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Review: Archetype - Online Fight For Survival

July 13, 2010


Archetype is an online first person shooter centered on online death matches. It’s a fragging contest in team battles with up to five on five gameplay. You can play online FPS over Wi-Fi or network connection.


The main game mode is team death match that you play on one of five maps. In the game you have access to six weapons, can melee with any gun, and have an on screen radar of friends and enemies. There is also a challenge mode to play a death match with people you know.

The Good

Archetype presents classic online first person shooter death matches in a beautifully made package. The gameplay is king in this game, and the action comes at you non stop. The maps are made so that they’re big enough to go searching around, but not too big so it’s tough to find enemies. The game provides the great first person shooter experience you’ve come to know on consoles, scaled well for on the go fun. You’re always running into enemies, hiding behind corners, and trying to pop up for the advantage. With all the action on screen the game is always running smoothly, as tested on a 3GS. The team play is tons of fun if you can work with your teammates to go in a pack so it’s easier to cut down the enemies without being taken out yourself. You have to just work together silently, but it can be done well in trying to kill more than your opponent. The five maps offer plenty of variability in construction to change up the strategy to get the advantage on enemies anyway you can. There are smooth controls that most will understand immediately after picking the game up. It’s simple to move, aim, and fire with a few customizations. The controls are set up so you don’t think of them twice, and it just feels like second nature fragging in Archetype. The visuals are outstanding as well that really are amazing for the iPhone. The five different maps are loaded with details, and the 3D modeling quality is superb. The bullet firing isn't the greatest though, and looks simply like sparks and blood splatter is very limited. The game is plenty of fun to keep you playing death matches over and over and enjoying each one with a unique style because of the new players. There is a solid profile system to keep track of your stats, and your leveled up experience. There are also multiple achievements to earn to add a little more incentive to keep fragging.

The Bad

The game is overly simplistic which is extremely disappointing with so much good going for it. There is only really one mode with the team death match, as it’s tough to find friends online at the same time as you for challenge mode. With only five maps, team death match feels the same very quickly and variability is soon lost. Most matches take four minutes, and you’re either on the blue or orange team. When you launch the app to start a game it takes about a minute for a match to start so it’s not the best for pick up and play in a few spare minutes. It’s just so limited with one main game mode that offers no variability. The are no specials to pick up and no varying objectives leaving you with trying to frag on one of five maps over and over which can make anyone bored after awhile. The health meter depletes extremely quickly so before you even notice that you’re being fired upon, you’re dead. This is helpful when killing enemies, but it’s not great when it’s happening to you. Not only does your health deplete quickly, but it’s tough to avoid enemy fire without a jump button. Another problem is that some enemies can kill you much faster than you can kill them even with the same weaponry. Sometimes it’s one shot, and you’re down for some unknown reason. The game is a little glitchy as you shoot and kill an enemy only for it to be counted as suicide. The controls work great for the most part, but the game does seem to recognize that you’re trying a melee rather than simply moving the aim control stick. This costs valuable time when you need to shoot especially since you die so quickly. When the matches are set up occasionally the teams aren’t evenly matched with five on four game for example, and other times the game doesn’t recognize when people leave which really cuts down on the action. When anyone is killed in the game there is the same stock groan that gets annoying extremely quickly. There are practically no sounds in the game which is a factor that can improve any gaming experience. When the game says someone killed someone else it only indicates the tag, and not the team color so usually you have no clue if it’s good or bad. Finally there are intermittent server outages which are expected for any online based games. You're teammates can fire upon you, and for some players that's all they do.

The Verdict

Archetype is a quality first person shooter giving you not only online death matches, but excelling in them. The game plays and looks great with non-stop action running without a hitch. Connections take awhile, and there are a number of oddities in the execution of the gameplay. The biggest problem is the tiny scope of the game giving you mainly one game mode and five maps leaving a huge lack of replay. Archetype is well made and worth the minimal $2.99 entry price, but there are better online FPS experiences in the App Store. *Gameplay video here

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