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iPad Lounge – Mass Effect: Infiltrator
Randall Ezno is a top notch Cerberus agent handling missions of vital importance for the pro-human activist group. In Mass Effect: Infiltration we follow Ezno as he discovers an ugly truth about his employer. Ezno defects from Cerberus and takes it upon himself to stop what they are doing. Through nine different levels you’ll be ranked based upon how well you do in combat and be able to upload your intel for a credit boost or even raise your Galactic Readiness for Mass Effect 3. The graphics are amazing for an iOS game. The combat is basic cover-and-shoot but how well does that handle on the iPad?
Stages are broken down into combat areas where Ezno where will have to use the terrain to his advantage. You’ll be rushing to cover and peak shooting for most of the game but the real fun comes from weaving through cover “stations” as you mix and match your arsenal together for chain kills. The more you chain kills together or swap weapons the more Style points you gain. Style goes towards your score which you get at the end of every, single combat engagement. The reason for this is that every boost of credits or intel gather, you can raise your Galactic Readiness or buy items from the shop. The shop contains new weapons, biotics, and armor for Ezno to equip. When equipping different helmets and armor, you effectively change Ezno’s class. You can have him be a stealth-y rogue, a tank, or pure damage dealer. The biotics and skills that you can obtain give the gameplay some additions as you progress through the game giving you the ability to slide into cover or charge into an enemy.
Combat is relatively easy as you duck into cover and tap on enemies to initiate your weapon. Ezno mostly aims for the head and the cursor is placed there. Your job is to aim the bullet spray as close as possible to the target cursor. This ensures maximum damage on the enemy. Weapons have cooldown periods so you can only keep shooting for so long. However, if you manage to kill something the game goes into a slow motion sequence where you can move the camera and target other enemies in range. This is how you chain kill. Slow motion uses less bullets. You can tap either the top left or right to switch weapons or use biotic powers. Just like in Mass Effect, if you combo biotics and weapons you will kill much faster. It is easy to die if you are out in the open so remembering your biotics is key to getting from one cover station to a farther one.
The controls really aren’t as bad as some other sites or players are saying. The UI is made simple looking because EA is expecting you know how to play an iOS game by now. Moving your finger on the left, lower section of the screen up or down will move Ezno at varying speeds depending on your thumb movement. On the opposite lower side of the screen is where you control the view. Moving in any direction there will focus the camera in that direction. When not in cover or out of combat you have full control of Ezno but you still must tap on enemies to initiate weapons.
The game does a great job at making you feel like this is a Mass Effect game. From the menus to the sounds and the art style everything here screaming sci-fi and makes you want more. The UI is also another borrow from its console brethren. Overall the entire feel of Infiltrator not only does a great job at looking nice on the device but also functions very well and gives you the feeling of playing a miniature Mass Effect.
You have nine levels to get used to Randall Ezno before the credits roll. That may not seem like much but given that most stages take nearly 20-40 minutes each gives it some breathing room. This is not a take with you game. Infiltrator wants you to sit down and enjoy yourself. Honestly, sometimes the levels feel too long for their own good but the combat is fluid enough to keep you at least semi interested to get going. I found myself playing one stage and waiting a while before picking it back up. The shop will keep your credits moving from your wallet to the wardrobe and you can buy credits if you don’t feel like earning them. There is always replay value if you find yourself liking the game and needing more Galactic Readiness. Given that this is one of two options on iOS devices to raise the Readiness, this is the best one to do it.
I enjoyed Mass Effect: Infiltrator. For $6.99, I found the nine stages to be satisfying and the presentation to be more than enough to give what I wanted out of a portable Mass Effect experience. The combat is fast and fun with rewards that count towards something. The controls aren’t half bad and I never felt lost in the menus or even during gameplay. If you’re looking for a shooter and/or a good adventure, take Infiltrator for a spin. The graphics are marvelous and the cope of the stages are even better. It is definitely worth a play or two.