Hands-on Preview: Mass Effect Infiltrator for iOS

EA is getting set to release one of 2012’s most highly anticipated games, Mass Effect 3, on March 6th. They will already dominate the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 scene when the game is released, and they may also dominate your iOS device when Mass Effect Infiltrator is released on March 6th, too. During an EA press event yesterday, I got some hands-on time with their upcoming Mass Effect iOS offering.

Mass Effect Infiltrator isn’t another Mass Effect Galaxy which ended up not being a very successful mobile title for BioWare. It’s being developed by IronMonkey Studios, who have released a number of successful mobile games, one of which being Dead Space. If you’re familiar with their work, then you should already be excited for this game’s release next month.

My demo time was spent landing on a snowy planet in order to rescue prisoners from a hostile Cerberus base. Once my character’s feet touched the surface of the planet, I felt right at home with the traditional FPS gaming mechanics of moving my character with the left side of the screen while moving the camera with the right. As soon as I turned a corner, a wave of approximately 4 or 5 Geth started to attack me. Infiltrator guided me through the process of combat by taking cover behind some strategically placed boxes and pipes, and tapping on my enemies to initiate combat. Once I focused in on an enemy, I could move my shooting reticule around to tweak my aiming. Once I took down one Geth, Infiltrator gives you the opportunity to take down additional enemies in order to rack up combo points. The game urges you to act quick as the ability to combine your attacks is only for a limited time.

Infiltrator will provide the usual arsenal of weapons and powers that we all expect out of a Mass Effect game. I started off attacking the Geth hostiles with an Assault Rifle, but later on in the demo, I was able to switch to a Shotgun which was a lot more satisfying for those up-close and personal moments. When I was on the opposite side of a Geth, my character was able to use a melee attack that sent the Geth backwards and onto their back.

If you’re the kind of person who prefers to use biotics to take down their enemies, you’ll be happy to know that they’ll also be available in Infiltrator. A part of my demo time was spent using the Pull biotic in order to pull my enemies out of cover and within range of my attacks. I’m sure Pull won’t be the only biotic available, but EA did not disclose which biotics would be available in Infiltrator.

Maneuvering from cover to cover was a breeze as the developer places transparent arrows in front of your character to inform you of where you can move to take cover in a different location. A simple flick of the finger will send your solider running, flipping, or hurdling towards the next possible piece of cover.

Mass Effect Infiltrator already looked quite impressive during my demo time, even though EA has said the game was currently in its alpha phase of development. IronMonkey Studios definitely shows their ability to make a visually impressive game once again for the iOS platform. EA reps said Mass Effect Infiltrator will release at the same time as Mass Effect 3 and will serve as not only a stand-alone experience, but your actions in Infiltrator will directly influence Commander Shepard’s ultimate battle.

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