Monday, November 15, 2010

Revolt Review

Revolt is a DS shooter that follows "Guy" through a series of robot infested levels as he tries to restore order to the corrupt system.

If you have never played a duel stick (DS) shooter, such as minigore or iDracula, then let me take a second to explain what it is.  A DS shooter is an iphone/pod game that uses two virtual analog sticks to control your character from an overhead view.  The stick on the left moves your character around, and the stick on the right fires hot lead in the direction it is pulled.  It is that simple.  I think DS shooters are great...they are fun for casual play and very easy to control, not to mention the excitement that you get when you are running BACKWARDS away from a swarm of enemies showering them with ammo from your weapon.

The two shooters I mentioned before are titles that made this style of game popular and they did it very well.  However after playing a game like minigore for 15 min or so I began to question..."Where is the Depth?  Where is the strategy, unlockables, and drive to continue playing?"  Well when I saw Revolt for the iPad and iPhone, and after I reading some of the details; I only hoped that this would be the game that filled the gap that missing in games of the genre...and I was not disappointed.

Revolt took this simple style of play and revamped it in several ways...

Most noticeable to me were the upgradable weapons.  Instead of seeing the same mundane flashes coming out of John Gore's machine gun, you could find yourself behind weapons ranging from the pistol that you start from, to a machine gun, and even a rocket launcher.  Each one of these five weapons (the developer promises more in the near future) is different in its appearance, damage, rate of fire, clip size, reload time, and even spread.  And when you upgrade a weapon it doesn't only increase the damage done (which would have been easy for the developers) it changes these specific attributes.  For instance when upgrading to the final pistol you find yourself looking at a laser gun (not too unlike the pistol in the first Halo CE), the fire rate is increased significantly, and the clip size is now unlimited.  This makes a pistol that was not very strong quite effective against enemies.  The weapons were also appropriate in strength.  Example, the pistol I just explained is still not quite as effective against the stronger opponents as the lowest level machine gun.  This causes you to desire to use and upgrade your larger weapons as you will need them when the battle gets heavy.

With the weapons you are required to use ammo that you find wisely, because ammo for the larger weapons is more limited.  You can find enough as you play but you will still need to switch weapons frequently to vanquish your foe.  They have also added grenades...and three types at that.  I am not sure if the type of grenade really effects the outcome much here but it is neat to see.  In order to throw a grenade you have to drag from the icon in the upper right corner of the screen and release in the desired location to throw.  At first I was skeptical of the grenades thinking that they did not have a place in DS shooters but the developers have implemented it nicely and after a few tosses I was able to effectively throw a grenade at a couple of robots feet to destroy them...or at least weaken their defenses.

Apart from buying weapons and weapon upgrades you can also purchase more ammo to feed into the chamber, upgrades to your armor (look and damage resistance), and grenades.  You purchase all of this with cash that you find from fallen enemies.

I know there are probably DS shooters with a campaign out there but I have not played any.  I think Revolt did it well though without adding too much to complicate things but still providing enough to encourage you to continue on.  They still have a survival mode where you fight off waves of enemies upgrading in between waves.  In the next update there will also be a lights out mode where guy holds a flashlight and can see only in the beam that is in front of him.

The level design for most DS shooters consists of an open area where you are expected to run around in circles.  Revolt has made levels that are much more tactical in nature providing columns and boxes to hide behind as you take cover to reload.  This also allows you to jump out from around a corner to fire at an oncoming enemy.  The levels also have many objects that explode when shot.  This makes the environment much more pliable and allows them to be used to you (or your adversary's) advantage.  The levels are relatively large and vary in layout so you do not feel as though you have entered an entirely new room every time.  The textures vary as well so the levels have some differences.

Now down to the review...

The graphics are good and I was very impressed by the detail.  They are not the greatest in the app store but the levels look superb and have excellent lighting.

Revolt again takes the simple concept of a DS shooter and perfects it.  Added grenades, upgrade system, tactical level layout, and the added difficulty of conserving and using ammo.  The difficulty for this game was just right.  It had my health down enough to make me sweat but not enough to die every level and become frustrated.

DS shooters have some of the best controls on iDevices.  Revolt added new abilities such as grenades which takes a few throws to get used to.  They also added a roll action which I honestly never used in action and the camera view is rotatable so that if you wanted to change orientation you can (this action was a little awkward and would not be advised during battle; that being said I really never saw a great need to rotate my view as most of the enemies do not spawn behind you.

The visual style of Revolt is consistent throughout and is also quite an appealing "grunge/mechanist" feel to it if I had to put a name to it.  The menus are fine and I like that you can see Guy from the upgrade menu as well as a small robot prance back in forth in the background every once in a while reminding me of something from a sci-fi flick.  The sound effects are great. Each weapon sounds different and explosions are well played out as well.  The sound of bullets ricocheting off of the walls is a little to loud but not enough to turn you away.

When I played on my iPod 2G (unjailbroken) I did not experience much lag.  There were a few parts here and there when several enemies were on the screen but it only lasted a second and I did not find that it messed with me controlling the character.  I did not experience any crashes.  Overall I think it ran very nicely for a first version (1.0) of a game by independent developers.

In my opinion Revolt is not only one of the best DS shooters but also one of the best games in the app store.  This has much more depth than other DS shooters and will take you a few hours to complete the campaign once.  Also for 1.99 you get a game that is both iPhone, iPod, and iPad compatible. Do yourself a favor and go get this before the price increases.


Revolt is a great game.  If you have ever played a DS shooter like minigore and wished that it had a little more depth then get this game.  If you have never played a DS shooter then grab this because the gameplay is very engaging and I don't think you will be disappointed.

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