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EPOCH.2 Review

By , on November 22, 2013
Last modified 11 months, 1 week ago


EPOCH.2
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Gesture-based control system still beats virtual sticks.
  • Loads of guns and gear to upgrade.
  • A great looking world with a strong sense of place.

CONS

  • Can be difficult to target, move, and shoot accurately on iPhone screen.
  • Stingy currency rewards make upgrading difficult.
  • Gets pretty tough pretty quickly.

VERDICT

Epoch.2 delivers more of its predecessor's handsome duck-and-cover gameplay, but doesn't really address the issues which irked us about the original.


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Epoch. was Uppercut Games' answer to the question "how do you get a third-person cover shooter to work on a touchscreen?" The solution the team hit upon was to ditch floating joysticks altogether, and use an entirely gesture-based system to let you spring in and out of cover, target enemies, and launch special attacks.

The sequel, Epoch.2, is very much a retread of the first game. It's got a bigger campaign, more weapon and upgrade options, and some new robotic enemies and bosses to tackle, but the fundamentals remain unchanged.

In some ways, this similarity is a good thing. The combat system is still pretty effective, letting you direct your robo protagonist between cover positions with a flick of your finger. As firing is handled automatically, it's up to you to wait for the perfect opportunity to pop up and spray bullets, while sustaining as little damage as possible. Each level is comprised of short encounters chained together, giving you a few seconds to catch your breath as you advance between bouts.

You'll need these pauses, too, as encounters quickly become tense, claustrophobic affairs. Though things start off fairly mellow, you'll soon have zombie-like droids bearing down on you, while RPG units hang back and launch balls of electricity at your chromed face. You can upgrade your gear to cope with the increasing difficulty, but the game is very stingy with its credit rewards. As a result, you soon begin to feel unfairly outclassed by your foes.

The targeting system is still a little finnicky, too. We found it tricky to comfortably move, shoot, and target on the iPhone screen, with our fingers all too often obscuring the action onscreen. And, no matter how many bosses or drones the game throws at you, there's no disguising the repetitive nature of the core combat - something which ultimately prevented its predecessor getting a wholehearted recommendation.

Though Epoch.2 definitely offers more of the good-looking duck-and-cover gunplay its predecessor delivered, it doesn't really solve the underlying issues of the first game. It makes a good first impression, but like an immaculately-buffed armour plate, don't be surprised if the shine begins to wear off over time.

Screenshots

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