Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hunters 2 [Rodeo Games] - $4.99

After the success of Hunters: Episode One, the fantastic sci-fi turn-based strategy title from Rodeo Games, it was no surprise when Hunters 2 was announced. Being a Strategy fanatic, I was extremely excited to get my hands on the release. Unfortunately, because of some badly timed events, and large backup of games, I wasn’t able to get the time to check it out. After playing for 5 hours straight this morning, I’m kicking myself for not having it on my device sooner. 
Like Hunters: Episode One, your thrown into a civilization which revolves around contracts. There are no governments, only corporation owned planets, and credits and contracts are the only things that matter. Unlike the first Hunters, Hunters 2 has an actual story line which you can progress through while also having access to daily contracts which you can play to earn more experience and money, helping you make it through the story mode a little easier, while also providing some extra challenge. 

Starting off, you’re able to choose between Easy, Normal and Hard difficulties, as well as being able to turn Hardcore Mode on, which makes it so that any team members lost during battle are lost forever. After a back-story dialogue scroll down the screen, you’re thrown into a tutorial mission where you’ll learn the basics of the game while also finding out that your employer wants you dead, presumably because of some information you posses. After all but a total of 3 members of your team have been extinguished. Making your way to the end of the tutorial level, the last 3 members are overrun. 
You’re then taken to the ship where you can check out the available menu options, Bridge (where you start your contracts), Comms (where you can connect to Rodeo Games, Facebook, Twitter, and check out GameCenter boards and achievements), Armory (where you’re able to equip your team members), Trade (which is the shop, where you can buy and sell items, as well as purchase new members), Manufacturing (which is where you can create your own weapons and armor) and Settings (which lets you change the difficulty, team color, music and effects volumes, and turn the Blood and Free daily Gifts on or off, as well as reset the campaign). 

Each member of your team is able to be outfitted with one weapon, and armor, with both having a major influence on how you play the game with those specific characters, with the armor dictating how many moves they can make per turn, and the weapons you equip possibly taking up more than one movement point. As they level up, more abilities will become available to them, giving your team-mates super human abilities, and extra special moves to help them tear the enemies apart. Since you are able to purchase more members from the shop, even leveled up members, this makes experimenting with weaponry and armor very easy, and adds quite a bit of depth to the already depthy strategic gameplay. 

The graphics in Hunters 2 are what you would expect from a sequel. If you’ve played the original Hunters, you’re familiar with the look of the environments and character models. Rodeo Games did definitely make the graphics sharper and more vibrant, with some fantastically created plantlife and outdoor environments added to the many buildings found in the first title. They’ve also added some very nice atmospheric graphic effects and animations to go along with the new graphics, making the game even more immersive than the original. Also accompanying the new graphics is fantastic music and sound effects helping to set the dark and dreary mood perfectly. 

This time around, Rodeo Games made Hunters 2 Universal, and with it being priced at $4.99, it’s a fantastic deal, especially considering the endless replay value, and extremely difficult challenges that await players in-game. GameCenter is also supported, with a leader board based on how many contracts you complete, along with 33 hard-to-unlock achievements, both also adding to the insanely high replay value. Rodeo Games has done a fantastic job creating a completely immersive world, and compelling campaign to go along with this amazing game. Hunters 2 has quickly become one of my favorite iOS strategy games, and right now, is definitely in the top 3 on my ‘Best of 2012’ list. It’s one game that strategy fans need to have on their iDevice. 


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