Into the Dead 2 is the runner gunner sequel to Into the Dead, now moving from your phone or tablet to your home console. Like a mash up between the “line runner” type games that are all over your app store, and a first person shooter, Into the Dead 2 definitely puts a spin on the standard style.
Into the Dead 2 is a zombie…survival/shooter/runner where you race through zombies in order to rescue your family. Gameplay consists of running in a single direction forward through the zombie hordes, trying to get to the distance checkpoint to complete the stage. It’s a little rail shooter like in the sense that you’re set on a path and shooting at zombies, but you’re free to lean left or right to start heading more towards one direction or the other, and you can go pretty far off the main track this way.
Also unlike a rail shooter, you can only shoot in front of you, and that is also somewhat limited by whether the game considers the enemies to actually be in front of you or not. As you clear more stages you can unlock different guns to bring with you into each stage, one primary and one secondary of different classes. You can also bring an animal companion along with you that will serve different roles. As an example, the first doggo you get will attack enemies, and the second one you can choose will help find ammo crates. Yup, you don’t have limited ammo, so you need to decide when you should shoot and when you should try to evade.
There are weapons that you can find for in-stage use that can help you mow down zombies, and even if you aren’t using them or are unable to find them, your guns earn exp that you can use with gold earned in stages in order to upgrade your weapons and animal companions. Upon stage completion you get to choose a reward, which also generally includes a one-time augment that you can attach to your weapon for the stage it’s activated for.
There are a couple different modes you can choose from, with the standard story mode, bonus side missions, and a sort of survival run, where you try and get as far as you can while killing as many zombies as you can. Stages will give you benchmark goals to meet, and if you do well enough or complete enough of them, you can unlock new weapons or earn extra weapon augments.
Into the Dead 2 is pretty basic in its presentation, primarily because it is a mobile game that made its way to a console. While there isn’t anything particularly wrong about Into the Dead 2, despite the occasional glitch where the game got confused about which gun I had out when one ran out of ammo, preventing me from shooting until I ran over an ammo crate, there also isn’t really anything to make it stand out from the crowd.
Stages get rather repetitive rather fast, and unlocking new guns later once you’ve already invested in earlier weapons feels like more of a chore than a bonus. While the animal companion is a neat idea, they are rather situationally useful or aggravating. Half the time the first dog attacked an enemy I was in the middle of shooting it, so either I lost my ammo, or the dog “missed” and has to wait on the cooldown before attacking another zombie.