Mass Effect Infiltrator, EA’s latest foray into the Mass Effect universe, is now available from the app store. A cover-based shooter with RPG elements and great visuals but little to no story, Mass Effect Infiltrator offers enjoyable, quick-burst gameplay in bite-sized pieces that feels right at home on a mobile device.
Mass Effect Infiltrator Pros:
- Beautiful graphics and enjoyable cover-based tactics
- Simple tap and drag controls
- Clear, crisp audio enhances the game’s atmosphere
- Upgradeable weapons, abilities, etc. using credits earned by obtaining stars for efficient play
- Origin social gaming integration
Mass Effect Infiltrator Cons:
- Little to no story elements
- Some control quirks
Developer IronMonkey Studios certainly had some pretty high expectations to meet after the massive success of Dead Space on iOS. Although Mass Effect Infiltrator probably won’t be held in such high regard, it does provide gamers with another shooter that shows off the capabilities of the mobile platform. While it would have been nice to see some form of storyline come to fruition over the course of the game, or at the very least get a couple of minutes worth of opening monologue to set the scene and introduce the warring factions, the immediate immersion in action and lack of exposition isn’t all that off-putting. We did spend a good portion of the game wondering what the beef was between the multiple groups, but the indication that we were intruding and the incoming barrage of ammo was enough to convince us to shoot first and ask questions later.
You take on the role of Randall, a beefed-up Cerberus agent who finds himself behind enemy lines and fighting for his life around every turn. Despite the odds being stacked against him, his arsenal of weaponry and upgradeable attributes are enough to see him through. Swiping a button in the upper right corner, you can switch between 4 weapons quickly, a move that will pay dividends if performed during a chain attack to boost your style point rating. The ease and fluidity of this maneuver is also welcome when your current weapon overheats and needs a few moments to cool down. In addition to firepower, you have a number of abilities (sprinting, cloaking, melee attacks, etc.) and biotics (Pull, Push, Leash, etc.) that can be used to influence your enemies in ways that make dispatching them much easier.
You’ll make your way through various environments (tundra, industrial, etc.) as you work through the 9 stages. Many have multiple checkpoints along the way, which will rate you on speed, style, and health. You are also awarded credits that can be used in the store to purchase new items and upgrades to current ones. The look and feel of the game is high quality, similar to that found in Dead Space. Animations are typically smooth, though the vault-and-roll maneuver either uses a weird effect or suffers from some frame dropping, giving it an awkward, stuttering feeling. The audio is similarly high quality, offering clear voices and plenty of sound effects to create an immersive experience. The controls are a bit of a mixed bag, though ultimately serviceable if you don’t take things too seriously. A floating joypad that appears beneath your thumb controls movement, while you drag your thumb on the right side to look/aim. Instead of training a reticule on an enemy in the distance, you tap on any enemy with a light blue overlay to target them. A red circle appears near its head and you use the fire button as a draggable joypad to center your barrage of firepower over this circle to kill the enemy. Targets without the blue overlay are not in range and cannot be fired upon until you get closer. You jump behind cover simply by walking up to a wall or other suitable cover location, swiping down to seek protection if you don’t automatically do so (which can be an annoying issue). Swiping up causes you to jump over a barrier and seek the next safe location if close enough, while swiping left or right can send you to a lateral barrier. The cloaking button in the lower right corner makes you undetectable for a short time, which can help you get out of a sticky situation. Getting caught in the open is a big no-no that will often lead to a quick demise.
Replay value is decent, as you can replay previously-completed areas to earn more credits and upgrade all character aspects. The 3-star scoring system also provides incentive to replay areas that were completed in less-than-optimal fashion. If you’re looking to continue the Mass Effect lore or enjoy some deep story elements, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re looking for a fun shooter with great graphics and RPG elements, this is a worthwhile option. Origin integration is also provided. A universal app for $6.99, Mass Effect Infiltrator is a 4-Dimple blast.
Mass Effect Infiltrator Review,