Variety Is The Spice Of Life... And Death (Cntd)
For whatever reason I was unable to play any match on Roanoake PD, so I unfortunately cannot comment on that map.
Barlowe Square is the only map that felt open enough to truly enjoy any of the gametypes, as it is set among several city blocks and of course Barlowe Square itself. Youíll find yourself fighting through a bank, a department store, gun shop, apartment building, movie theater and a gas station. Barlowe Square on Hunted mode feels like the star setting of the game, the one place where you truly get what you paid for.
Fun When It Works, But...
While the game can be fun, the current state of it is a very buggy one at best. From unexplained frame rate drops to a control scheme that doesnít always work properly, there is quite a bit working against the gameís fun factor. Starting first with the framerate issues, they seem to be something that everyone encounters seemingly at random for no discernible reason whatsoever. You can be in an area completely bare of any action, hardly any lighting, and no other moving models but yourself, and all of a sudden be hit with it. Something like that, under most circumstances, should not happen on any up-to-date PC.
Then you have the control setup, where they give you just about a button for everything... but sometimes, the extra buttons donít work. I canít count how many times Iíve had to throw away an item to pick up something more useful, only to have the game fail to register it. The weapon will be out of my inventory, but Iíll find myself unable to actually get the weapon out of my hands apparently. When that strikes, you also canít switch your weapons... thankfully, this glitch isnít nearly as common as the frame rate issue or as glaringly apparent as the wonky hit detection.
The biggest issue however out of the technical problems with the game is definitely the hit detection against player-controlled zombies. There will be many times where your pistol will kill a player zombie with ease, but for some reason a military grade rifle or a hunting rifle to their zombified cranium phases right through them as if they were ghosts, add on potential latency issues on top of that and there are times you will literally encounter zombies that seem invincible. Thankfully, hit detection problems seem to begin and end with the players, because if the AI zombies suffered the same faults the game would be unplayable.
Thoughts From A Survivor
Contagion is a game that with continued patch support and new maps, has a true potential to be a contender against more popular zombie games out there. However, with the current state of the game I would have to tell the curious buyer to enter into it at their own risk. While I personally enjoyed the title, I really only enjoyed it while playing ONE map and ONE mode out of all that is offered. The negatives that are there, from design choices to technical problems, are easily zombie-mood killers and I did find myself taking breaks out of frustration with them often.
Barlowe Square is one of the best levels featured in a multiplayer game, Hunted is a very intense player versus player experience.
All of the other maps are bland, Extraction and Escape are both dull experiences, a myriad of technical shortcomings and poor design choices.