Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Gods: Rebellion [Calvi + Chillingo] - $0.99

**This review was contributed to The App Shack by Alister from the Touch Arcade Forums**

Over a year ago our Chinese counterparts were given a delightful treat by the folks of Calvi games. That delectation was a title which was all about slashing, dismembering and kicking some serious ass like any proper brawler provides. It was a UE3 powered game called Infinity Of God. Ever since I saw the gameplay videos and features about it, I've been itching for it to be translated and available for localization. Luckily, a well known and highly regarded publisher took the game under its wing and made it playable for all of us. Now bearing a new name to make its international debut, Chillingo proudly presents, The Gods: Rebellion.

In this game you play as Fu Xi, the Dragon God, which came down from the celestial heavens in order to liberate mankind from the oppressive rule of his fellow deities. Somehow I see the protagonist as a Prometheus like figure from the East rather than a god of war. So people who might think the story is a carbon copy of another very popular game can be rest assured, it's not. The narration of the tale is delivered through animated cut scenes that have caveman like art which gives an epic/ancient feel to it. Though I am quite far from nominating it for a world fantasy award, I find the story line to be good enough to entertain me and keep me interested.

Now for the most important part; how it plays. There are various defensive maneuvers you can do such as blocking, dodging and countering an attack. While there are two types of offensive actions such as the dragon fist attack which is weak yet fast and  the blazing axe attack that deal more damage at a slower pace. Another entertaining mechanic to this game are the combos. There are simple combos and  there are special combos which end with a bang. Clearly, the combat system truly shines because of the various ways the player can approach the game. The different facets of the combat also have certain distinctions that can be either a pro or a con, so strategy plays a factor in the gameplay department as well. I also find the over-all controls to be responsive and precise.

Another brilliant factor to this game is the AI. Each opponent you face attacks and moves in different ways. Some enemies can stop your combos by blocking and others will interrupt your momentum by attacking quickly. Plus some enemies also have diverse properties which make their attacks unblockable or can't be countered. I also like the pace and timing which the bad guys come at you. It makes the battles more exciting. So if you're going to do some brainless button mashing, then prepare to die as this is a game of skill and timing. Awareness of the situation that's happening around you is essential, thus doing something at the right time is key to your success. Clearly making progress towards the game feels like a rewarding experience.

It's also interesting that the game doesn't contain any puzzles, unlike some other brawlers that have been released for the platform. But if you're looking for some alternate experiences, or some breaks from all that hacking and slashing, there are some segments in the game where the objective is to avoid traps. Another important thing to mention is the character progress can be attained by collecting soul points that enable you to purchase upgrades, a mechanic  similar to Devil May Cry, God of War and other games within the genre. Pretty much it stays pure to its general concept, which is to generate as much action sequences as possible.

Though this game might not have jaw dropping graphics or contain ridiculous amounts of effects, it still looks quite good. I beleive that it's more crucial that an action game should have a solid frame rate so that there's no glitches or lags. I also like the button size and the camera distance and angles because you can see a lot, if not most of the things, around you. As they say, the threats that you don't see coming are the one's that will kill you. The game also contains IAPs which can be used to purchase upgrades and unlock other characters that you can use. Having played a lot, I don't feel them to be intrusive or necessary since it's your skill that can carry you through. You can definitely finish the game without purchasing a dime.

My only critism about the game is a lack of variety in the enemies you'll face. I would like to see different faces, yet it's very good that you can really distinguish them apart from each other. A classic case of quality vs. quantity. So far as to what I've experienced from my playing sessions, this is the best and most proper brawler available on the iOS. It stays on its main context/goal to give you an action packed extravaganza that you yearn for. If you've been a fan of the genre and are looking to bring a bit of violence and blood into your life, then check this title out. For the very affordable price of a measily $0.99, what more can you ask for.


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