Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Archetype

6:00 PM on 07.16.2010 // Jim Sterling

The iPhone is not the place you'd expect to find a hardcore online first-person-shooter, but damn if a number of developers haven't tried their best. N.O.V.A and Eliminate Pro have done their best to provide FPS fans something to play on their touch screens, and now a new challenger has appeared -- Archetype

At a straight $2.99, Archetype is considerably cheaper than N.O.V.A and doesn't lure players in with the sneaky "freemium" tactics of Eliminate. The question, of course, is whether or not Archetype is worth even the $2.99. That's what the review's for, so read on for the full shake! 

Archetype (iPhone)
Developer: Villain LLC
Publisher: Villain LLC
Released: July 06, 2010

The entire "story" of Archetype is told in a several second cut-scene, the only information being that there was an invasion of some kind and humanity is fighting against it. Why there's even a hint of a story, I do not know, as it's not actually made apparent in the game itself. The game consists of two teams of blue and yellow soldiers shooting each other. No evidence of an invasion. No hint of a plot.

To say Archetype's options are limited is to put it mildly. If you don't enjoy Team Deathmatch, then you're out of luck because that's essentially all you have to play. Two teams of five do battle in a range of particularly small maps, using six types of particularly generic weapons including your standard assault rifle, shotgun, missile launcher and sniper. There are also grenades, which get spammed with regularity, and a somewhat useless melee attack. 

On the surface, Archetype reminds one of Quake, from the look, to the gameplay, to the giant axe you can pick up for melee kills. As far as FPS titles on the iPhone go, a good job's been done of streamlining the controls. Firing, for example, is a simple case of aiming the reticule of an enemy and letting the game do the rest. Of course, keeping the reticule on enemies as they run and gun is pretty difficult on a touchscreen, so it's a small blessing. It also has to be said that the game in no way feels as smooth and solid as N.O.V.A, still by far the most well-produced sci-fi FPS on the system. 

If the game's issues were limited solely to those concerning the choice of platform, then a lot could be forgiven, but the game has problems that are entirely its own fault and have nothing to do with the interface. For instance, respawns are terrible, often placing you right in front of a cluster of enemies. This is often thanks to the small, unimaginative maps. The game can also get a bit glitchy, with characters freezing or jerking around. It doesn't even look as good as its competitors, with graphics that feel distinctly early nineties. The lack of decent music and repetitive, low grade sound effects don't help either. 

Archetype isn't exactly dreadful. It does a somewhat decent job of providing a dedicated online shooter, with fast matchmaking and gameplay that can sometimes be quite fun when it works. There are welcome, if unoriginal, Achievements to unlock and a promotion system to provide some sort of reason for playing. It's also really cool to have a quick and dirty online multiplayer game in your pocket for moments of boredom.

Despite these positives, Archetype is let down by its bland design and no-frills approach to gameplay, not to mention the aforementioned design guffs. What could have been (and looked to be) an action-packed, AAA iPhone shooter is, unfortunately, a gloomy and dreary affair, as mediocre as the most vanilla console FPS and about ten times less convenient to play.

There are far better shooters on iTunes than this, at the end of the day. They may be more expensive, and they may have dodgy business models, but they're simply better. 

Score: 5.0 -- Mediocre (5s are an exercise in apathy, neither Solid nor Liquid. Not exactly bad, but not very good either. Just a bit "meh," really.)

Photo Gallery: (2 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

VeryImportantQuestion avatarVeryImportantQuestion
Wait a second...has the blog editor been changed with the idea being that the formatting be done in Word or something and then pasted in? Have I been using it wrong these last few posts?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
guys I'm standing in a Target looking at a Xenoblade X special edition what do I do
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Dear Dortmund Zoo: how's it possible for people to steal 3 monkeys, 3 squirrels and 2 penguins while killing a manatee and another penguin since April and you still have no clue how to stop this?
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! [img][/img]
Flegma avatarFlegma
Two more reasons not to preorder: the game might appear in stores before release day (Hello, Xenoblade Chronicles X for 60EUR at my local mall) or the mail workers may be on strike (well, they were until Monday).
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
ModDb's MOTY (Mod of the Year) votes are up, there's quite a TON of interesting mods this year, give it a look and vote for your favorite! ---
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Hey, US Pokemon fans! Apparently if you just rename your SSID to Mcdonalds Free Wifi, you don't even need to go anywhere to get your Hoopas. Seems like they could've just made this one a normal download.
Archelon avatarArchelon
It may have been a war of attrition, but I just took out a Snowspeeder on foot in Battlefront. Aww, yeah.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, for one reason or another I watched the endings of bloodborne via vaatividya, and in so doing made myself sad that I will never get to play it. Still cool that they seem to have really nailed that lovecraftian exestential horror and despair.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] やらないか?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If I were a rhino, I'd be horny.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I don't want DOAX, but it does make me realize... There aren't actually a lot of volleyball games out there, are there? Or tennis, even? At least golf has a little competition, but still. That's golf.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Well, everyone is throwing in their opinion on women and games, and here I am... writing a blog about being aroused by female characters in games as a kid... Perhaps I should hold off, I have a feeling it may just be taken the wrong way.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Thinking about getting my sister yokai watch or animal crossing Happy Home designer(comes with nfc reader). I already got a copy of Tales of xillia for her ps3, this is just a bonus for when she's on the road or at someones house. any suggestions?
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Dark Souls 2. Dem builds.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Posted image I promised Flanx, didn't get response from him. Heart forever broken.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: What game have you played through to completion the most number of times?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
ProTip for UK Nintendo gamers: Twilight Princess HD is finally up for pre-order on Amazon. Unfortunately, it won't ship to anywhere outside of the UK. Dammit Amazon Italy! Get on this!!!
extatix avatarextatix
It's the best time of the year again! Finally we get to listen to Wham and Chris Rea over and over again!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
The Unofficial Destructoid Christmas Card has been ordered. If you claimed one, you should probably PM me your address now.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -