Urban Attack Review
|Publisher: Vivendi Games Mobile :: Developer: Vivendi Universal Games||Download Game|
Very impressive graphics
Game is very hard to clock even on easy
|Time Played||4 hours|
|Game Progress||Facing off against a fellow cyborg very late in easy mode (End of Misson 4), after the bridge and tons of snipers bit On normal I got to the end of the underwater bit in mission 2|
Anannya Sens Review
It's like playing Blade Runner in Black and White.
Urban Attack has been hyped for a while. It's supposed to be a big and bold step in the mobile market and is the first game to feature 3D graphics on all handset models. Now, we haven't tried it with a 10 year old Nokia, but I guess it works on most standard handsets. The main thing about this game is the Vector graphics which allow a significant amount of detail and movement that should hopefully get you fully absorbed. To be fair it does work quite well, to a degree.
The graphics have only a few hints of colour, civilians are wearing red tops, enemies are wearing blue and black combat outfits and there is the red pointer for your gun. In between levels, there are basic colours which almost feel as if you are playing the game on one of those Amstrad monitors where everything had a green hue to it.
Still, whether this was unintentional for the graphics or not, after a while the bleak colours and sprawling landscapes do actually begin to affect you and you feel like you are viewing another world. The detail really helps, and there's a lot of it, especially as you are driving around. Buildings are created as they come into view and the sense of movement is excellent. I guess the game gives you the impression of a rather large city that you get to explore to some degree depending on the missions. Animation for the civilians is somewhat staccato (check out the dancing in the club) but the movement on the enemies is excellent. They shoot and duck and jump and roll as if they were in the secret service and in some ways it's great to marvel at.
Unfortunately in others, it's not because aside from the snazzy graphics and intricate plot, this game is basically a FPS with some mini games thrown in for good measure. It works well in most instances as instead of worrying about moving a pointer, most of the time you just have to hit the number which corresponds to the grid where the bad guys are and you will auto lock and shoot them. So basically if you saw a guy top left press 1, top right, press 3, middle press 5 etc etc. This is a system which would work perfectly if all the enemies stayed in their grids, but to make it more challenging and realistic they jump around a lot. I think this is a great feature of the game but what it can mean is that the jumps and rolls they do result in you missing a number of shots as they jump around. Slightly long winded way of basically saying you have to be very quick or hit a lot of buttons quickly. This is fine on a handset where the keys are big but where they are small, it can get frustrating, especially if you are short on bullets.
Yep, this is another problem, on easy the bullet supply is not really in danger but on normal it's easy to run out of bullets on some of the later levels. And on normal you have to press zero to reload which is often easy to forget when you are frantically shooting!! One gun will auto replenish but very slowly so you can find yourself waiting around to get hit while the bullets replenish. Which brings me onto my next point, the game is damn damn damn hard. It autosaves between each stage which is a bad thing imho. There's only one extra life you get in between stages and to get that you have to finish a mini game in itself. Once you do, however, that's it and there's no continues. So if you finish a mission where you took a pounding, the game will autosave and you start the next mission on very low health, making it nigh on impossible sometimes. You can reload and try again, but you will still have the same health so either you have to get better or start again completely from scratch. A level select would have been good.
It seems as if I am harping on about the inadequacies of the game, but believe me, they are minor and I felt the need to point them out to compensate for the good stuff. If the things I mentioned above had been fixed, the game would have got an ice cold award instead of a gold.
The game looks stunning. The plot is great and skips along at a merry pace with plenty of familiar sci fi elements thrown in (Robocop, Blade Runner, Total Recall etc). The shooting is addictive and in addition to autolocking, you get to use other weapons like the sniper rifle (you actually have to aim this one, diazepam would have been great) and scatter guns. There are plenty of mini games from unlocking safes, controlling drones and even driving a train. The location is always changing and the bad guys are coming from many situations (the underwater level is cool) and the whole thing has been well thought out and well presented.
Minor quibbles aside, if the game works like this on all handsets, it's some achievement and it's worth getting the game just for the camera angles and visuals alone. I haven't finished the game yet, (on easy!) but I have added some hints for those people finding it a bit tough.