The Drowning Review

The Drowning Review

Will this latest first-person shooter for iPad sink or swim?

First-person shooters have found the conversion to mobile gaming quite difficult. One of the hardest things to get right is the control system, which can often dictate the success of a title. While many have struggled with on-screen d-Pads and random taps, The Drowning is hoping to bring something new to the table.

Far from trying to reinvent the wheel, the developer has adopted a control system where, instead of using a one-finger tap to aim your fire, you use two fingers – ideally with your target between these two points. The advantages of this are twofold; you’re not blocking your view of the target with your own digits, and you can be more accurate. Overall it works, giving credence to the claim that this system could change how mobile FPSs are played – but it’s not a game-changer.

Firstly, aiming with two fingers doesn’t feel natural; but the bigger issue is that The Drowning lacks a lot in the way of originality and gameplay. You’re battling zombie-like creatures in a post-apocalyptic world, with cut-scenes to drive the story forward. The difficulty level starts off high, with swarms of monsters attacking you from all angles. As you battle foes, you’ll collect points and unlock items that allow you to craft tools such as better weapons. A map helps you pick locations to uncover items, but often you’ll be waiting for your fuel levels to replenish or be struggling to come out alive, all to get you to make in-app purchases to speed things along.

There are things to admire here, and you’re bound to have fun shooting monsters in the head, but this isn’t the game that’s going to revolutionise the first-person shooter genre.

Rated 3 out of 5

The gameplay itself isn’t exciting – or original – enough to make it great, but it is admirable.