(ios- $7) Ember

Dante Rising
Dante Rising
edited September 2016 in Portable Gaming Apps
I just grabbed a new action RPG entitled Ember for ios (and also just released on Steam- reviews are sitting at "very positive"). Initial impressions are very favorable, and the production values are stellar. It is easily one of the best looking games I've seen on my ipad pro, and was quite clearly designed with mobile gaming as the primary platform. It seems to be Diablo-esque title, but with more focus on story, and less focus on massive weapon varieties. Steam users are comparing it to Divinity: OS and Neverwinter Nights. Environments are handcrafted in a manner very reminiscent of Pillars of Eternity or Baldur's Gate, but the combat is definitely a lighter version of those two games. It does seem to cover all of the usual expectations- special attack skills, crafting, cooking, unique weapons, character upgrades, etc. The developer claims that Ember is 30-40 hours long. They also seem to be willing to have some fun with the game, in a manner similar to Larian Studios and the Divinity series. For example, I was already attacked by evil chickens, and I learned that my NPC companion has allergies to giant spiders.

As with most ios action titles, I was initially concerned about the controls. I'm pleased to report that combat can be paused, and you navigate your character by drawing a line to a location, or by simply tapping on destination location. If you wish to attack, simply tap on the enemy, and your character goes to work until the enemy is dead. He then immediately moves on to the next nearest target. If you wish to use a special skill, they are located within icons under your character name. Overall I find the UI to be clean and accessible.


Trying to pull it up via the app store search leads to some very weird suggestions, most likely since the game is new. Best to travel to it via appshopper:

http://appshopper.com/games/ember-2

Comments

  • farley2k
    farley2k
    GT Moderator
    It looks great but $7 is outside my impulse buy range so keep those impressions coming. :)
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    This looks really cool. All indications point to a "less complicated Baldur's Gate" with random loot elements (a la Diablo), which is something that would be right up my alley. Grabbing it this morning, will report back later.
  • Dante Rising
    Dante Rising
    GT Member
    on 1473946452:

    It looks great but $7 is outside my impulse buy range so keep those impressions coming. :)


    No problem. I put in another 90 minutes, am I'm really enjoying it. I think it is most comparable to Dungeon Siege II, if you ever had a chance to play that title. I chose the "hard" difficulty, and feel that it gives the right amount of challenge. Strategic use of potions and special skills becomes important. The screen is never littered with enemies in the manner of Diablo, but instead you usually fight against 3-5 opponents. The story is definitely more prevalent that Diablo, but it is not Baldur's Gate. I do appreciate that it is well written, and the voice acting is solid.

    It seems to be a very competent package. It wont be RPG of the year material, but if it maintains the quality I've seen so far they could have requested $15 and still been at a good value point. Solid by-the-numbers RPG-lite fare for your tablet, with excellent production values. I'm just pleased that it isn't another freemium game, so I decided to support the developers at full price.

    A few notes:
    1) Skills seem to come from equipment, not a skill tree
    2) You get two attribute points per level, so do not go into the game thinking it will be a complex character build. In fact, at the game start you choose your "class" via your first weapon: wand, sword, bow.
    3) The game auto pauses when you open your inventory to drink a potion during combat. health doesn't seem to regen outside of combat. BUT you do get a sleeping bag.....
    4) The world is somewhat dynamic. I've run into thieves fighting spiders, and wolves chasing down deer. At one point I led a thief toward a spider, and the two fought it out while I stood on the sidelines.
  • Dante Rising
    Dante Rising
    GT Member
    on 1473947607:

    This looks really cool. All indications point to a "less complicated Baldur's Gate" with random loot elements (a la Diablo), which is something that would be right up my alley. Grabbing it this morning, will report back later.


