Cut scenes are short and rare and there is no voice acting at all. In the story, you play as a mercenary named Russell, and you were trapped in a city filled with crazy people looking to kill you.


Your objective is simple: get the hell out of that town.




The game's default point of view is third person, but a first person mode is also available. You can switch on the fly so it's easy to see which one you like better. To me, the first person mode seemed to control and play better, and once I switched it over my enjoyment of the game went up.




The movement controls are passable, at best, on a touch screen. Many times my character would just stop running, or the virtual joystick would not react properly to the position I am trying to move to. Almost half the time I was running forward, if I stopped and would go to run forward again, I would need to lift my finger to reset the joystick, otherwise I would start to run backward.


The shooting controls are a little better than the movement, but sometimes the aiming would get a little weird. Sometimes when I was trying to aim at a target, like the movement stick, I would need to lift my finger to reset where I am at. It wasn’t a game breaker, just a minor inconvenience.




There was a setting for manual and auto shooting, and auto shooting is not what you would think. The auto shooting was my preferred setting for gunplay. A lot of games out there with auto shoot means you point at the enemy and the game fires, but not here. For the auto shoot, the fire button does not do anything unless your crosshair is near an enemy. This was a welcome feature since I have fat finger problems, and will randomly shoot at nothing by accident in other games while looking around.


The game gets a little repetitive but does not overstay its welcome. It took me roughly two hours to complete the campaign. In the campaign, they repeat similar sequences frequently. There is always a door to unlock that you need to find a generator to power and there is always a trap that triggers swarms of enemies to come running out at you. Whenever you come to one of these roadblocks, you get a notification that your notes were updated. Your notes are basically your mission log, it tells you what objective you need to complete to progress. It was a helpful reminder when I would stop for the night and pick it up the next day.




If you get overwhelmed and die, or if you just want the take a break, there are very frequent save areas that are unavoidable, making you feel safer. For me personally, playing a story game on mobile, I worry if something else on my phone distracts me that I will lose progress. Slaughter does a great job letting you know when it's safe to check that email or text message.


The game really shined in its moments it didn’t repeat, like its very few boss fights and its random encounters. My favorite part of the game was a moment of comedy, and the game never again tried to be funny. After that scene I was ready for things to get silly and they just never did.



The enemy variety was also lacking. The game just keeps throwing the same guys at you over and over. It liked to put you in these combat arena sections that really made it apparent how few character models they had for enemies.


I don’t think it really matters, but no spoilers: when you get to the end of the game, there is something you are waiting for, and then the game just ends. I was expecting one final big showdown but that never really came.


Besides the campaign, there is a survival mode.


It’s exactly what it sounds like. Survive waves of enemies with increasing difficulty. You earn money each round to buy more guns and ammo. This would be a fun mode to keep me busy, but when you just have to fight, it highlights how mediocre the movement controls are. You also earn currency at a very slow rate, leaving you to use a handgun only for multiple rounds in a row, taking way too long to get to the fun weapons.




Verdict


Slaughter was definitely better than I was expecting, but I still wouldn’t call it a good game. It’s lacking good controls for both movement and combat but it makes up for it with some good boss fights and unique moments. If you want something to play in short bursts then this may be something to check out. At such a low price it may be worth your time.


Final Score4/10


For more reviews, be sure to check out my thoughts on Earthfall: Alien Horde, Croc's World, and The Last of Us Part II (spoiler free and with full spoilers), and my new podcast: Game Bites, the latest entry in The Spinchoon Podcast Network (check out Flix & a Six here). As always, check us out on Twitter @TheSpinchoon and I’m @Big_Broons.

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