There are a lot of action flight games on iOS, and each one brings better and more complex 3D graphics, graphics that get better and better, not to mention closer to home console standards, with every new upgraded iOS device.
They look great, but it is nice to see something that looks a little different.
Fractal Combat uses, you guesses it, fractal based graphics to display its worlds. Each level has a randomly generated landscape, and each level is stunning to look at, with rolling hills, huge mountains and massive lakes that stretch off into the distance.
It really is a marvel to behold, and the really great thing about using fractals is that the game is buttery smooth, with hardly a drop in frame rate to be found. If you have an iPad 2, the game is even smoother. This makes flying around these awesome landscapes a real joy, and this made even better by the excellent controls.
There are several control options, and they all work well, although tilting an iPad can get tiresome after a while, so I would recommend the virtual analogue options. It’s great that there are so many choices on offer. Your ship reacts and turns on a dime, and you will never feel that you are not totally in command of the game. You can dodge incoming missiles instantly and dodge in between parts of the scenery with ease.
It all feels just right.
Completing missions and killing enemies earns you money which you can spend upgrading and outfitting your ship with new weapons and features. You can also buy new craft to pilot, and this section of the game is really good, as there are plenty of fun options to get your ideal vehicle flying and fighting just the way you want it to.
The ships themselves are a bit hit and miss in their designs, with the first few being a little uninspiring but the later ships are very impressive and more than make up for the initial batch. The ships look good in the game world, and fit in well with the overall design.
The game unfortunately falls down when it comes to the missions, as there is a crippling lack of variety and an absence of purpose. There are very few mission types, which creates a bad feeling of repetition, and you never really get a feel that this is part of a bigger story or that you have something to fight for.
If I fail a mission several times, I need something else to keep me trying other than unlocking new levels and earning money. I get that this is an arcade style shooter, but the atmosphere just didn’t grab me like I hoped it would do.
Those criticisms aside, this is a rip-roaring flight action game, and dogfighting over incredible terrain while missiles whizz past within inches of you never gets boring. Taking down a tough and well guarded target takes skill and timing, and the great controls and silky frame rate make even the most difficult parts fun. The upgrading and purchasing process is fun and involving, and will keep you playing long after you have finished all the planets on offer.
This really is the sort of game that I know I will be keeping on my home screen as it is perfect to dip in and out of when you need a quick adrenaline boost. I really wish it had more of a space opera feel with proper characters, and the lack of story telling hurts, but if you are looking for a great looking, fast paced shooter, then you should really check Fractal Combat out.