Deadlock: Online by Crescent Moon Games icon

Deadlock: Online (Free) by Crescent Moon Games is a massive multiplayer online (MMO) shoot ‘em up game from the makers of such role playing games as Aralon and Rimelands. Although following similar concepts as a typical online first-person shooter (FPS) game, this top-down version is a unique experience. It is on sale for free for a limited time.

Deadlock: Online by Crescent Moon Games screenshot

You can play this game online or offline. For offline play, you can either choose Survival or Bot Match mode. In survival, you can hone your shooting skills by practicing on waves of enemies that come in rounds of four at a time. You will need these practice levels because, as you will discover, the controls are awkward and difficult to master. Bot Match, is similar to the online mode. You play a Deathmatch game against seven players and must fight for your life as they try to kill you and each other. The only difference is that all other players are computer generated, or bots.

In Online mode, you will play a typical FPS-type game. Your goal is to kill your enemy. If you do, you gain points. If he kills you, you will respawn. Quick Play, puts you right into the next available game. Custom Game, lets you choose which type of game to join (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture and Hold). You can create your own game for others to join, or you can join a tournament, which will automatically enroll you for daily and weekly matches.

As you gain points, which don’t come easy, you can unlock weapons, armor, and weapon attachments. You can also pay for your upgrades through in-app purchasing of points.

There are a few major issues at launch. The menu lag time is excruciatingly bad. There are times when I couldn’t tell whether the game was lagging, or just completely frozen. The app crashed multiple times while trying to enter an online game, and after getting obliterated by my foes in Deathmatch mode. The developers are promising an update as soon as possible to correct the issue.

There is also a problem with the dual-stick controls. The movement is fine, but the weapon shooting control is all wrong. You must aim while shooting with the gun control. So, for example, even if you are already facing your enemy, you must get your weapon to face the enemy as well, but there is no separate button for that. In order to aim, you must start shooting, wasting bullets as you get on target. I am not the only one having a problem with the controls. Every online player I saw was doing the same thing. They would be directly in front of me and start shooting, but off to the side of me at first. I’d really like to see some changes made to the weapon controller.

Overall, this is a great new way to play an action-packed shoot ‘em up online game. Although not the traditional FPS-style of game, players will enjoy the top-down view just as much. There are some fairly significant issues and the controls are nearly impossible to get used to, but the game is free at launch, and the developers promise a quick update to fix lag time. It’s not a bad game for the price of zero dollars.