Developer: Calvi Games and Chillingo
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The Gods: Rebellion is literally the Chinese version of God of War. Not only is it made by a Chinese developer (with some interface elements that periodically match) but it’s also the same essential story as Sony’s action series: man rebelling against the gods, but this time it involves the Chinese mythical character Fu Xi fighting for mankind’s freedom against a bunch of deities, by killing everything that stands in his way.

Players have four buttons to use in combat. There’s a punch attack which can be stringed in to combos. There’s an axe attack that can pierce enemy blocks and also be used as part of punch combos to execute special moves. The axe attack is regulated by a limited-use bar. There’s a counter button that, when attacked while using the move, will allow for attacks to be countered with damage done to nearby enemies. As well, there’s a block button that can also be used to roll away from enemies. The combat favors finishing enemies with a flourish, as using the axe, counter, or special combo to finish them off will usually grant additional health and energy pickups.

The Gods: Rebellion does a great job at emulating the kind of combat seen in console titles on a touchscreen. Granted, the joystick and buttons are a bit small, and the lack of jumping means there’s far less acrobatics, but overall it feels like playing a big boy title on the little screen. It feels maybe a little too much like it’s trying to be like its influences – the upgrade system is basically lifted whole hog from God of War.

iPhone 5 owners will dazzle at the impressive graphics and smooth framerate of the game, which is running on the Unreal Engine. Do note that this thing annihilates battery life like it does random enemy mooks. It’s still technically winter, so it could also serve as a way to turn the iPhone into an emergency hand warmer.

The game has launched at $0.99, which is a crazy low price for a game that’s this polished, though of course there’s in-app purchases for more currency, as well as “Dragon Balls” which provide instant healing and energy refills. Purchasing them is the only realistic way to obtain them. As well, there’s several character skins with increased attributes to unlock. The currency for upgrades can be earned in the game itself by grinding the Challenge mode, though this is going to take a while. It’s more of a way to supplement a tough boss fight by earning a new upgrade, for example.

The Gods: Rebellion wears its influences on its sleeve, and doesn’t do a whole lot to expand beyond them except including a new mythology to be based on. But it’s still a solid console-style action title at a low price.

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