Today marks the first day of July, which means Independence Day is only a few days away. To celebrate, many developers have put their apps on sale and we've rounded up some of our favorites to tell you about!
Gameloft has announced that they'll be bringing Epic's pixel-popping 3D rendering engine, Epic Unreal 3, to four iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad titles:
Gameloft penned a long-term, multi-platform licensing agreement with Epic Games, Inc. Whew! This agreement enables Gameloft to incorporate Unreal Engine 3 in four new games, two to be released in 2011 and two in 2012.
Gameloft has just released N.O.V.A. 2 for iPhone and iPod touch, the sequel to it's smash hit first-person shooter (FPS) N.O.V.A. If you are unfamiliar with the N.O.V.A. game it is Gameloft's take on the ever popular HALO genre. You play as an elite military soldier who is responsible for fending off an alien invasion. N.O.V.A. 2 is set 6 years after the ending of the original N.O.V.A.. The game includes an intense single player campaign as well as multiplayer brawls for you to eliminate opposing players.
N.O.V.A. 2 has some very welcomed updates which include:
Are you ready for the ultimate in iPhone first-person shooter games? If so, then sit back and enjoy Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus. Gameloft has really, really, really shown it is in this to win and take advantage of the hardware on iPhone. This game is gorgeous, especially on the retina display. Ah, but let's not dwell on the graphics for now, let's jump into the game itself.
I was excited to see that Let's Golf 2 just appeared in the App Store! I am not a golfer in real life, but I enjoy a good golf game every once in a while. Let's jump right in and see what this new version has to offer.
Let's Golf 2 is not meant as a real golf simulation like a Tiger Woods Golf. Instead, you are greeted with cute, often funny characters in outlandish environments that are beautiful and colorful. This does not mean that the levels are easy, in fact they become quite challenging later in the game (how can that be a par 4, impossible!)
Can Gameloft deliver with their sequel to Hero of Sparta? I think the answer is a resounding yes. Though not perfect, Hero of Sparta II (HOS2) delivers pure action and colorful graphics on Apple's noble iPhone and iPod Touch.
HOS2 is an action game spun in the Greek mythological era of the Gods and Goddesses. You play the warrior Argos. I won't get into his story here, but in this game you are sent on a path of redemption. You return to Earth after spending some buddy time with Hades and immediately the action starts. The controls are different than its predecessor. The main diffidence is that Argos can now jump. This adds a much needed play mechanic to HOS2. In the weapon department, you start off with the basic shield and sword. After every level or so, you start to collect a variety of different and useful weapons including: wings that can be used to glide and attack, a helmet that give Argos the ability hurls fireballs, and my favorite the claws which give you God of War like attacks against your enemies.
The levels are mostly linear, but on occasion you can find a hidden area that has extra gems. You can collect red balls that can be used to increase the attack and magical attack of each weapon. Blue gems to replenish magic and green gems to gain back health. You can also collect additional gems that can be added to your weapon of choice to gain attack/magic bonuses like a +2 to attack, for example.
Pulling off attacks is fun. You have an attack button that when pressed successively, gives you a combo attack on your enemy. However, you can add a modifier to your attack by swiping up, down, left and right. If you use the down motion it will typically cause a "shield break" maneuver with your selected weapon to destroy a shield or some other object. Using the up swipe will launch your enemy in the air for you to unless even more combos.
I am very pleased with the variety of levels in HOS2. You have a lot of different interactive events from running acorss a crumbling bridge to swinging with the claw weapon like a vine to climbing towers. The enemies in HOS2 are not as great. I found that I was constantly fighting the same 3-4 enemies every time with an occasional 5th monster added just for variety. A new enemy feature which is enjoyable is "taking control" of the enemy. For example, the Minator can be controlled by following a series of button presses on screen. You can then control the Minator and attack the baddies. Regretfully, there is not much of a boss battle. There is a boss at the end of every level in HOS2, but you rarely actually attack them. Instead, you typically dodge their attacks or dodge environmental variables. This is somewhat disappointing, but there is plenty of action when fighting during the levels.
