First impressions of Elite CommandAR: Last Hope and WowWee's Liberator Pistol peripheral
WowWee's AppGear-branded Liberator Pistol is an iPhone, iPod touch, and Android peripheral that's been designed to work with the developer's Elite CommandAR: Last Hope
Unlike a lot of mobile peripherals, this $24.99 pistol is a pretty solid piece of kit, so, yes, it doesn't just feel like a cheap bit of plastic that's had a few stickers slapped on it.
The cushioned cradle that holds your mobile device in place is more than secure, too. You're never concerned about the possibility of slinging your precious phone across the room, even when your trigger finger does become a little overzealous.
Down the left side of the Liberator Pistol are four soft buttons. By tapping these, you can perform a variety of in-game actions, such as reloading your weapons and turning on your shields.
On the Liberator Pistol, there are also on/off buttons; hatches that hide the gun's 3.5mm connector; a compartment that holds 2 AA batteries; and in-built speakers that amplify Elite CommandAR
In Elite CommandAR: Last Hope
, you step into the battle-hardened boots of a Master Chief-style elite space commander, who's been sent on a last-ditch mission to prevent the destruction of a planet by a vicious alien race.
As its name suggests, this shooter is infused with augmented reality features.
Basically, the game's protagonist auto-walks through each of this game's nine Campaign levels while you concentrate on shooting.
Point the Liberator Pistol peripheral to your left and the game's protagonist will move in that direction. Point to the right and guess what happens. Pull the peripheral's trigger and your space commander will pop a cap in an alien's face.
This control scheme feels extremely tight. Your real-world actions are replicated on the screen almost immediately, so you never feel like you're at a disadvantage when you stumble across a group of enemies.
You can spend the points you earn as you dispatch foes on unlocking new weapons and upgrading their various statistics.
Although all of Elite CommandAR: Last Hope
's campaign stages are fairly long, you'll have no problem blasting your way through them in a couple of hours - especially if you play on Easy.
Once you've completed the campaign, though, you gain access to three different AR Battle Mode levels, which augment the game's Training and Co-op modes (the latter of which I was unable to play around with).
Still, if you do have a buddy that also owns a Liberator Pistol peripheral, you can team up and take on the game's Campaign mode together.
To do so, both of you will need a special "Connection Key", which is displayed on the screen of the 'host' player.
You can download Elite CommandAR: Last Hope
for free from the App Store and Google Play by searching for it, clicking on the links below this article, and by scanning the QR code on the peripheral's box.