tue 12/11/2019

Archangel | reviews, news & interviews

Archangel

Archangel

A mobile game that matches the visuals and (sadly) lack of imagination of console games.

'Archangel': Grindingly simple gameplay meets near-console level visuals.

It is amazing what canny developers can now do, in terms of visuals, on mobile devices. Archangel's makers proudly trumpet its near-console level of graphical pizzazz and they're right to. Sadly, in copying console games' visual acuity, Archangel's makers seem also to have copied console games' general lack of imagination.

The publisher of Archangel, Unity Games, is the company behind Unity 3D – a game engine increasingly used in some of the best independently-created games. The idea behind this new publishing arm is (based on Archangel) to prove that games made in Unity 3D can be just as fancy, flash and good as mainstream, big-budget console and PC games. Archangel certainly proves the first two, but the latter not so much.

Archangel for iOS and Android - Diablo-style hack and slash RPGArchangel sees your vengeful angel working his way through a series of dull dungeons, smiting increasingly large and fast enemies with a series of holy attacks – fireballs, shield bashes, ice storms. It's a hack-and-slash action role-player ripped out of the Diablo playbook, basically. Hit monsters, loot bodies, get more powerful, rinse and repeat.

The detailed, if incredibly dingy, dungeons and your lightning-and-fire-lit crackling attacks, plus the superbly realised enemies look great. And perhaps that's the point – but somewhere along the way, someone appears to have forgotten that good graphics do not equal good gameplay.

In terms of gameplay, to move you tap on the screen of your smartphone or tablet where you want to go; to attack you tap the enemy you want to target; to initiate a strong attack you hold and release; to dodge you flick; to cast an area affect spell you stroke or even draw a letter on the screen. That means a lot of prodding on a screen – and Archangel is none too accurate on the touch stakes, it turns out. Far too often what was meant to be a "dash forward to knock that enemy down" turns into a "turn your back on the enemy and wander around looking confused".

Archangel for iOS and Android - Diablo-style hack and slash RPGOn top of that, the loot you find, the upgrades you get to your armour and weapons, are so utterly generic and dull as to make the monsters (they're armoured, they're dark colours, they go "aah" when they die) come across as fascinating.

In the end, the point is proven – Unity 3D can make a good-looking game. And it's already proven it can make great games – Kentucky Route Zero, The Room and Year Walk, all brilliant games, were made in Unity 3D. Now... let's see if Unity can make a game that looks like a console title and is good. That's the trick.

Hit monsters, loot bodies, get more powerful, rinse and repeat

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Average: 1 (1 vote)

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