‘Razor Salvation’ Mobile Game Review
The first-person shooter has been around for so long that developers are trying new ways to keep gamers coming back for more when almost every game out there seems to be a clone of the one before it. While static first-person shooters are nothing new, they can give you hours of gaming fun from the usual FPS games one would find in the App Store. Unfortunately, Razor Salvation isn't one of those games.
In what is expected to be the first in a series, Blowfish Studios and Crescent Moon Games have created their own mobile FPS franchise where the Earth has been invaded by the Xenos alien race. As commander of the dropship "Salvation," you're tasked with saving civilians and destroying any and all aliens who get in your way.
Razor Salvation is a static first-person shooter, meaning you get the view, but you don't get to explore it. You're stuck inside your dropship, circling 360 degrees looking for enemies on screen to decimate with the variety of weapons available to you. The heads-up display is very basic and actually quite user friendly since the developers didn't bother to put a tutorial into the game, something that I always considered to be lazy programming. Use your right finger or thumb to move your crosshairs and your left thumb presses the giant red Fire button in the lower left corner. You can switch sides in the Options menu.
Your radar lets know what direction the enemies are coming from. There are seven different enemy types -- from ground infantry grunts to mobile artillery walkers. Sometimes you'll even have to deal with Scythe class fighters, which create a lot of damage, but aren't hard to take out. You don't know which enemies are which on screen just yet and you must purchase an upgrade (costing only $50,000 Razor Bucks) before you can get that option.
In order to take out your enemy, just aim your crosshairs at him and press the fire button. You have quite a few weapons at your disposal -- from the minigun with unlimited ammo to rockets, grenades, a railgun and mortars. The auto-cannon was my favorite because I didn't feel like spending all of my money upgrading the mini-gun and the other weapons had no real "oomph" to them. You can find extra ammo and money in crates which are a joy to try and spot on your iPhone's screen. Once you've run out of ammo, then the real fun begins. Unless you've upgraded your reload time, you have the pleasure of sitting there while your gun takes forever to reload. It's best to just switch weapons, but if you have to go back to it, be prepared to wait while it still reloads and the enemy hammers you with gunfire. If you're an impatient gamer, I suggest spending your money on this upgrade first.
There are numerous achievements to complete in each of the three areas of the game. Completing achievements earns you medals and Razor bucks which can be used to upgrade your dropship, your weapons or cool things like different skins. If you're too lazy to earn medals, the game lets you purchase more. Areas become unlocked when you've rescued a certain number of civilians.
Blowfish claims the game has "dynamic cover-based AI" where the enemy uses different cover based strategies to avoid your fire, something I found to be far from the truth. The enemy will walk toward you, stop behind something like a car or trash bin, run up to your dropship, fire, then run away. Not exactly the most strategically taxing AI I've encountered in a game. If you wish, you can destroy certain things, like cars, but the graphics are so terrible it really makes so difference. When you've run out of energy, you evacuate the area and start over.
Each time you enter an area you're greeted by the same exact voiceover introduction. The voiceover work is unbearably bad and the woman doing it sounds like she just woke up after a 48-hour bender in Cabo. Thankfully you can skip it before you start the area, though sometimes you can still hear her talking until you press the fire button. Sound effects are good but the music is repetitive.
One thing Salvation does encourage players to do is start a faction. Factions allow you to compete with others around the world for the most kills, rescues, etc. It's a nice way of ranking players and if you have the name and password of a faction, you can join their group. (How you plan on getting that information is beyond me.) Gamecenter ranking is also available.
While Razor Salvation isn't lacking in the weapons, upgrades and action department, it is lacking in one important area -- fun. The game is not fun to play. And one of the reasons why are the atrocious loading times. It takes (and I've timed this) at least 25 seconds for you to enter a level, to exit a level, to enter the Datalog to get information on the different humans and aliens in the game, to exit back out of it and so on. Whether you're reloading, unloading, or just loading a level, expect to spend a lot of time staring at the word 'load.'
While a novel attempt at creating their own science fiction story, there just isn't much here, even for the introductory price of .99 cents. The game gets repetitive rather quickly, the graphics look like they're 10 years old, the AI is terrible and the fun factor nonexistent. Ranking addicts will have a blast trying to be #1 but the casual gamer should skip this unless they like staring at loading screens. This is one Razor that's as dull as they come.
App Store Link: Razor Salvation | By Crescent Moon Games | Price: $.99 | Version: 1.0 | 132 MB | Rating 9+