• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
New to Pocket Gamer? Start here!
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
FREE STUFF
Competitions Free iOS Games iOS Price Drops
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
iPad  header logo

Riddick: The Merc Files

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Dimmed lighting

Product: Riddick: The Merc Files | Developer: Tigon Studios | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Stealth | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Riddick: The Merc Files iPad, thumbnail 1
If nothing else, Vin Diesel's cult Riddick character is an alternative way to get kids to eat their carrots.

Improve your night vision and you too can be an almost super-humanly adept stealth ninja.

Of course, showing them Riddick: The Merc Files might prove a little less persuasive.

Here's the pitch (black)

All three Riddick films to date, as well as a hit Xbox game, have portrayed Riddick - a grumpy alien with shiny eyes and a penchant for violence - as a skulking, confident presence. He's meant to be as powerful and nimble as a panther.

Which is why Riddick: The Merc Files's clunkiness stands out so much. It risks emasculating its most potent asset.

This is a stealth game stripped right back for touchscreen devices. You view the action over Riddick's shoulder, but zoomed-out a little more than your average third-person action game, granting you a decent view of the tightly contained level around you.

Tapping on a location sends Riddick sneaking towards that point, while a double-tap sets him off on a sprint. Keep to the shadowy patches and you're virtually invisible to patrolling guards.

Shady business

When it comes to engaging said oblivious guards, the preferred method is to take them out silently by tapping on them when their backs are turned. It's not the most gratifying combat mechanic, but the satisfaction comes from timing your pounce from the shadows.

There's also the small matter of disposal, as a body left out in the open invites a wider search from the downed guard's buddies. Tapping on the body lets you drag it into cover, though we found this to be irritatingly slow and a little unreliable.

When a guard snuffs it, he drop his weapon, which can be picked up for a single-use ranged attack. However, the game occasionally confuses your efforts to grab the body with an attempt to pick up the gun, leading to valuable lost seconds in your clockwork plan.

Poor camerawork

Such fiddliness is present throughout the game, with the worst culprit being the camera.

Swiping left and right on the screen rotates your view, but it reacts in an overly sensitive, jerky, and somewhat unpredictable manner - hardly ideal when sneaky precision is the ultimate aim.

Then there's the pinch-to-zoom-out feature, which highlights the whole level in Riddick's night vision. A nice idea, but it's once again a little clunky, and it doesn't play nicely with the other camera controls.

Levelling with you

We quite liked Riddick: The Merc Files's level structure, which encourages multiple playthroughs of each stage with different, seemingly random enemy configurations. You can either opt to get to the exit, take out a particular baddy, or pinch an object.

It's a welcome inclusion, but given the tight nature of the levels and the imprecise nature of the controls you'll probably wind up approaching each one more or less the same - take out all the enemy guards, proceed to target at leisure.

We should also mention the technical issues we encountered throughout, including a general case of the stutters throughout our experience on the iPad 3. We also encountered a repeatable crash bug in a level transition around the fourth level.

Which sums up the whole game, really. There are a number of nice ideas in Riddick: The Merc Files, but it simply hasn't been executed with enough precision or attention to detail to be worthy of the game's clinical protagonist.
 
Riddick: The Merc Files
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 25 September 2013
A stealth-action game that isn't lacking in bright ideas, Riddick: The Merc Files clouds its best bits with a generally clunky, unfinished feel
 
Have Your Say
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
Joined:
Oct 2013
Post count:
19
Washington Cruz | 00:20 - 13 November 2013
out on android now
 
POPULAR REVIEWS
LATEST COMMENTS LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS VIDEO REVIEWS