Yesterday Gameloft announced that their latest free-to-play open-world MMORPG Dead Rivals would be officially releasing globally on April the 11th, and after checking the Play Store this morning, it would appear that they have held true to their word. You can grab the download right now, though you may want to wait a while before you sit down to play it as the servers are currently getting hammered.
If you happened to miss the pre-registration and soft-launch of Dead Rivals, you may be asking yourself what type of game this is. As I already mentioned, it is an FTP MMORPG, but unlike many of the games in this genre, it’s not based around a fantasy setting. Instead, it takes place during modern times, though it is still a fictional world since it’s filled to the brim with zombies. That’s right, this is a post-apocalyptic zombie MMORPG for mobile.
Just like the majority of mobile MMORPGs, this release takes advantage of an auto-play mechanic that does all the heavy lifting for you. All you really have to do is follow the instructions on the screen and tap on an arrow every so often to continue on your journey. But sadly this is not where the similarities end. You can also expect loot boxes, multiple currencies, convoluted upgrade paths for your weapons, costly cosmetic items, and a constant stream of pop-up ads nagging you to spend money on any number of in-app purchases that conveniently run as high as $99.99 per item.
Now the thing is, the performance is abysmal. Not only is it difficult to get the game to go past the start screen, if you do get it to load you will instantly notice a ton of jutter, as if the game can’t keep up with your movement. I would assume this has to do with Gameloft’s servers not being able to handle the number of people jumping into this title on release day. So hopefully things get better with time as the server population evens out.
If you dig all of the newer mobile MMORPGs from Snail Games or Netmarble, then you should feel right at home with Dead Rivals. Sure, the auto-play function may be a turn off for some, but if you come at this style of game with the expectation that you will be spending the majority of your time micromanaging your rewards and upgrades (similar to an idle tapper), you can easily see their appeal. Of course, the primary downside is that the monetization is about as greedy it gets, but sadly this is now the norm for FTP mobile games, especially when it’s a release from the likes of Gameloft.