Gajin Entertainment’s Braveheart HD is a new action role playing on the App Store that offers a nice breath of fresh air. The game is very accessible not just to role playing game fans but fans of dual-analog shooters. It is not without flaws however and can get repetitive if you are used to traditional RPGs.
This is an action RPG that is mostly action and little role playing. The battle system is intriguing here because you circle with your thumb to unwind an attack motion and have to move round the game map hitting every enemy in sight. But unlike many dual-analog shooters there is a second (ranged) attack option — like using crossbows among other weapons — that is used by holding a finger on the screen and pointing to where you want to shoot with another. On top of this there are perks or actions awarded for killing enemies like health generation and there are also items to be gather on the battlefield. The interesting battle system is not without flaws however. Sometimes it’s hard to unwind the swing already in motion –which is done by circling your thumb in the opposite direction –and Richard just swings in the opposite direction instead of stopping it.
Although easy to get into, the game gets challenging fast and you will need to use the shops in the game’s city menu to buy elixirs and upgrade weapons. To gain gold and experience points you will be doing side-mission hunts in similar locations to where you progressed in story mode.
The game centers around a campaign of a renegade knight named Richard who offended the king, got imprisoned, and now has a chance to win his freedom by finding a grail guarded by a dragon. Besides the story mode, there is also a challenges mode where you try overcoming various game challenges the game throws at you like killing a set amount of enemies in a set time frame. The challenges mode adds longetivity to the title but the story mode is its bread and butter. There are elements of the story unveiled via cut scenes between each mission completed. As you progress through these stages, you gain access to new territories, with different backrounds.
Default controls: There are two control options, but the default method based purely on touch and not an on-screen analog is a great control mechanism, and I love the aiming system of the range weapons the game offers. It is fun mixing up meele ring-around-the-rosy swings with the ranged weapons.
Fun Story: I also enjoy the story and think it has character compared to most RPGs on the App Store, as you aren’t some super-righteous noble knight here.
Production values: I also like the graphics and movement animations, and the presentation in general is very high here.
Repetitive gameplay for an RPG: There isn’t much variation in the levels and it gets repetitive killing waves of enemies in every level. The game gets really challenging as well and you have to grind through the hunts after a while and this adds to the repetitive nature of the game.
Lack of control outside combat: There are no areas to explore outside the pre-arranged levels you fight in.
Hardcore RPG fans may find Braveheart’s level layout and arcade nature too simplified—as the App Store’s RPG offerings can get quite deep these days—there is still a lot of customization and depth offered here and the combat is intriguing.
Braveheart HD was developed by Gajin Entertainment, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPad. The price is $2.99.