The graphics have really be stepped up in this release. There is an insane amount of detail close up with a wide variety of color and textures; make no doubt, HOS2 is very pretty and impressive. However, all of this comes at a controversial cost in this reviewers opinion; framerate. HOS2 moves nicely if you are in a relatively enclosed area with a couple of enemies, but this is rarely the case. You are typically fighting 5 or more bad guys at once in an open area and this is where the framrate begins to suffer. I estimate this game runs at an average of 15-20 frames per second. This can become frustrating when trying to string combos together,etc. I can only hope that Gameloft will update this app soon. Gameloft did an awesome update to GT Motoracing Academy to the pleasure of many fans and I hope that they do the same here.
Overall, HOS2 is a must buy for any action fan. If you are looking for the silky smooth framerate of say, N.O.V.A, look elsewhere. If you want a solid, fun action game that pays homage to God of War, then this is the game for you.
Gameloft's NOVA has just received one awesome update; high-res retina display support and the ability to use the gyroscope (looks like Gun Range proved useful after all) for iPhone 4. First let's talk graphics...
This game looks absolutely amazing. Color. Crispness. It's all there. No aliasing problems, things just look great. Now for the not so great news, the Gyroscope.
I have been playing with the NOVA update for the last couple of days and for the life of me, I can't seem to feel comfortable using the gyroscope in conjunction with the traditional controls. Sure, the gyroscope is precise. Sure you can pivot in a circle and the game will rotate with you. But when it comes to playing in a firefight with aliens, it is hard to be using the traditional controls to pan while using the gyroscope to aim. Perhaps I just don't have the reflexes of my youth, but I found the experience frustrating. Thankfully you can turn the gyroscope controls off.
This was just my experience, how are you liking the update? Let us know in the comments!
Survival horror thriller Zombie Infection for iPhone has to be Gameloft's highest production game to date. The graphics and voice acting are top notch and the cinematic style is engrossing.
Zombie Invasion starts off with you landing in a small town, that -- wait for it -- has been overrun by zombies! The first level is basically a tutorial showing you the moves for your character. You can shoot and stomp on crates to find goodies such as ammunition and medical supplies. You can move while aiming (albeit very slowly) and you can dismember the zombies by shooting their legs, arms and heads; what more can you ask for?
As you progress through the 12 levels in the game you unlock them to replay at any time. This is great since Zombie Infection has a trophy achievement system. You can go back though levels and practice/earn achievements. There are some fun ones too, for example if you shoot off both legs of a zombie, you get an achievement for that. It is this type of mechanic that makes me come back for more.
To add a little variety to the game, you can also play as one of two characters; Ex-soldier Damien Sharpe and reporter Alex Rayne. The names are cheesy, yes, but the gameplay and fun factor is not. I love this game and I am thankful that Gameloft is bringing these types of games to iPhone; it makes one really compelling alternative to other platforms for mobile gaming. Check the video and pictures after the break!
UNO HD for iPad [$4.99 - iTunes link] by Gameloft brings the classic card game to bigger, bolder life on that 9.7" screen. At first blush, UNO more so than something like NOVA feels like it could have been a universal binary, sparing existing owners of the iPhone version from having to buy it twice. However, Gameloft wisely upped the anti based on the iPad's-size, offering a 4 player option that makes it eminently more suitable as a true board-game replacement -- you can realistically sit 2 or 4 people around an iPad and start up the multiplayer version of the game, share the screen, and get your UNO on.
You can of course also use single-player mode, or multiplayer between devices either locally or online. The graphics look prerequisite-ly great on the iPad, though we did find the controls a tad challenging (choosing and playing cards weren't quite as buttery smooth as we'd like).
A side effect of the game being run on an iPad instead of with real cards is that it's almost impossible to make mistakes or (gasp) cheat. The game only allows you to play cards you're allowed to play, when you're allowed to play them. Whether that's a good or bad thing we'll leave up to you and your consciences to sort out.
If you like UNO and you want to bring a little bit of real world social interaction back to your family and friends, grab an iPad, fire it up, pass it around, and let us know what you think.
Video of me taking on a challenger, after the break!