At times it seems developers just miss that creative spark in terms of writing, leaving us stuck with stories full of cardboard characters and clichés. But every once in a while a streak of genius may turn such a seemingly boring tale into something new and original. And depending on the viewpoint EPOCH falls neatly into the latter category. Or not.
Epoch is somewhat of a cross between Infinity Blade (TMA Review) and a shooting range. In the distant future, robots have taken the weight of humanity’s shoulders quite literally by decimating the entire population. After years of peaceful servitude a mysterious virus has turned the docile butler and gardener bots into bloodthirsty lunatics. You play as presumably the sole sane surviving android – though not just any hunk of scrap. Our protagonist is the bodyguard of the princess and following its main directive, it sets off to find what happened to her. This is presented through glimpses of the preceding events via intercepted transmissions.
Although obviously inspired by Infinity Blade, Epoch can in no way be called a rip-off. It takes the swipe based combat mechanic and merges it with the good old shooting range genre. You take charge of your daring bot as waves of not so friendly robots try to destroy you. Interestingly enough, instead of fully controlling the aiming, you simply mark the target and the shooting is done automatically. As such, you have to focus on avoiding enemy fire, timely reloads and use of the special abilities. A level usually consists of several vantage points, between which you can alternate to keep the damage to a minimum.
In addition to the main weapon, grenades, rockets and special abilities become available as you progress through the game . These have the advantage of dealing damage without exposing you to enemy fire, though they do come with a cooldown timer. The abilities complement your style of play, whether by self-healing, giving you limited bullet-time or firepower boosts. Weapons and armor can be one of 5 types (think elements in Infinity Blade) and choosing the correct one to avoid enemy resistances in a particular level is often the key to success. All of this goodness is either acquired as salvage after a mission or available for purchase in the store. Money is also awarded for completing levels with bonuses for destroying hidden crates.
Visually Epoch is superb – the graphics are detailed and atmospheric, with rich special effects showing the full power of the Unreal engine. The controls are perfectly balanced with a mix of swipe gestures and virtual buttons. With perfect performance on my iPhone 4, it’s definitely one of the most polished titles I’ve laid my hands on. And to top it off, it’s universal so you can enjoy it both on the iPad and iPhone for one low price. No save game syncing between devices though, which is a downer.
Epoch is an original twist on the gameplay mechanic introduced by Infinity Blade. With amazing graphics, intuitive controls and addictive gameplay it will certainly provide a fun and satisfying experience. The downside is that it’ll not last too long as the game has only a handful of levels, which are far from enough to fully unlock the story bits and the equipment available – leaving you feeling cheated out of a conclusion. But while it lasts, Epoch’s a great game!
With this I declare EPOCH. officially touched!
|Reviewed Ver:||1.1.0||Min OS Req:||4.0|