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Guardians: The Last Day of the Citadel Review

By , on July 15, 2011


Guardians: The Last Day of the Citadel
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Interesting blend of platforming and action elements.
  • Detailed 3D graphics.
  • ‘Destiny’ system keeps you moving instead of stop/starting.

CONS

  • Inherently flawed controls; swiping not as responsive as button presses.
  • Animation sequences add to the delay; requires almost preemptive instead of reactive playing.

VERDICT

Despite its spiffy looking style, Guardians: The Last Day of the Citadel fails to excite with its poor controls and wooden combat.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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It’s easy to get distracted by certain details when it comes to games on the iOS platform. Although it’s relatively easy to find a bunch of decent games, many tend to hold back on the graphics, opting for simplicity or aesthetic stylization. Few are the games that try to really push the 3D capabilities of the platform, so when a game like Guardians: The Last Day of the Citadel shows up it’s easy to get excited. Unfortunately, more of the time given towards the game’s visuals should have been spent on the gameplay instead.

You play as Loreena, a warrior betrayed and imprisoned before her homelands are destroyed by a demonic force. The only option left to her once she does make an escape is to run away from the destroyed city and towards her only hope - the wizards who are likewise imprisoned in their tower. Aside from the need to pick up a few items along the way this is all you’ll get out of the story to justify the need to plow forward endlessly on a side-scrolling ‘runner’ quest.

Swiping provides the main controls for jumping, attacking and sliding out of danger, though power-ups do eventually show up and can be activated by tapping the relevant icon on screen. Occasionally, Loreena is held up by a particularly feisty creature, placing the game in to a duel-mode where players can tap the sides of the screen to move around, block and parry attacks until you come out on top. The difficulty of some of these fights are levied by the inclusion of ‘destiny’ tokens that are automatically used whenever you die (including the running phase) and can be replenished through combat or collecting them directly.

All of this may sound grand in its simplicity and excitement, however there’s a big problem; what should be a snappy and responsive action title feels sluggish and at times downright cheap in the ways it punishes players. Swiping inherently has its own delays (performing the gesture takes longer than a simple button press), but this is further compounded by the animations also being awkwardly timed. After much practice through repetition and failure this can be accounted for, but when you’re only given a split-second to make a choice, timing shouldn’t have to figure in to the equation.

Worst of all, the story goes nowhere. Outside of the occasional power-up (armor, magic, sword, etc.) the only item you truly required is obtained close to the beginning of the game and despite overcoming hordes of enemies the game promptly ends before you reach your true destination, rendering almost all of your effort utterly pointless.

If all you’re after is a ‘pretty’ new game, Guardians: The Last Day of the Citadel will fit the bill, but it’s hard to otherwise justify spending your time with this game.

Screenshots

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