Siberian Strike is a top down shooter by Gameloft. $0.99
Siberian Strike has totally changed the way old ports are successfully brought onto the iPhone. Time and time again we see ports off various devices that sometimes work (Assassin's Creed) and sometimes don't. Siberian Strike is a totally revamped mobile port, that has become my favourite top down shooter. This game is an amazing pick up for just $0.99, especially when I thought it was a great deal at it's original price of $5.99.
The storyline is pretty basic, and doesn't actually have much effect in the game. You are pilot Eliot Freeman in the 1940's, Russia wants to invade Europe and you get to stop them by destroying everything in your path. To be honest when I received this game I was not expecting to even enjoy it at all, especially since I am not a 'retro' gamer and do not enjoy these old school type games. Siberian Strike actually surprised me alot as it provided me with great graphics and enough action to suffice a more modern gamer as well as you retro gamers. The gameplay is pretty simple, but definitely surprised me. I was expecting tilt left and right and shoot everything in your path. Your plane flies all over the course and there a few special 3D levels that take a different approach to the game, splitting up what could be quite dry gameplay. There are great graphics and voice acting to go along with the game, providing an excellent flight as you will find out.
From what I can tell the graphics have been remastered to look alot better than the mobile version. The screen can get quite busy with power-ups, planes and all sorts of attacks going all over the screen and I haven't encountered any lag or freezes what so ever. There is alot of detail that has gone into this game, especially in the 3D levels. For a now $0.99 it is right up there with other great games of the same price like iDracula.
The voice acting in Siberian Strike is superbly done in the cut scenes. I would probably call it better than Assassin's Creed, but then again there is less of it. It is very professional and the accents used are quite cool. The sound effects in the actual game are what I have come to expect with stuff blowing up and shots fired etc. It was quite a good effort, especially since it has come from a mobile port where sound certainly isn't used as much as it should in those games.
There are two control methods available to use in Siberian Strike, but one is far easier than the other. The hardest system was actually the tilt method, where you tilt your iPhone to move your plane around the screen. This not only looks REALLY weird watching someone do it, but is hard to actually watch where you are going. The easiest system is the touch controls where you move the plane by moving your finger, while being on top of the plane. Some people don't like this game as you can't see when planes are coming from behind, but it is certainly alot easier than tilting the iPhone around. Shooting is very easy and the whole game just requires you to be moving for the entire time, as there is no ammo limit. Power ups can give you special shots and the shooting process is the same, except they run out after a certain time limit. In the 3D mode you are required to fire missiles at certain items, and a fire button is used for that. To use a bomb you press the bomb icon and it blows up all enemies near you. This is useful in tight situations.
There are three different game modes that all revolve around the main story mode. The three modes are Story Mode, Multiplayer and Free Mission. As with other Gameloft games you are only able to play these modes in Easy or Normal to start with, and completing the story mode unlocks hard. With only 7 levels in the game, Gameloft gives you another challenge and beating the game on Hard gives you the difficulty level of Ace. While the storyline doesn't give much to the gameplay and is more of conversations. It is there however, using simple text instead of cut scenes we are used to. I find it quite annoying and after a few levels didn't even read the conversations as it wasn't necessary for the game.
Story Mode is the mode that you will spend most of your time playing. The jist of the mode is to survive through 5 2D Top Down Shooter levels and 2 3D Levels. This is done by shooting everything in site, collecting powerups and other great items. The way to win the game is by surviving all the levels without dieing. The way to lose however is actually quite easy, but doesn't sound it. You have 3 bars of life, once these are all lost you lose one of your 3 lives, which may be replenished by collecting 100 stars. Once these lives are lost then you get the option of an arcade continue, so basically you can complete this entire cycle three more times. Even on easy I managed to lose alot of lives and was happy just to survive the game.
The top down shooter levels throw planes, ships, cars and other wonderful Russian designs your way, forcing you to blow up as much as possible and avoid getting hit. These levels are often hectic and fast paced, with more new enemies coming in later levels. At the end of each level there is a massive Boss stage, where you must blow up certain parts of the boss before it can be successfully destroyed. These bosses shoot out multiple shots are once, forcing you to take a strategic approach at destroying them. The 3D levels are a bit of a gap between all the hectic levels, giving a kind of iFighter style gameplay. The aim is to fly around dodging all obstacles while blowing up guns that shoot missiles at you if you don't hit them. There are three planes to use with different stats, as well as unlockable colors. Sadly you can't unlock more planes.
Free mode lets you replay any of your already completed missions. The missions can be played in any of the unlocked difficulty levels. Multiplayer mode lets you play through any mission you want with a friend over Multiplayer WiFi. This is a great mode and works perfectly without any lag what so ever.
Siberian Strike has changed my opinion on Top Down Shooters. Being a genuine modern gamer who does not particularly like games with old concepts like this, it surprised me. If this game had seven levels of action instead of breaking it up with the 3D levels, it may not have been as good. The hectic action provided is addicting and makes you want to progress to the next level, with a bit of thrill and danger involved.
The great graphics actually make it look like a new game, instead of being restricted to the old shooter graphics I see time and time again on the App Store. The sound effects and cut scenes are a good add in, even if it doesn't provide much to the actual game. A great game, that while most people were skeptical of the game at its original price of $5.99, this is an absolute bargain at $0.99. Those who like true top down shooter games may not enjoy this as much as it has kind of 'progressed' away from that. I absolutely adore it and once again Gameloft have delivered.