    From some of your past posts it seems like you may be having some RPG fatigue. Supposedly the UI in the Steam version is more cumbersome than the ios version, but you could "taste test" it on steam, and refund/repurchase on ios if you like it. So far the game has been a play for 20 minutes and drop it affair for me. I could see long Planescape Torment play throughs getting stale due to a lack of depth. Even on Steam this is a $10 game, so the developer did a good job IMO, of constraining expectations based upon the price point on the PC side. On the ios side it pushes toward the more premium price range.

    I recommend this game as a Palate cleanser only at this point, until I get further into the story and mechanics.


    Steam user reviews:

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/339580/
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    Not RPG fatigue, per se, just having trouble finding one that "clicks". Mainly because I need something that's not overly complex...my brain is typically mush by the time I actually have time to game at night. I've been having a blast with Icewind Dale on iPad over the last couple weeks, and this looks to be kinda similar.

    At this point, I'm just killing some time until the next batch of FF games (World of FF next month and FFXV in Nov) hits anyways. This could fit the bill nicely. :)
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    Positive review from Gamezebo, with the major complaint being that the font is too small on iPhone. Since I'll be playing on iPad, I'm not overly concerned about that.
  • rittchard
    rittchard
    GT Member
    on 1473967669:

    Positive review from Gamezebo, with the major complaint being that the font is too small on iPhone. Since I'll be playing on iPad, I'm not overly concerned about that.


    Heh, was just gonna ask if I should try it on the phone or iPad.
  • Dante Rising
    Dante Rising
    GT Member
    on 1473971072:

    on 1473967669:

    Positive review from Gamezebo, with the major complaint being that the font is too small on iPhone. Since I'll be playing on iPad, I'm not overly concerned about that.


    Heh, was just gonna ask if I should try it on the phone or iPad.


    On my iPad mini it looks great, and on my 12" pro it is glorious. I've not tried it on my phone yet, but based upon the font size on the mini, I can see there being an issue on a phone.
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    So I pick up a unique sword in the opening area which grants a "double strike" skill. I equip the sword. I click on the sword in my character sheet to see it's stats. The weapon proceeds to unequip itself...and disappears. It's not back in my inventory, it's not on the ground, and it's not equipped on my character. I spent 15 minutes looking everywhere for it, and come up empty. Decide just to move on.

    I proceed to the first boss battle. The huge, glowing hint outside the door of the boss battle is "Be sure to use your 'double strike' skill because it does significantly more damage". You know, that skill I can't use because my weapon is now gone. I go on to die multiple times to said boss.

    We're not off to a very good start. :~
  • Dante Rising
    Dante Rising
    GT Member
    on 1473974608:

    So I pick up a unique sword in the opening area which grants a "double strike" skill. I equip the sword. I click on the sword in my character sheet to see it's stats. The weapon proceeds to unequip itself...and disappears. It's not back in my inventory, it's not on the ground, and it's not equipped on my character. I spent 15 minutes looking everywhere for it, and come up empty. Decide just to move on.

    I proceed to the first boss battle. The huge, glowing hint outside the door of the boss battle is "Be sure to use your 'double strike' skill because it does significantly more damage". You know, that skill I can't use because my weapon is now gone. I go on to die multiple times to said boss.

    We're not off to a very good start. :~


    Strange. You don't need that weapon to win the battle. I didn't have it equipped. You can quickly change the difficulty to easy in the options, also, to get past that battle. The good news is also that weapon is fairly benign the moment you walk out of the crypt. Their will be a merchant with slightly better weapons, and if you save before going to him, his loot is somewhat random upon reload.

    And playing on hard is....very hard. Lol. I'm lucky I grabbed a leather cap that gives mass healing to my warrior. A small ball of light falls from the sky and heals my party for 100-200 hit points. Got it at the first merchant. Saved my ass about a dozen times already.

    Recommend playing on normal if you are looking for a somewhat relaxed play through. Also, the difficulty can be changed at any time, and there are toggles in the options to pause the game upon entering combat, when health is critically low, etc. I toggled like of these to 'on' and it has made combat much more sane.
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