Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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Play After Earth for five minutes and one would be forgiven for thinking it's a bland Temple Run clone. Play it for 30 minutes and it becomes apparent that After Earth comes with a vast array of great ideas and is really quite exceptional. Ok, not quite. It IS a little bit too much like Temple Run, but there are some quite neat ideas within. They just don't stand out enough, amongst some slow controls and repetitive gameplay.
Rather than being purely Endless Running, alongside the Marathon mode comes a Campaign section comprising of 20 stages within 5 different areas. Unfortunately, the first tutorial area is quite bland and unexciting, but things do get more interesting. Besides ducking and diving through jungle type landscapes, players also get to free fall, go down zip lines and even control a Skipjack vehicle, something that should prove popular amongst fans of the film.
In all of these cases, the controls are near identical. Swiping to the left or right changes direction, while swiping down initiates a sliding move and swiping up causes the character to jump. Tapping inflicts either a slash attack or projectile attack, depending on if the player is running or driving. A similar problem emerges throughout, though: the timing is off. Each movement seems slightly stilted in terms of when the player initiates the move and when it's actually made. It's only very subtle but during a fast paced moment, especially in the Free Fall sections, it's a problem.
Things also get pretty samey, made worse by the fact that often stages must be replayed in order to gain enough experience to progress to a new level. At the end of each major section, there's a boss battle but these turn quite repetitive. They're Quick Time Event based, requiring players to swipe and tap at the right moment. It's easy enough, but the novelty wears off fast.
It's unfortunate that After Earth turns so samey after a time, as there are glimmers of potential within. I enjoyed some of my time with it, but the repetition really isn't welcomed.