Developer: Vivid Games S.A.
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Although based on the myth of Prometheus, the Titan who sided with Olympus in the war against his fellows and eventually stole the fire of the gods for mankind, Godfire: Rise of Prometheus bears a much closer resemblance to the tale of Icarus – at least in spirit. Because while Godfire aspires to soar to lofty heights, its hubris and pride exceed its ambitions and send it crashing into the sea on melted wings. That’s not to say that Godfire’s aspirations aren’t fairly impressive on their own merits. It touts to deliver a console-like experience on iOS and it comes frustratingly close to doing so. But the execution feels dated, tired, and dragged down under the weight of its own hyperbole.

Godfire: Rise of PrometheusI think we can all talk about the elephant in the room. Godfire is a fairly obvious homage to the God of War series, right down to the mythological underpinnings. Although it’s played a bit less straight than that, in this case having been painted with a touch of the Too Human-esque, techno-fetishistic, glowing neon trim brush. But the basic concept is still that of a dual weapon-wielding badass slicing and dicing his way through arena after arena of enemies.

The controls for said slicing and dicing are, paradoxically, sluggish and yet somewhat responsive at the same time. Perhaps, due to the fact that I was playing the game on older hardware where slowdown and chug was a constant companion, the sluggishness made the response time feel in line with the pace the game was moving at. But for what it’s worth, they worked much better than most virtual d-pad set-ups I’ve seen in other games. I wasn’t able to sample it with any of the supported controller add-ons, so I can’t properly comment on if they enhance the experience appreciably or not.

Godfire: Rise of PrometheusBut in the end, the whole affair proceeds by-the-numbers in a somber, plodding trudge like it has the weight of ages upon its shoulders. It has the requisite giant bosses, but their cycle of gameplay is rote and repetitive. It has enemies aplenty, but they’re the same two or three enemies over and over again. It’s violent and bloody, yet compared to regular combat the finishing moves are strangely understated and almost gentle in some cases. It includes spinning/shifting puzzles that are utterly bereft of challenge. Putting aside the fact that we didn’t have iOS devices back then, it still would have felt dated even if it had come hot on the heels of the first God of War. It’s also a rather short experience, with seven levels clocking in at maybe ten minutes each. The plethora of unlockable equipment attests that it was designed with replayability in mind, but you’ll be hard-pressed to care. It’s a sad testament when the Survival mode is actually more enjoyable than the main storyline.

Vivid Games clearly had Olympian stars in their eyes when Godfire: Rise of Prometheus was conceived, but the final execution feels a bit too much like ticking off boxes on a checklist. What’s all the more frustrating is that there is clearly a lot of talent involved on the part of the people who put this together. I would love to see something created whole cloth from this team’s imaginations and not an homage to a franchise whose star has since dimmed. Prometheus stole the fire of the gods to inspire humanity and give them the power to progress their civilization. It seems sadly ironic that an offering bearing his name feels so uninspired.


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