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REVIEW: Deadman’s Cross

If you’ve played Square Enix’s previous free-to-play card battle game, Guardian Cross, you know just what to expect from this zombie infested follow up. Deadman’s Cross is more of the same, following the same formula and game structure. But wait, shouldn’t a sequel bring something new and fresh to the table? Well I say if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

That’s not to say that there isn’t anything fresh in Deadman’s Cross, just that the core mechanics and gameplay remain unchanged. There are a few elements this time around that are brought forward and fleshed out. Pun intended.

The first noticeable change to the new game is the environment. Rather than the classic fantasy RPG dungeon crawler and mythical exploration setting you’re dropped right into the middle of a post-apocalyptic setting filled with zombies, or Deadmen. The outbreak of an unknown virus has devastated the world and left it overrun by the living dead. You must hunt down these Deadmen and build your own undead horde to fight for both survival and entertainment. Take on jobs from other survivors to earn experience and resources as you seek to become the world’s foremost Deadman hunter.

When the world went to hell a state of martial law was declared in the United States of America. But since then, both the government and media have fallen silent. Obeying the federal order to remain indoors, your character has passed three months alone in his home. Now, driven by survival and gripped by fear, he steps out into the unknown and that is where the game begins.

The core gameplay of collecting cards and leveling them is still there, but with a fresh design. Cards in Deadman’s Cross are collected through a novel hunting system. Previously you hunted Guardians in a top down view. This time you will be taking out the Deadman in the style of a fully 3D first-person shooter, where you will gun down zombies wandering the city to add them to your morbid collection. From famous historical figures to people from all walks of life and animals from around the globe, the game features over 100 unique cards with stunning artwork, with many more to come in the future!

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Deadman cards range from one to five stars, with five star cards much more rare but that much more powerful. As you take to the city and shoot/collect Deadman you will add those cards to your collection. Of course you can only use up to ten cards in the card battles (on missions or in the battle tournaments) so any more than that will just sit in your collection. You can use these extra cards to feed to your battle party. This will level them up, making them more powerful.

You can really choose whatever cards you fancy for your battle cards. Rarer cards with more stars start off with higher base stats so they will be more useful in battle, though leveling up more common (one or two star cards) can also be formidable once leveled up. You can also use special items which you can get by completing jobs to also boost up your Deadman.

There are two types of jobs you can do, which are posted at a job board in a pub. There are hunting jobs, which task you to reach certain goals while hunting Deadman, and there are search jobs where you search through environments until you reach a certain goal. You can accept one type of job at a time.

Now this is a free-to-play game so there are micro-transactions available just like the previous game. These are by no way necessary, but they do allow you to get better chances at finding rarer Deadman.

In order to hunt for Deadmen you must have a hunt permit. You can get these as a reward in jobs, by finding them while on search jobs or other various ways. You must spend one of these permits in order to go out onto the streets and hunt. You have just 60 seconds to bag as many Deadman as you can.

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You will access the standard course with a hunt permit, but you can spend 300 Deadman coins to play the elite course. The elite course has a higher probability of spawning rare, epic and legendary Deadman (3-5 stars) which can help you improve your hand greatly. Just like in the last game it will cost you about $1.00 for every 100 coins you want to buy, with a bit of a discount the more you purchase. You can slowly earn these coins by doing jobs as well so, again it’s not necessary, but is an option for those who want rarer cards more easily.

One new mode in the game is the all-new Clan system, which allows players to team up with other players from around the world and together tackle missions with large-scale objectives. There aren’t always clan jobs available and you will be rewarded by how well you contribute to the campaign. If you pull your weight you’ll get your just rewards. If you let your clan carry you and don’t help out then your reward won’t be that great.

With the game so new there haven’t been any clan jobs yet that I have seen but the premise is very promising.

The one thing that keeps any collectible card game going is the introduction of new cards. Every gamer is at heart a collector and with new cards to hunt for the game can go on forever. It makes on wonder if Square Enix will ever consider making real world collectible cards available for purchase, even if only from their online store. Sure you wouldn’t be able to battle with the cards but that’s fine. I never played a single battle with any of my Pokémon cards. They just sat nicely in a binder.

To wrap up the game is fun to play and addictive to collect. If it weren’t for the limited amount of energy needed to play the game, as in every game of the sort, I would play it all day. If you like trading card games, zombies and video games … you should already be downloading this game. Like, now.

And if you download Deadman’s Cross you can use my invite code S68WOPO and we’ll both get a very rare card. Go ahead!

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Gameplay 5
Graphics 5
Sound 5
Overall 5