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The Gods: Rebellion

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Church of the battered flayed saints

Product: The Gods: Rebellion | Developer: Calvi Games | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
The Gods: Rebellion iPad, thumbnail 1
Building a solid brawler is tough on a touchscreen device. There's a lack of precision inherent in the control mechanism that means, sooner or later, you're going to miss a vital attack, or swing your weapon when you meant to dodge out of the way.

The Gods: Rebellion doesn't fix those problems entirely, and could easily go further than it does, but it still manages to be one of the most enthralling, brutal, and entertaining action games that App Store money can buy.

Gods of warring

The game takes plenty of cues from God of War, moving the fantastical storyline from ancient Greece to ancient China. There are demons to kill, wrongs to right, and an enslaved population to free.

In order to do all that you move around a decidedly linear 3D world, killing everything that moves across seven different levels. Combat revolves around four different buttons. Two of these control your attacks - one for your punches and kicks, the other for your magical axe. The other two are for blocks and counter-attacks.

It's not the perfect solution, and the buttons are packed together a little too tightly, but for the most part you'll be able to deliver your particular brand of holy justice with aplomb.

Being able to move the buttons around and change their size could have sidestepped this problem, but unfortunately no such option is available.

As you battle through the different domains you'll earn points to spend on upgrading your strengths and purchasing new combos. It's with these combos, and a simple twist to the core murdering mechanic, that the game really comes to life.

Kick, punch, axe

Some of the creatures you fight need to be finished off with a dismembering blow from your axe, or they'll explode and deal you some damage. But you need power to do that, and once you've spent it it takes a while to recharge. It's a great idea, making you think carefully about how to dispatch the different foes you're faced with.

IAPs explained
There are three different types of IAPs in The Gods: Rebellion. The first lets you buy bundles of soul points, which you can use to boost your skills. A pack of 10,000 costs 69p, while 100,000 will cost £3.99

Then, there are Dragon Balls, which are single-use items that restore your health and axe powers instantly. These range from 69p for 10, to £3.99 for 200.

Finally, you can buy different characters to play as. They all have the same basic moves, but their stats improve the more you spend. The cheapest is 69p; the most expensive, £3.99.

The IAPs are reasonably priced for what you receive, and they're never forced down your throat either. They're handy if you're stuck, but that's only likely on the hardest difficulty levels.
Stringing together big combos that finish with a gory splatter of blood makes for a pleasing way to spend a few hours, and when the button-mashing gets a little repetitive there's usually a new skill to master or a new foe to slay.

Bosses in particular show off some of the game's flair. They're all about following patterns and waiting for the right moment to strike, but they deal enough damage to make things interesting. When you finally finish them off it's invariably with a glow of satisfaction.

Spent enemies drop various gems that recharge your life bar, and give more power to your axe, and smashable vases and statues are often chock full of boosts too. There's not much exploration to be done, and the game always corrals you in the right direction.

Worth fighting for

There are some stand-out sequences in The Gods: Rebellion, such as a frantic battle between two spiked walls that are creeping closer to you all the time, and a scrap on a lump of rock floating in molten lava.

For some the lack of any skill trees is going to grate a little, and for others the straight-as-an-arrow path you're forced down will be galling, but as button-mashing adventures go, there's a lot to like about The Gods: Rebellion.

The addition of a Challenge mode that lets you test your skills is the icing on the top of a hearty, if not particularly healthy, cake. If you like your action fast and brash, with plenty of gore and a handful of memorable moments, then you could do a lot worse than picking this up.
 
The Gods: Rebellion
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 22 February 2013
It's simple and brutish, but there's a lot of violent fun to be had in The Gods: Rebellion, and the combo system makes each crunching blow that bit more satisfying
 
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