App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There's nothing quite as harrowing as being stuck in a nightmare. Especially one involving a persistent (and bloodthirsty) monster nipping at one's heels. And that's exactly what Requiem: Unleashed is about. Constantly running like the dickens through some truly twisted (literally so at times) dreamscapes in order to escape certain doom is par for the course in this little boy's mind. But while there's plenty of reason to take a look at Skyboard's gorgeous first-person runner, there isn't quite as much incentive to keep playing.
Requiem: Unchained offers up the more traditional story levels, with the young boy being chased by some sort of demonic bull through all manner of physically impossible environments, as well as time trials. The time trials are essentially the same thing, only with different star placement (stars help determine each run's ranking), and no horrific beast. Losing a second or two here or there won't result in death, but it might mean the difference between top marks and not so good ones. Additional levels can be purchased in-app with real money or by gathering and spending enough special stars. The same goes for a few special abilities such as a double sprint and super jump.
Considering the fact that Requiem: Unleashed gives players direct control over their runner (no auto-running and they can steer where they want), the controls work surprisingly well. Judging distances isn't anywhere near as tricky as I had expected, and I only ended up falling short on a jump due to my own mistakes. Similarly, jumping and ducking work very well. There's never any real doubt as to when and where each action is appropriate, and the game manages to provide enough warning ahead of time without resorting to hideous UI gimmicks like highlighting and such. And it's freaking gorgeous. There's that, too.
The unfortunate thing about all of this is that there aren't a whole heck of a lot of levels to enjoy before it's all over. Five Beginner story levels and six time trials, total. It's not all that bad, I suppose, but there are another 20 (plus however many bonus stages there are) dangling just out of reach. Granted I'd probably be complaining a bit less if I actually cared for the time trials, but it's just not as exciting or interesting without that constant element of danger. So in my case, I only have five levels to enjoy before I've seen all there is to see.
I certainly enjoyed the time I spent with Requiem: Unleashed, but I do wish the free-to-play experience lasted a little longer. I'd be inclined to save up special stars and unlock stuff for free, but seeing as I can only get a handful of them every day, and it takes hundreds to buy anything, that probably won't be happening. Still, fun is fun.