Ever since Vivid Games announced Godfire: Rise of Prometheus ($2.99) last year, we’ve been keeping a close eye on its development. For good reason too, as Vivid has a reputation for great games (see Real Boxing) and the thought of them creating a title in the same vein as God of War was an exciting prospect. Now that it’s finally here, it’s safe to say that the wait has been mostly worth it. Visually stunning, Godfire suffers from some gameplay monotony but is otherwise a great action-adventure title.
These days it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to graphics, but Godfire manages to do so relatively easily. Simply put, the game is gorgeous. Character models, backgrounds, enemies — even the cutscenes look great. One thing that Godfire does particularly well is impart a sense of scale with its backdrops. Its use of tiered backdrops to create majestic worlds is a technique hardly seen on iOS titles and harder still to pull off. Yet, Godfire does it easily, successfully emulating such titles as God of War. This is definitely one of those titles to keep on your iPhone 5S or iPad Air to showcase just how beautiful a game can look on iOS. Sure, I encountered some minor slowdown even on these powerful devices, but overall everything ran relatively smoothly.
Of course, there’s more to Godfire then simply eye candy, and thankfully there’s a decent game behind the visuals. As a third-person action-adventure title, Godfire is best described as mobile-ized version of God of War. You take control of the hero Prometheus as he moves through bite-sized levels levels inspired by Greek Mythology. Speaking of the story, Godfire’s tale is pretty entertaining, with plenty of cutscenes and decent voice acting as you follow Promotheus’ journey as he takes down everything and anything in his path to power.
Gameplay-wise, there’s a robust armory system that offers plenty of customization and replayability and a good combat system complete with special moves and combos. Again, the combat system is highly reminiscent of God of War and revolves around launching heavy and light attack combos with a healthy dose of blocking and dodging in the mix. Defeating enemies earn health and ‘Wrath’ which can be used to launch special attacks. It’s a fun system, but it’s no where near as fast and hectic as God of War, leaving players to focus more on strategy than mass killings. This especially comes into play with the unlocked harder difficulties, which offer the opportunity to earn cooler weapons and armor. In addition to the combat, there’re even some limited avenues for exploration within levels that typically lead to treasure chests, along with simple puzzles that break up the combat.
With the currency earned while playing, players can upgrade a variety of weapons and armor, each with different stats and visual changes. Players can also find and earn relics, which offer different perks ranging from increased attack skill to making it easier to find hidden chests within a level. Completing a mission also awards experience points which go towards a leveling system that rewards new combos and attribute points that can be allocated to basic stats. It’s not the deepest system, but if offers a decent amount of customizability. While IAP exists for all the currencies available, I never felt it necessary.
With awesome visuals, a complete character system, a decent story, Godfire features everything necessary to be an excellent action-adventure title. However, its biggest weakness lies in the monotony once you get deep into the gameplay. Missions are rather formulaic, which typically involve a story-driven cutscene, some exploration leading to waves of enemies (no more than three or four at a time), further exploration and enemy encounters, and so on until the end. Granted, some levels conclude with pretty epic boss battles but otherwise the levels in Godfire are incredibly straightforward. This really shouldn’t be surprising, however, as most other similar titles follow the same sort of format.
Where it’s more of an issue is in terms of enemies and even some of the boss battles. Enemy models rarely feel like they change, with later baddies simply having greater stats to match your own upgrades. With as many upgrades available, you’d think that the combat system would get deeper, but it never felt that way to me. Boss battles, meanwhile, really feel tedious and almost always involve you dodging attacks until the respective boss gets “tired” allowing you to wail on him until he snaps out of it, and so on. Sadly, some later bosses feel like re-skins as well, which is a bit disappointing.
I could overlook the reuse of enemy sprites and models or even the fact that most henchman battles rarely change, but I just don’t understand the issue with how boss battles play out. It would have been nice to have more strategic variety in how they played out. As it is, later bosses simply up the difficulty in dodging their attacks before you can retaliate, which can be somewhat of a problem with the touch-based controls. Thankfully, Godfire has full MFi support and plays wonderfully on my bluetooth controller.
Even with the issues noted above, Godfire is still one of the better action-adventure titles on iOS. Its visuals are easily top-tier, the story is intriguing and the combat system, while a bit monotonous, is still engaging (particularly with a controller). Most importantly, it’s fun, and I think it’s worth playing simply for the visuals and story. Regardless, assuming you can handle the combat and violence, I highly recommend picking up.