This game has a lot in common with the older Resident Evil games, before that
franchise went all-out action. This game splits the difference by throwing waves
of undead at you and having you figure out light puzzles.
The story doesn't go very deep; you're a vampire hunter, Vincent, avenging
your family and guided by Death. Vincent wears a cowboy hat, shoots guns, and
fights with a sword needless to say the game devs have poor taste. The story
is presented in comic-book style, the norm for app games, and though the writing
isn't bad, that doesn't mean it's good either.
Gameplay varies depending on the mode you play. The story gameplay has two
control options: one using an on-screen joystick with a shoot button, or a
tap-based scheme that seems more like an option to make the game harder. The
controls are easy enough; you got shoot, move, dodge, and tap key objects. But
the case with most every app game is the responsiveness of the controls, and the
limitations of the screen being the controller that means the edge of the
screen, not lifting your finger, not seeing stuff your finger is covering, etc.
The game is very forgiving in that you have lots of health and ammo dropped, and
only one fight at the end of the game is really any kind of challenge. But
precision and sharp gameplay is not to be expected.
Moments in the story mode do stand out. The boss fights are easy finger-slide
challenges in the spirit of the cinematic button sequences made popular in
Resident Evil 4; the fights in this game juggle between being half-way
entertaining to watch and being completely ridiculous. Other moments revolve
around The Beast which can't be killed and you must figure out how to avoid him
while advancing. There are other bits of item-fetching sprinkled throughout the
game, but unless you can't see the twinkling on the screen there is no challenge
in it. And that's where the game struggles, in being compelling. You hit a few
tricky spots but for the most part the game almost plays itself, and that is
when the story elements and lack of eye candy do start to play against the game
Shooting range mode may be the more interesting mode in that it uses the
compass in the iPhone to let you move the screen as you physically move the
phone. Beyond the first level of this mode it gets frustrating as the enemies
move and shoot back, but the control scheme seems worthy of being expounded
upon. And the last mode is survival which has a lot of levels and is curious why
these were not part of the main game as the entire survival mode doesn't inspire
prolonged play. It's more worthwhile to play the modes on the harder difficulty
as it does provide a decent challenge, but that does nothing for the weak puzzle
The graphics aren't cutting edge, but for an iPhone game you may be surprised
how good the game looks. After a while the decade-old graphics do start to show,
but you may not find better on the Nintendo DS, or some PSP games even. The
sound is not impressive at all, sporting poor-quality sound effects.
The biggest flaw is that the story mode gets going and then it suddenly ends,
never hitting a build-up or climax. Vampire Origins Reloaded will hopefully
reload again because there is hope in this game for something great. Whether
they alter the control scheme, the graphics, the story, or all of the above, the
next installment has potential to be more addictive. This game stands as a
decent distraction, but not as a must-play.
Final Rating: 80%