Bat­tle lines shift for worse

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech - MIKE WIL­COX mike@ hy­per ac­tive games. com

THE suc­cess of Ap­ple’s hand­held de­vices for gam­ing has seen a grow­ing num­ber of tra­di­tional con­sole games con­verted to play on the touch screen­friendly ipad and iphone.

Some gam­ing gen­res fare bet­ter than oth­ers in this tran­si­tion, how­ever first-per­son shoot­ers, like this ti­tle, strug­gle to cap­ture the ex­hil­a­ra­tion orig­i­nally of­fered on con­sole.

Bat­tle­field: Bad Com­pany 2 for the PC, Xbox 360 and Plays­ta­tion 3 pro­vided a rich sin­gle player sto­ry­driven cam­paign, with mem­o­rable char­ac­ters and a su­pe­rior mul­ti­player com­po­nent.

This touch­screen in­stal­ment does fea­ture these el­e­ments, al­beit on a much smaller scale.

The ac­tion is con­trolled through the now stan­dard faux joy­stick where slid­ing a fin­ger on one side of the dis­play moves you around the en­vi­ron­ment, while slid­ing an­other digit around the other side con­trols your line of sight, and tap­ping on the screen fires the weapon.

There are some wel­come flex­i­ble op­tions for ad­just­ing the con­trol set­tings and dis­play for dif­fer­ent play styles and given a lit­tle prac­tice they feel sur­pris­ingly ac­cu­rate.

The run and gun na­ture of the game­play is ex­cit­ing, at least to be­gin with, though the 15 mis­sions quickly suf­fer from a lack of imag­i­na­tion.

The mul­ti­player com­po­nent, which is the key sell­ing point of the se­ries on con­sole, has sadly been scaled back for this touch­screen in­stal­ment.

There are just two clas­sic modes for up to 10 play­ers, either on­line or lo­cally. Play­ers only have a few char­ac­ter mod­els and weapons to choose from as well. Like the main cam­paign mode though, it does de­liver some ini­tial short-lived thrills.

Bat­tle­field: Bad Com­pany 2 for ipad isn’t a failed ef­fort to bring the first­per­son genre to touch­screen de­vices, but the hard­ware’s phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions keep it from gen­er­at­ing the same fren­zied fun as its con­sole brethren and may leave ex­pe­ri­enced gamers wish­ing they could just reach for their favourite joy­stick.

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