In a Gameloft first, they’re doing a freemium game. However, this is not some farming game but a really awesome take on Legend of Zelda for your iPhone.
Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden (FREE, $6.99 IAP)
For starters, this is one of Gameloft’s best looking games. The game features massive dungeons to crawl through, and there’s plenty of content to ride through thanks to all the side quests and massive maps.
The textures are bright, brilliant, and provide great sights to see. That is, while you’re in the outdoor environments. While indoors, some of the textures become muddy, or a bit lacking in detail. Despite this, and the occasional texture issues, everything is pretty good.
Ayden’s animations are simple, but pretty fluid. Other actions like climbing ladders or opening treasure chests however, aren’t very good. My only complain about the camera is that when sprinting on a horse, the camera centers in and locks itself, making it a bit hard to navigate.
As usual with Gameloft, the controls are a virtual joystick with virtual buttons. Fighting involves two buttons, one for swinging your weapon and the other for dodging. Moving the joystick in a direction and pressing the dodge button will make your character roll.
Camera is controlled by dragging along the screen. On the bottom right corner, when still, a horse icon will appear to let you mount of your horse, and then the dodge button will change to a sprint icon, when sprint becomes available.
This is Gameloft’s first free-mium game, and they did a pretty good job at it. The free portion will get you the first 15 minutes or so of the game, giving you a quick look at the basics of the game, as well as starting off the storyline. The storyline will guide you through various quests, and eventually dungeons. Yes, Zelda-esque puzzles.
Aside from the main quest there are a lot of side quests. They offer some side rewards, which aren’t huge, but do keep the gameplay fresh if you want a break from the main storyline. A lot of the gameplay revolves around combat, with bosses and the “smaller” bad guys you’ll find along the way. So how is it? Although the combat can be somewhat compared to Hero of Sparta, or Assassin’s Creed, it’s a bit more evolved.
Rather than just rapidly tapping buttons, being evasive is required. You’ll need to coordinate your attack and pay attention, or die like a fool rapidly tapping attack. The combat is just right. There’s also other things, like collecting orbs, purchasing potions, power-ups, etc. Overall though, Sacred Odyssey is a great fun game, probably the closest to Legend of Zelda we’ll get to on the platform.
Although the game controls fantastically, and the visuals are great, there’s one problem. The level, while roaming around, the lack of jumping starts to strike you.
This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the invisible walls around parts of the levels, making it specially frustrating at times. While I don’t expect Gameloft to add a jump button to the game at this point, it would be nice to re-touch some of these invisible walls.
How does this one score? As per usual with Gameloft, pretty damn good. Unlike other Gameloft games, rather than just taking my word for it you can actually download it for free and try it out. If you decide you want to keep playing, buy the IAP and it’ll continue where the free portion finished.
Seeing as how we won’t be getting an official Zelda game for iOS anytime, I have to say Gameloft did an awesome job starting off with the Zelda idea and going along with it. It’s an awesome game that even people like me who aren’t a fan of the genre (or just don’t play it at all) will probably enjoy.