Tested version: 1.0e
Latest version: 1.0m
Requires Android: from 1.5
3rd Person Shooter on an Android phone? Does that even make sense? Such an undertaking could prove to be especially tricky if you’re playing on the Nexus One, a device without a hardware keypad. Read on to find out if Deadly Chambers is worth your time nonetheless.
Features & Use
Deadly Chambers is a 3rd Person Shooter with five levels and diversified cast of enemies and big-boss-man-enemies waiting to take you on at the end of each level.
You can carry up to three weapons with you, and throughout the course of the game you secure new weapons which you can pimp up according to what you have in mind.
As the app’s name might suggest, Deadly Chambers is rooted in the horror genre, which means that you’re up against skeletons, ghouls, and other monsters. Fortunately, medipacks and extra ammunition are available throughout the game, as you are likely to need both, even during the first level.
Deadly Chambers provides a story to set the mood, but what you actually have to do is really quite simple (as if often the case with action games). In each level you have to kill all of your opponents in order to get to the next level. Occasionally you have to secure a key that will allow you to unlock a door and make your way ahead through the Deadly Chambers.
You can play the game in 3rd or 1st person perspective. Several camera angles are provided for the 3rd person variant. The app allows for a lot of alterations in the settings where controls and graphics are concerned, so in theory this should make it possible to play the game on older devices, too. I’m basing my observations regarding performance and controls on my experience with playing the game on a Nexus One, which doesn’t have a hardware keypad or particularly sophisticated capacity for graphics. Despite these constraints, controls worked really work throughout the test, as did general performance (with high graphics settings)—I’ll go into more detail in a little while. When you first start Deadly Chambers the app adapts the graphics settings according to what phone you have; you can make changes to this automatic procedure if you want to.
You should definitely check out Deadly Chambers if you’re into action games, at least the free demo version with which you can access the first level.
Screen & Controls
The app’s graphic design is pretty neat. It isn’t breathtaking, but the environment through which you have to fight your way is nicely animated, as are your opponents. I would say that this app is as good as PSP, though I should mention that I haven’t used my PSP in a while and don’t know if the games nowadays are better than the ones I played.
I was most impressed by controls. As I already mentioned, I tested this app using the Nexus One, which means I used a touch screen, which worked very well, though it took a short while to get used to, but in the end I succeeded in running through the chambers, evading my opponents, and ultimately destroying them. Ha!
The buttons are all located on the touch screen. In order to shoot, switch weapons, switch to 1st person perspective, or change camera perspective all you have to do is push on the appropriate button. The first time you play you will be told which button does what. There’s a virtual pad that allows you to guide your character in the lower left corner. If you’re in 3rd person mode you will have to press down on the pad and keep pressing down. By moving your finger you can then go in a given direction, run, or turn left, right, or around your own axis. To either side of the pad you’ll find two arrow buttons that let you move left or right, accordingly. I was able to control my alter ego really well thanks to this virtual pad.
If you’re in the 1st person mode the pad can be used to have a look around; there are four arrow buttons located around the pad that allow you to move around. The 1st person perspective isn’t ideal if you want to move through the chambers, as you have to keep going from pad to arrows, which means you have to lift your finger to aim at the monsters. However, if you’re standing still this perspective is really useful.
I did notice one flaw in the controls: I don’t know why, but it would happen occasionally that the perspective would switch without my having pressed any buttons. In the end I decided to integrate this odd phenomenon into my game, and I was able to cope with controls despite it.
The weapon you’re currently using is displayed at the top right half of the screen, and you can also see how much ammunition you’ve got let. There’s a bar in the middle of the top of the display that lets you know what your state of health is, and when you’re fighting against an opponent another bar appears that shows you how the other guy is doing.
Multitouch is supported, though this is contingent on the device. I was therefore able to change perspective while I was running.
Settings is divided into different functions such as General, Controls, Graphics, and Sound. So, if you’re phone has a hardware keypad you can change the keyboard layout, the quality of the graphic texture as well as graphic filtering (linear, bilinear, or trilinear), and music and sound effects.
I don’t think you can get better controls for a 3rd person/ego shooter game on a phone. The graphic design is also good and there are lots of options for making alterations for controls and performance/graphics. If you’re an action fan who also likes horror this is a must-have.
Speed & Stability
There’s really nothing to complain about where the performance is concerned, Deadly Chambers ran smoothly, even when the graphics settings were high. There were a few hang-ups, and I even had to restart the phone on one occasion.
Deadly Chambers can be downloaded for US$2,99 from the Android Market. There’s also a free demo version.
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