Vertigo Rogue, Brainphant’s helicopter-based action shooter, is now available from the app store. With its open-world style, mission-based gameplay, and wanton destruction, it’s no surprise that Vertigo Rogue is drawing comparisons to games like GTA.
Vertigo Rogue Pros:
- Enormous map
- Fun and intuitive controls
- Lots of missions
Vertigo Rogue Cons:
- Control scheme learning curve
- No achievements or social networking integration
- Graphics are somewhat dull
You are an ex-pilot who is about to be paroled from prison. On the eve of your hearing, your cellmate’s family busts him out of prison…. and takes you with them, threatening to harm your daughter if you don’t cooperate. Your first mission is to escape, serving to give you an opportunity to get used to the control scheme while avoiding bad guys and picking up some supplies. After that, things get interesting. Your next task is to destroy a rival’s new SUV while the owner is away. After this, you progress to moving targets, taking out two motorcyclists as they speed through town with incriminating documents. The action continues like this across nearly 40 missions, with 3 levels of difficulty.
The soundtrack is a bit boring for an action game with choppers and explosions. We’d prefer something a bit more up tempo and rocking. The graphics are decent, offering a fairly textureless top-down view of the city. It’s the immensity of the map that really strikes us. It can sometimes feel like you’re flying in the same direction for several minutes on your way to a target, never once butting up against a boundary. Items of note are indicated by a combination icon-arrow symbol, pointing out the way to fuel, enemies, your target, a cache of weapons, a landing pad, or repair kits. You’ll need to drop down on top of fuel tanks when your supply gets low or on top of weapons if your ammo runs out. The control scheme utilizes a dual-thumb method that we’ve seen in tank battle games previously. Slide both thumbs forward to fly forward and slide back to reverse. Sliding one thumb forward and the other back allows you to turn in either direction. Sliding both thumbs to the same side will strafe in either direction. Lift is achieved by sliding your thumbs toward the screen sides in opposite directions, while your descent is controlled by sliding both thumbs inward. In theory, it’s a no-brainer. In practice, you’re gonna need to work on it a bit to get the hang of it.
There are several weapons to acquire in the game, including a rifle, a machine gun, missiles, mines, rockets, bombs, oil cans, and more. Tapping on the left button cycles through your available weapons, while tapping the right button fires your current weapon. We did find that unintentional firing was an issue from time to time. Also, homing in on a moving target is quite difficult, and they require an absurd number of gunshots to finally destroy them. Bear in mind, this all must be done while you avoid smashing into buildings or accidentally landing your craft.
General flight movements also lack a good sense of speed, causing us to slide our thumbs up near the top of the screen at times in an effort to go faster, which does not work. The game noticeably lacks a mini-map or any sense of distance or height, so figuring out how close you are to a target or how close you are to the ground is nearly impossible. The action happens on-screen so quickly that stealing peeks at our fuel gauge and the like becomes difficult. Our fingers also got in the way a bit, as we found ourselves looking around them at the action on-screen. In all, the game is fun, though we get the feeling that its quirks will have us moving on to other games before too long.
Replay value is decent, as flying around and chasing down bad guys rarely gets old. There are no leaderboards, achievements, or any type of social networking integration. There is a stereoscopic 3D mode if you happen to have those red-and-blue glasses handy. The overall presentation lacks a bit of polish, but if we’re trading glitz for performance, we can understand. At $4.99, some might find it a bit pricey. We felt that a $2.99 price point would suit this game well. As an initial effort, we rate Vertigo Rogue as a cautious 4-Dimple offering with a lot of as-yet unfulfilled potential.Vertigo Rogue: Misson-Based Chopper Action,