hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Archetype

6:00 PM on 07.16.2010 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

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
MSRP:

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 moderators, 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 *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

thelivinglegend avatarthelivinglegend
Witches of Crookback Bog from Witcher 3 is the best quest in the whole game and of any game I've played in recent memory.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I was just accosted by the most gorgeous cosmetics saleswoman with an adorable Hatian-Creole accent. It's not often my attention gets that immersed in a total bullshit sales pitch. Well, that and I didn't want her to let go of my arm.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
My son just washed my Majora's Mask NEW 3DS because the screen was dirty. Bahahaha *cries uncontrollably*
Flegma avatarFlegma
Ever thought of skipping a console generation (and not upgrading PC for years, either) because of how big your pile of shame is? I'm doing that just now.
Tenzan  avatarTenzan
Apparently there are cancellations on the CE versions of MGSV:TTP from Europe and North America. People getting emails saying they are cancelled and such. On top of that is that there's been unboxings that don't have the extras for the Day One edition.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I've been mad at myself all morning for missing the apostrophe in "I'll" on my Quickpost last night, but it turns out that apostrophes just don't show up on the feed! Isn't that the bee's knees?
Perro avatarPerro
Playing through Skies of Arcadia Legends right now. Bringing this to Steam or current gen in HD seems like a no-brainer. Make it so, Sega!
Kris S avatarKris S
Fassbender looks awesome. A not shit game adaption? We will see
Nathan D  avatarNathan D
Just found out that Third Impact in The End of Evangelion took place on my birthday. I'm freaking out right now.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Man at Arms did the Geralt Witcher's Swords ! [youtube]https://youtu.be/HJZekaPAd_M[/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
3:16 MIKA, DO YOU SMELL WHAT THE BOW IS COOKING?
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
Welcome back to Street Fighter, Rainbow Mika! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbDSvRMc9rQ
pixelrock avatarpixelrock
Jumpy Wall, my first game, is coming to the iOS App Store this September [img]http://i.imgur.com/oHAWJuC.gif?1[/img] See the trailer [youtube]https://youtu.be/Q1GKzQTiDtY[/youtube] or [url="http://jumpywall.com"]jumpywall.com[/url] for more.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Looking for a good book? Defending Jacob by William Landay is fantastic. Couldn't put it down.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Have you played Vampire Hunter D on Ps1 ? [youtube]https://youtu.be/XdMxdMIXFCI[/youtube] A cool game , very hard last boss.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Please be gentle Shiek. I want a character who's actually good at neutral for once.
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/SivYdHmSBc0[/youtube] Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes. I am loving this lol. Supposedly will be on Grimes' next album.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[url="http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/08/rumour_fresh_sources_suggest_shovel_knight_is_indeed_digging_his_way_to_super_smash_bros"]Exciting rumors of Shovel Knight arriving in Smash have surfaced![/url] Get those salt shakers ready!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Mr. Cordoba knows a lot about CSS, so I asked him to give us a touch-up job. Here's an early sneak peek at the next big Dtoid update: Drop us a note in the comments! [url]http://www.raulcordoba.com/dtoid/[/url]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I'll never get how making an inanimate object or a plant look like an animal or just alive somehow is considered more "out of ideas" than just an animal being an animal. That seems more like the opposite of being "out of ideas" to me.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

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 -