Godfire: Rise of Prometheus
By: Vivid Games
Let’s get this out of the way. Godfire: Rise of Prometheus is a gorgeous game. Its graphics almost rival those of Infinity Blade 3, and certainly match Gameloft’s best efforts. There is definitely a whole lot of attention to detail here. But is the game more than just a pretty face? Find out below.
The gameplay in Godfire is similar to that of God of War but even closer to Gameloft’s Hero of Sparta. The theme is also similar, since you’re going to war against the Greek gods and mythological creatures. It’s an action-adventure game with RPG elements.
You control your character, Prometheus, via the joystick to the left, or by tapping the ground. The joystick also serves for evasion during battle. Drag the joystick in any direction and Prometheus will roll in that direction, hopefully out of harm’s way. The left side also has the Block button, which causes Prometheus to cross both swords in front of his face to defend against attacks. On the right side you’ll find your Light Attack and Heavy Attack buttons. The Light Attack does less damage, but is a bit faster. The Heavy Attacks require some Wrath in your Wrath bar to do any serious damage. There are also a number of combos you can use that combine the two buttons for even more devastating moves. If your Wrath bar is full, you can also hold down the Heavy Attack button to do a powerful special attack called Titan’s Wrath, which damages all enemies within a certain radius. There is also a skull button that pops up sometimes in middle of battle. If you press it, you’ll do a “perfect finisher,” which zooms in on one minion and finishes him off. The animations for the finishers are varied and often fun to watch. They also replenish some of your HP and Wrath.
For the most part, the controls work well, but occasionally it feels like they’re not responding. I think it might be the speed of the weapons, or it might just need some fine-tuning. Either way, it hasn’t proven to be too much of a problem yet.
When there are no enemies around, you’re in explore mode, and only the joystick will be visible, as well as any special actions that pop up on the right side, such as for unlocking doors or chests. There are also some special items, like one that helps you find hidden chests that you might otherwise miss. If there is a hidden chest, the icon will appear. After you press it, it shows you the path to the treasure chest.
In the beginning, you can pretty much just run in and attack without thinking. But as you progress, the enemies will get tougher and you need to evade their attacks to avoid taking too much damage. There are also bosses in each level that have a certain pattern you need to learn and work around in order to defeat them. Get acquainted with the evade controls early on, because you need to rely heavily on them for all boss battles. The boss battles also tend to be long, since you have to evade all their attacks and wait for them to tire themselves out before you can attack. Luckily, there are checkpoints before each boss battle, so if you lose but still think you stand a chance, you can keep trying without having to play the whole level over again each time.
Godfire clocks in at a hefty 1.9 GB, almost as much as Infinity Blade 3. It’s easy to see why, though, with the gorgeous graphics and impressive cinematic cutscenes. There is quite a bit of voice acting in the game, as well, and it’s top-notch. The story is told through these cutscenes, spliced in between sections of gameplay. The only problem is that on my iPhone 5, the cutscenes can sometimes be laggy and choppy, instead of smooth, seemingly skipping frames. It’s possible a newer device can handle it better, but I don’t have one to try it on. This doesn’t affect the gameplay, though, so it’s more of a minor disappointment than a problem. The battle visuals are equally as stunning as the cutscenes, and I rarely had any issues with lag there.
The story mode of the game is made up of seven acts, with two more labeled as “coming soon.” Once you complete all seven acts on Normal difficulty, you unlock the Hard difficulty, as well as the endless Survival mode where you can find equipment that’s only available there. Once you complete Hard mode, you can play the Impossible campaign. You will need to complete the game on all three difficulties to unlock all the equipment besides the few available only in the IAP (in-app purchase) store.
When you complete an act in the game, you earn experience, which helps you level up. You don’t gain experience from killing enemies. You gain experience only when you complete an area, even if it’s on a replay. Each level-up gives you different rewards, such as new combo attacks, finishers, and upgrades to your Titan’s Wrath attack. Some level-ups also give you stat points to use for upgrading your stats, such as Health, Attack, Defense and Wrath. These are all useful for taking on the increasingly stronger enemies, but what about your equipment?
By far my biggest gripe with the game is the equipment looting/upgrade system. You start off the game with a basic weapon and armor that can be upgraded a certain amount using gold coins. The game also gives you a free “perk,” but it is only used outside of battle to find hidden treasure chests. As you progress through the story, you’ll pick up new weapons, armor and perks. Weapons add to your Attack, armor adds to your Defense, and perks all provide different stat bonuses.
Each weapon and armor can be upgraded a certain amount using gold. The catch is that many of the perks and weapons that you find need to be unlocked after you loot them in order to use them. I would often loot an item, go to the armory excited to equip it, and then find out I need to “identify” it for a certain amount of gold (usually a fairly substantial chunk) in order to use it. This would be fine if it were possible to grind/farm for gold. But it’s not. There’s a set amount of gold you can earn, even if you replay previous levels, and it’s used for both unlocking/identifying equipment, as well as upgrading it. The game also doesn’t tell you the stats of the locked equipment until you spend the precious gold to identify it. So you could spend 1000 gold to unlock a weapon just to find out that it’s not much better than the one you’re using, and/or that you can’t afford to upgrade it.
Add to that the ability to turn gold into stat points, and you have a system that feels geared towards IAPs. It’s hard to make that decision to invest 1/4 of your gold into unlocking a new piece of equipment that you thought you looted, knowing that you still need to upgrade the equipment you already have and when you don’t know how much gold you’ll find in the future. For this reason, I played through most of the “Normal” campaign using the first sword I looted (the second sword in the game, and the only one in Normal difficulty that doesn’t need to be unlocked after looting). So I was essentially playing with a toothpick against bosses with quite a bit of health points. At least the three armors in the game are completely loot-able. But they still require a lot of gold to upgrade completely. So it comes down to choosing between upgrading your known armor versus unlocking unknown weapons and perks. That is, unless you spend real cash. A way to farm for some gold, or just letting us see the stats of an item before unlocking it, would have made a huge difference in keeping the game from feeling like it’s pushing IAPs.
You can also use Tapjoy to get extra gold if you really need some but don’t want to spend more money on the game. This again feels out of place for a premium game, especially since the offers that give you anything worthwhile require a purchase or providing personal info for something like an insurance quote. Now, I have no problem with IAPs in a premium game, as long as the game is not designed around them. But one shouldn’t feel pressured to spend extra money or watch Tapjoy ads on a premium title just to progress through the storyline and unlock equipment. Also, Tapjoy can’t get you the equipment that’s only obtainable through IAPs.
The good news is that if you can defeat the final boss in Normal difficulty with the resources you’re given, it will unlock Survival mode, which I’m told has potentially unlimited gold coins you can earn. But that last boss is a challenge, so more casual players may be tempted to pay to get past her.
All this said, Godfire is a fun game if you’re looking to scratch that action-adventure itch. The three difficulty levels and Survival Mode should provide quite a few hours of gameplay. There are also plenty of GameCenter achievements if you’re into that sort of thing, as well as leaderboards. But you’re best off going in knowing about the loot system, and not expecting a 100% premium game with no paywalls. If you can accept the system for what it is, there’s definitely some hack ‘n’ slash fun to be had here. It’s unfortunate that they chose this model for the gold and loot system, because Godfire is otherwise a very satisfying gaming experience. More hardcore players might not even notice the shortage of in-game gold. And the visuals are nothing to sneeze at, either! If you think this sounds like your kind of game, give Godfire a try and download it here. Download
If you already have the game and need some help with it, try my Godfire walkthrough guide.
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