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MASS EFFECT™ INFILTRATOR Review

By , on March 7, 2012


MASS EFFECT™ INFILTRATOR
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Tactical combo / chaining system; rewards tactical thinking instead of brute force.
  • Tie-in features help those who own the full game, but are still useful for those who don't; can trade info for credits.

CONS

  • Targeting system results in far too many errors; hard to trust the system even after a full completion.
  • Some sort of in-game demonstration of powers / abilities before their use needed; hard to gauge their usefulness from descriptions.
  • Origin system spotty; despite playing non-stop, system would log out and refuse to log in until the game was completely shut-down.

VERDICT

Tie-ins often get a bad rep (and for good reasons), but Mass Effect Infiltrator is worthy of play in its own right, which is high praise for games of this type - while not a true miniaturization of the full game, it captures the title's combat and style while providing something distinctly 'iOS' in its execution.


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If there's one thing that's likely to get gamers riled up, it's a tie-in product. When you have a successful franchise, you need only slap a name on to a product with a marked-up price and wallow in the profits. Given that the third title in the Mass Effect series has just hit it's no surprise to see EA and Bioware giving the green-light to an iOS title, but IronMonkey Studios have gone above and beyond to make Mass Effect Infiltrator a game worthy of play all on its own.

Somewhere along the storyline, the mysterious agency known as Cerberus went from being a vicious human-first organization with no moral oversight in its research, to almost being de-fanged by the series' main hero, Commander Shepherd. In Infiltrator you play as Randall, a cybernetically enhanced soldier produced by Cerberus' research facilities and predictably things go very, very wrong, so it's up to you and your trusty arsenal of weapons and 'mass effect' powers to alert the Alliance of what has happened.

In a way you can think of Infiltrator as a pocket-sized version of the full game in that combat takes less of a direct action approach and more of a tactical one. As you run through the game's detailed environments you'll engage in tactical scrims where the player is rewarded for quickly dispatching enemies and mixing up their abilities to earn 'style' points.

This is easier said than done though as the controls waver between gloriously efficient to horrifically frustrating. Randall is ostensibly controlled via a simple twin-stick system of moving with one side of the screen and looking around / aiming with the other. However, firing your weapons requires you to be static, placing you in harm's way unless you've mastered an area and know where to stand to avoid incoming fire.

Whether you attack with mass effect powers or your weapons you'll need to select enemies directly. Occasionally this is impossible to do with precision as their target boxes often overlap and even when you do get the right person you'll sometimes be provided with a firing line that intersects with the environment. Thankfully these are largely avoidable given correct positioning and judicious use of abilities like Pull to change the angle of attack.

However, none of this prevents Infiltrator from feeling like a solid action title in its own right. Direct tie-in features for Mass Effect 3 give you a reason to keep coming back for more (such as earning research for 'galactic readiness'), but unlocking new powers; upgrading those that are already available; and pummeling your way through a series of challenging tactical encounters means Infiltrator can be enough without further incentives.

Mass Effect Infiltrator may not be as polished as it could be - the story is weak, the controls occasionally wig-out and the incentives for replay are entirely personal, but there's still a solid action title buried underneath.

Screenshots

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