Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad mini Retina
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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Set in a future where humans have evacuated Earth to create colonies on suitable planets, Exiles is a game that wears its influences on its sleeve. The class system and skill sets are reminiscent of those in the Mass Effect series - from the Soldier's kinetic push to the Adept's time-slowing abilities and finally the Infiltrator's cloaking device. Conversations also have a multiple choice structure, though these responses don't carry the weight or have the long-lasting effects.
The gameplay itself is predominantly action and exploration-based, with RPG elements in the form of character upgrades and skill unlocks. The environment is impressively vast, with cliffs, hills, and large stretches of desert giving an accurate representation of what a newly-populated planet might look like. Unfortunately that means that there's also a lot of vacant and similar-looking terrain to navigate, so it's definitely a double-edged in that respect. Luckily there are several side-missions and points of interest spread throughout the map for players to explore and loot, from wreckages to strange villages. Enemies are varied, including things like soldiers and sand monsters that can burrow underground, each with their own methods of attacking. Although the AI of the robotic enemies in particular is almost non-existent. Combine that with a peculiarly high health bar and fights can sometimes become a bit stagnant.
With vehicles running on limited fuel supplies, survival tactics come into play when deciding what vehicle to take and whether it's possible to make it to the next mission, or if that wreckage might be worth scavenging for fuel cells. There also several teleporters dotted around as a fast travel option. Everything runs very smoothly and the lighting, textures, and characters make Exiles an impressive game in terms of scope and and design.
Controls, however, certainly aren't Exile's best feature and the in-game interface is particularly problematic. The right side of the screen is used for looking around, but where most players' thumbs will fall happens to be right where the action buttons are situated - resulting in awkward gunfights, clumsy navigation, and more than one misfire or accidental dismount from a vehicle. There is also no designated interaction button, so picking items up or opening doors is more of a kerfuffle than it should be. With no option to reconfigure or customize the game screen, it feels a bit restrictive. A nice addition, though, is the option to choose between first person and third person view with the press of the camera button, the former being useful during confrontations and the latter better for exploring.
Exiles is an action RPG that feels substantial, even if it's underpopulated on occasion. The story has enough twists and turns to keep players interested and the chance to explore adds longevity and a sense of adventure. If the controls could be given another once-over then the action might actually match up to the ambitious world it takes place in.