Version Reviewed: 1.3.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There is no doubt that Evolution: Battle for Utopia has taken on a big challenge by trying to fit 3 different game genres (Action, RPG and Strategy) into a single iOS installment. For the most part it succeeds in creating a system that feels balanced from all 3 perspectives, but the actual characters and storyline of the game receive little to no attention at all. This, in turn, makes an ambitious, good-looking title feel somewhat forgettable.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t have enough dialogs or character interactions – plenty of those are available (as one would expect from any real RPG), but they all feel shallow and ultimately unimportant. The characters (even the protagonist himself) amount to no more than soulless stereotypes with remarks that neither take themselves very seriously, nor are they particularly funny or interesting. That aside, Evolution has a number of strong qualities that succeed in redeeming the game’s overall status.
Taking on the role of a commanding officer who must establish a base on a distant planet, players will need to complete various types of tasks before areas of interest can be secured and made ready for terraforming. The game starts off in a map view of the surrounding area, where taping a location one can interact with will move the commander (and his robotic companion) over to that position. Along the way the two will stumble upon items they can collect, enemies they must destroy, and crew members they can interact with.
Now let’s talk about the combat. The fighting side of the game is by far its best-looking aspect, as players are taken to a 3D battleground with console-worthy graphics and animations. The system is pretty straightforward, leaning more on a player’s reflexes than actual tactical strategies: players must choose when to throw grenades or use special abilities (like taking an aimed shot at their opponent for extra damage), they can tap enemies to shoot faster, reload at the right time to gain a bonus, etc. It’s fun and (because of the graphics) immersive. There are plenty of enemy types are available as well, and each of them must be dealt with in a different way.
Once players get to set up their main base, the terraforming technology in the game turns the desolate, wild area into a fertile, utopian environment. From that base, players will be able to research new technology, gather resources, build weapons and more. And Instead of using energy to fight battles and running out much sooner than one would want, energy (along with other resources) come as a result of winning battles and can be used to construct new buildings.
So far, it’s been a well balanced system and, all things considered, Evolution: Battle for Utopia has plenty of treats waiting for Strategy-RPG fans to delight in.