Stomp stomp, smash smash, shooty shooty
Yup, pretty much. This is Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade, an on-rails action shooter that sees you leading a freelance Imperial Knight, essentially a giant gothic mech armed with a variety of guns and swords, through the war-torn planets of the 41st millenium.
I didn't understand most of that sentence
That's okay, you don't really need to. Fans of Games Workshop's grim future will be in faux-latin, plasma cannon heaven, but the rest of us can happily wander around some crumbling buildings, murdering everything, oblivious to our place in the larger fictional battle.
Cool. So what are the controls like?
They're pretty good. The only thing you have any say over is your weapons. Drag a finger around the screen to fire your main machine gun, and press two fingers on the screen to aim and fire your rocket launcher.
What about in melee?
When you're swinging your big chopper around you're essentially engaged in a quick time event. A bar appears at the bottom of the screen and you need to tap to stop a couple of lines when they reach the middle. The closer you get, the better your attack.
Sounds pretty simple
It is, and really it encapsulates Freeblade in a single mechanic. You tap the screen at the right time and something big and violent happens. It looks cool, and it's always nice to see an Imperial Knight ripping the arm off a Megadred, but you don't really feel like you did much to make it happen.
I guess that's a problem with on-rails shooters
It's true, but this is an on-rails shooter done pretty damn well all-in-all. It looks stunning, the violence is pretty swift and satisfying, and while there is a lack of connection between your input and your actions, there are some impressive set-pieces all the same.
Okay, interesting. How free to play is it?
Quite free to play. There isn't an energy system, which is nice, but there are plenty of currencies and potential adverts to watch. There's some grind here too, as you'd expect. But since the action doesn't take up too much time, you probably won't begrudge the game some re-runs.
Anything else I should know?
Well, if you've got a swanky new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus and you're looking for a game to show off its 3D touch capabilities, this is a pretty decent bet. It's not worth going out and buying a new phone for, but the extra options when you're playing with one of the new screens are pretty damn cool.
Yeah, there's a lot to do here, and while a lot of it's pretty samey, there's a neat rhythm to the explosions and slaughter that make it hard to resist. Plus it looks great, and it's got giant chainswords in it. So that's neat.
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