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Quantum Legacy HD

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

In space, no one can hear you snooze

Product: Quantum Legacy HD | Developer: Miles Godspeed | Publisher: Miles Godspeed | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.1.0
Quantum Legacy HD iPhone, thumbnail 1
Space is big. And, we'd imagine, probably pretty boring too. You can see why most sci-fi movies prefer to delve straight into the heart of some interstellar space battle rather than drift lazily around the vast expanses of nothingness.

Quantum Legacy HD
follows Hollywood's lead and builds its action entirely around deep space combat. That has to be exciting, right?

It's an on-rails shooter of sorts, consisting exclusively of sweeping deep space vistas and high-tech dogfighting. It really is a thing of beauty - particularly on a Retina display iPad - with gorgeously rendered planets and swirling galaxies filling the screen with splashes of striking colour among the stars.

Gratuitous space battles

Each level sees you warping your way around these dazzling arenas, engaging ship after enemy ship in often close-quarters combat.

Because this is an on-rails kind of game, you've got little control over your destination (meaning the optional tilt controls are almost completely redundant, aside from making your ship look like it's being steered by a drunkard) so your focus is entirely on destruction and the hilariously overwrought space chatter, which is delivered with all the subtlety of a William Shatner monologue.

You've got two buttons at your disposal to help bring down enemy fleets - a shield and a blaster, both of which overheat through excessive use and, importantly, can't be used at the same time.

Tap a target to lock-on (ensuring you're making the most of your full-frontal firepower rather than the feeble single blast that splutters from your rear) and a vaguely strategic encounter commences.

Engage shieldzzzz

You see, enemies abide by the same rules as you, meaning they can't fire while their shields are up. That creates a frantic form of combat that's all about close observation and fast reactions as you wait for an opponent's shields to drop then quickly lob a volley of blasts out yourself, keeping your shield finger poised for deployment.

At least, that's how combat is presumably meant to work. The reality turns out to be a little less interesting. Most opponents are so interminably stupid and underpowered that vigorously jabbing the 'fire' button and smashing your shield every so often pretty much gets the job done.

Your only real chance of dying comes from the fact that target lock-on brings your ship in so close to enemies that it's often hard to either see or react to their attacks - and the constant pitch and yaw of the camera means you're frequently struck by missiles entirely beyond your line of sight.

Abandon ship

There are other problems too. Despite a raft of ship, shield, and weapons upgrades, the pace and purpose of the game never alters - it's just a constant parade of underwhelming and quickly repetitive face-offs.

It's a structure that wouldn't necessarily be a problem if there was any sense of empowerment in battle, but the staccato nature of combat and slow release of your blasts make it feel more like you're hurling bricks from the back of a bulldozer than piloting a high-tech, high-velocity death machine.

It's an issue countered to a degree by the sheer frenzied spectacle of it all and, truthfully, there's some entertainment to be had from the brainless explosions of sound and colour that accompany each battle.

Sure, there's not much to it, but in the world of mobile gaming that isn't necessarily problem provided there's consistently satisfying moment-by-moment reward. Sadly, that's where Quantum Legacy HD fails.
Quantum Legacy HD
Reviewer photo
Matt Wales | 3 October 2012
A beautiful on-rails shooter that delivers furious deep space combat on a presentational front. Sadly, its grasp for strategic action doesn't quite work and those underlying mechanics simply can't support its repetitive framework
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