August 24, 2010
Overview:Archetype, the hit FPS by Villain LLC for the iPhone, has made its way to the big screen! Archetype HD brings the awesome Multiplayer experience to iPad owners. But does this version bring anything new to the table? Read on to find out.
Features:Archetype HD brings along the same 5 maps as its iPhone counterpart. This includes the new stages “Rocket Arena” for rocket-only mayhem, and the jump pad riddled “Avarice” which launches you to new heights. The HUD has been redesigned to take advantage of the extended screen real estate and it makes maneuvering fairly easy. Its single-lobby system allows you to play against both iPad and iPhone owners of the game, adding a bigger community to play against. Multiplayer sessions can be played on both, Wi-Fi and 3G connections for 5 on 5 rounds. You still get the same 3 modes of play, which include Team-Deathmatch, Challenge, and Training. You can take it to your opponents with 6 melee-ready weapons to master, all with their own unique advantages. To go along with the arsenal of heavy metal, you get 2 grenade types at your disposal. Archetype HD makes great use of the HUD to serve you these choices.
The Breakdown:The Good I loved Archetype for its simple and action packed gameplay. You log on, pick a room and get going. Even tough connecting to a match can take a while, the game is fast, smooth, and with very little lag. I experienced one very brief hiccup after over an hour of gameplay on Wi-Fi. The maps are large, but not big enough where you're running laps to find an opponent to shoot. The controls are very natural and easy to understand. There are 2 joysticks, one on each side of the screen. The left joystick controls your walking, while the one on the right adjusts your view. Simply tapping on the screen fires your weapon. Beginners will especially enjoy the Auto-fire option, where your weapon will auto shoot when locked into a target. This feature greatly helps the learning curve; just make sure to turn auto-fire off when you learn the ropes. The graphics are still superb, and the added screen size definitely helps the game pop-out more. Being the iPad is a much bigger device, you must find a method of holding it that you're most comfortable with. I found that laying it flat on a table surface to be quite comfortable. The Bad As much as I enjoyed Archetype HD, it kind of left me hanging in a few areas. I was expecting some new bells and whistles for the higher priced iPad version. However in the end, all you're really getting is a fun FPS, in a bigger battle field. It just doesn’t seem like the developers were aiming to differentiate the iPad version from its iPhone counterpart. Heck, going to the “User Controls” menu showed “Vibration” and "Gyro-aim” options as choices (the iPad doesn’t have a gyroscope, nor does it vibrate). This made it seem like a lazy port of an otherwise awesome iPhone game. Another thing that disappointed me was the fact that I couldn’t sign in with my existing gamer tag from the iPhone version. I was forced to create a new ID which for an online FPS, made very little sense to me. Especially since you're able to play against iPhone and iPod Touch owners. With that being said, if you have a bunch of kills under your belt, get ready to work yourself up all over again. I also expected some new game modes that would make use of the bigger screen, but you really get nothing new for the increased price tag. Now don't get me wrong, in no way does this take away from what a great game Archetype HD really is; but some perks are expected.
The Verdict:Despite its shortcomings, if you’re looking for a multiplayer FPS title for the iPad, Archetype HD should be seriously considered. Even though it doesn't introduce many new changes from the iPhone offering, Archetype HD deserves to be judged as a game of its own. So whether you’re an iPad owner who is new to Archetype, or a previous iPhone player in need of a bigger playing field, Archetype HD is worth it.
N.O.V.A. - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance HD