If movies and video games are to be believed, Ancient Greece was an often violent, often sexy place filled with monsters and British accents. Godfire: Rise of Prometheus takes us back into the age of Greek mythology in an action-brawler that in no way resembles that one game series about that super-pissed Spartan.
In Godfire: Rise of Prometheus, you play as the titular fire-stealer, Prometheus, on his quest to bring the gift of fire to mankind and also kill some gods or something. We don't get a whole lot of backstory on Prometheus, or the world of Godfire. The main things we know about Prometheus for most of the game are that he's broody, his abs are Hugh Jackmanian, and he's surprisingly Caucasian-looking for a character from Ancient Greece. On his quest to bring fire and punch deific faces, Prometheus runs into the typical gamut of Greek mythological monsters- minotaurs, cyclopes, lamia, etc. Battles with these famous foes are generally epic encounters that would feel right at home in that Playstation franchise this game in no way resembles. Most of the time, however, you'll be fighting masked foot soldiers in groups of one to three, and these encounters are a bit less epic and a bit more dull.
Godfire's combat makes use of a virtual thumbstick, a guard button, and a heavy and light attack. Combat is straightforward to the point of generally being boring. You'll walk a few steps, fight some enemies, walk a few more steps and fight a few more until it's boss time. Though you have a Wrath meter to execute special attacks, these special attacks lack any sort of snap to them, and don't really mix up the flow of combat. Old-school brawlers like Streets of Rage balanced out the limited player toolset by offering a wide variety of enemies on which to use that toolset, but that's just not the case here, as nearly every enemy can be approached and felled the same way. Sometimes Godfire tries to mix it up by letting you perform over-the-top finishing moves with quick-time events. These finishers lack the brutality or skill requirements found in Godfire's bigger budget inspiration, though, so they're not as satisfying. Plus, you'll frequently have one enemy staggered and try to execute him only to target a different, completely healthy, foe, which is handy, but also feels somewhat broken.
The boss encounters, on the other hand, are much better. You'll have to pay careful attention to each bosses patterns to learn when to strike and when to evade, and the bosses themselves have a decent variety of attacks and memorable designs.
Godfire's visuals and score are among the best you'll find on iOS. There's a great sense of scale and depth in each stage, and the hybrid Greek/sci-fi aesthetic, while not always successful, helps give a bit of personality. The designs of the main characters are generally less interesting than those of the monsters you'll face, save for the nearly-nude masked woman who will probably stick in your mind solely because of how tasteless her design is. The writing and vocal performances are pretty strong, and the score thumps and bumps in an appropriately epic manner. The sound effects could use quite a bit of work, as the drab clangs and clacks of combat do little to inspire any sort of excitement.
In the rare moments you're not fighting monsters or the damned temperamental walking controls, you'll be completing simple puzzles, most of which can be completed by shuffling through every option until the game tells you which one is correct. The puzzles do mix up the pace and grow in challenge over the course of the game, but they're still so easy they feel like time-wasters rather than legitimate brain-teasers. Lastly, Prometheus has quite a number of upgrades to unlock. They're mostly numerical upgrades like increased survivability and damage, so don't come in expecting to acquire new combos or a varied arsenal.
Prometheus, in his quest to steal the spark of fire from the gods, forgot to bring with him a spark of creativity. Godfire's parts are all correct, with its sharp visuals, great score, and grand boss battles, but most of the moment-to-moment gameplay fails to satisfy. If you want to smash video game monsters in Ancient Greece, you could do worse... but you could also do better.
This review is based on a downloaded copy of Godfire: Rise of Prometheus provided by the publisher for iOS.
App Store Link: Godfire: Rise of Prometheus for iPhone and iPad | By Vivid Games I Price: $6.99 | Version: 1.0.0 | 1.07 GB| Rating 12+