148Apps Network Post
Developer: Ourpalm Co.
Price: $3.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Glancing over the description and ogling the screen shots, I couldn’t help but get something of a System Shock 2 vibe from Mission Sirius. I had quite a few hopes and expectations based on that assumption. Pretty much all of them were dashed to pieces once I realized it was actually an on-rails shooter, but I think I recovered fairly quickly. Once the initial disappointment faded I even came to find myself having a surprising amount of fun.

So yeah, on-rails shooter. That’s Mission Sirius. The camera moves around on its own, and it’s up to the player to tap (i.e. shoot) the various and numerous enemies that come crawling out of each and every opening. New weapons aside from the default infinite-ammo pistol can be found lying around or on special enemies, and switching between them is a simple matter of tapping an icon or two. As players blast their way through plentiful hostile environments they’ll sometimes have to make a choice about which direction they’d like to head, with different decisions leading to totally different areas.

Mission Sirius looks pretty good despite the simplistic character models, thanks to the Unreal Engine. It also sounds pretty good and the voice acting isn’t as awful as one would think. Of course the real draw is the action. It could’ve been a complete mess but thankfully the tap-shooting is responsive and switching/reloading weapons is a snap. Despite being a little easier than a typical rail shooter thanks to direct tapping as opposed to real aiming it’s still easy to get wrapped up in a level.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the formulaic use of “Walk down corridor, quick-turn, shoot things, turn back, take a few more steps, quick-turn again, shoot more things, etc” tactic, though. I normally wouldn’t complain but having it happen more than half-a-dozen times in roughly five minutes makes it incredibly noticeable. And annoying. Then there’s the pop-up text that appears during the tutorial. In short, it’s a complete mess. In not as short, someone screwed up big time and it doesn’t display anywhere near properly (or at all, sometimes). Also, for the love of god, someone needs to get rid of the voice that calls out “Manual Reload!” every single time I reload. Seriously, I need somebody to make it go away.

It may not be a real first-person shooter, at least not in the way everyone would naturally expect, but Mission Sirius is still quite fun. So long as players know what they’re getting into I think they’ll end up having a good time with it. Although I might suggest muting the sound. At least until someone addresses that annoying voice.

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